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How Sarah Paulson played fairy godmother to make Melanie Lynskey’s first Emmys all the more enchanted

Melanie Lynskey has a fairy godmother who goes by the name Sarah Paulson.

Melanie Lynskey Emmys
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Some people wish on stars. Some throw coins in fountains. Others just cross their fingers and hope for the best. Then there’s Melanie Lynskey, and she’s got a fairy godmother who goes by the name of Sarah Paulson.

In the famous words of the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Lynskey made a splash at the Emmys with a little help from her friend, Variety reported.

It was getting down to the wire. Lynskey didn’t expect to get an invite to the prestigious awards show, much less earn her first nomination for Best Actress. Rocketing to fame thanks to the hit streaming series, Yellowjackets, she found herself in the spotlight. In a modern take on Cinderella, she had her chance to walk the red carpet, but she didn’t have internationally-known designers falling over themselves to have her sport their latest fashions. 

In a change from Hollywood’s typical shapes and sizes, neither did Lynskey have the “perfect” figure; refreshingly, she rocks a body that’s, well, normal for the rest of us. To top it off, she also didn’t have the endless budgets of more established stars. It all made finding a dress suitable for the Emmys difficult.

“[Stylist and close friend Misha Rudolph]’s been trying to save me some money, trying to get clothes for me,” Lynskey told Variety. “I’m a 10, 12. People just don’t have things to lend, so I end up having to buy everything. I know it’s like, ‘Oh, boohoo, poor actress.’ But I’m not like a millionaire. I’ve never made, like, a ton of money. There’s a lot of events and it really adds up. And you get judged next to somebody who got to borrow Dior.”

Melanie Lynskey
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Just when Lynskey and Rudolph were scrambling for a solution, a fateful meal would turn her pumpkin into a carriage. Over dinner, Paulson asked Lynskey what she would be wearing to the awards show. Instead of avoiding the topic, she was completely honest about her struggles to bring it all together in time. Luckily for Lynskey, Paulson called in some favors.

Rather than flicking her wand, Paulson flicked her phone and sent a handful of text messages. Within moments, the wheels began turning, and the magic quickly took shape. “And then she was like, ‘I just texted blah, blah, blah.’ She texted all these people for me. Fancy people. Like, very fancy people.”

After casting her line, Paulson had a bite within moments. “Just everyone loves Sarah so much that people responded to her very quickly,” Lynskey explained to Variety. “She was saying to me, ‘I hope you understand, like, people are excited for you. People want to dress you.’”

For anyone who has ever felt self-conscious about their body, worrying that they don’t measure up to the standard of beauty set by television and movies, this next part is for you. 

The first person to respond to Paulson’s texts was the respected and notable fashion designer Christian Siriano, who helped Lynskey see the beauty in herself. “I’m so used to being in fittings where people are like, ‘That’s flattering. That’s slimming. Oh, that’s gonna make your waist look smaller,’ and to be in a fitting with somebody who’s like, ‘I wanna make sure we see your little waist. I wanna make sure we show your beautiful shape.’ He was like, ‘Gosh, your proportions are amazing.’ 

“[It was] so genuinely body positive. I feel like there’s a lot of, like, faux-body positivity in my industry and in the fashion industry, and it was so genuinely loving and celebratory and positive the way he was talking to me that I just started crying.”

Although she lost the Emmy for Best Actress to Zendaya, Lynskey’s night was nonetheless enchanted thanks to the generosity of friends in high places. Where can we sign up for Paulson to be our fairy godmother?

About the author

Matt Tuck

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.