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Small Screen Sirens! Sarah Paulson, Krysten Ritter and More of TV's 'Hottest Stars' Strip Down

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Mona Kuhn for W magazine

Summer may be in full swing (just check out those bikinis!), but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t already ready for fall — fall TV that is.

Autumn is the season to watch our favorite leading ladies, including Sarah Paulson, Krysten Ritter and more, own the small screen each week, and to help prepare for our future binge-watching parties, W magazine has highlighted some of the biggest (and “hottest”) TV stars in its August issue.

While you may recognize Paulson from the many seasons of American Horror Story, her most stand-out role this past year was her portrayal of American prosecutor Marcia Clark in the FX show, The People v. O.J. Simpson. And, according to the actress, the reason she decided to take on the role as Clark was fear of the unknown.

“Total abject terror,” she told W on deciding to play Clark. “The more I read about her, the more I felt a responsibility to get it right for her. I didn’t want this to be another opportunity to pile shit onto her and continue the sexism that went on during that trial.”

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And it turns out once she began playing the character, Paulson’s perception of the real Clark drastically took a turn. “It changed everything,” she said. “I was one of those women who didn’t like Marcia Clark. And that was based on believing what I was told by the media — that she was this total monster and a bulldog and so aggressive. It was really transformational to realize, God, I had it all wrong. Most people did.”

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W magazine Krysten RitterMona Kuhn for W magazine

And as for Ritter, who plays the private eye-slash-superhero in Jessica Jones, she admits that she initially didn’t have much in common with her character because she wasn’t a big comic book fan.

“I had actually never read a comic book in my life, but I got the entire Alias [where the Jones character made its first appearance] series and just devoured it, she told W. “It’s very noir — the first word is ‘f—,’ and it’s this R-rated world, which is not what I was expecting.”

Now, though, she’s much more in tune with the supernatural world (at least), and admits that if she could possess a superpower outside of the show, it’d be the ability to sway things in her favor.

“Mind control, like the villain in our show,” she said. “You can make anyone do anything you want any time! I wouldn’t abuse it. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t do anything sinister, but I would just make things a whole lot easier for myself, all the time.”

Check out all of TV’s “hottest stars” featured in the August issue of W, which hits newsstands this month!

Which TV shows are you excited to see this fall? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen