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Sarah Paulson and Vera Farmiga were secret rivals for 12 Years role

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May 21, 2014 | 4:52pm EDT

Actress Sarah Paulson has learned she grabbed the role of Mistress Epps in 12 Years A Slave from Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga during a roundtable chat for The Hollywood Reporter. Publication editors brought the two stars together, along with Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies and Jessica Pare, for an indepth interview as part of their 'TV Drama Queens' issue, and Farmiga used the get together to let Paulson know they were once rivals.

As Paulson was talking about how she prepared to play the racist wife of Michael Fassbender's character Edwin Epps, the Up in the Air star revealed she fought hard for the same role. Farmiga said, "I wanted that role in 12 Years... (It) was a high-stakes role. Girl, I made a full-blown audition tape with hurdy-gurdies (instruments) playing in the background. The dance scene... remember?"

Shocked Paulson responded, "Oh my God. That's so extraordinary... I didn't know. "I auditioned with the same scene. I put my hair back in the tightest bun I could. I wore an outfit that was actually in my closet, which is terrifying. I did really want it; I did really go for it."

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