Glennon Doyle Says Sarah Paulson 'Was the Only Person' She Wanted to Play Her in 'Untamed' Series

"I wrote her a letter asking her to do it and she wrote back within minutes," Doyle tells PEOPLE of asking Paulson to portray her in the upcoming adaptation of her memoir

Glennon Doyle and Sarah Paulson
Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty; Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty

Glennon Doyle is thrilled to have actress Sarah Paulson play her in the upcoming TV adaptation of her bestselling memoir, Untamed.

The author, 46, along with her wife Abby Wambach, spoke with PEOPLE about the casting for the show, which is in the works with J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot Productions, and how her shortlist for who could portray her was, indeed, very short.

"She was the only person on my list. I had a list with one person," Doyle says of Paulson, 47, while chatting with PEOPLE about the one-year anniversary of her podcast, We Can Do Hard Things.

The author initially announced the casting news in February by teasing an episode of her podcast featuring the American Horror Story actress on Instagram.

Speaking more in depth about Paulson, Doyle notes the actress is "just transformation" and that "her work is so unbelievable."

"She's a true actor's actor. She just becomes her character in a way that you just don't always see happen on screen," she continues of the Emmy winner. "I mean, her playing Linda Tripp [in last year's Impeachment: American Crime Story], I think that she's an incredibly transcendent actor."

"And also, it had to be someone who was queer," adds Doyle, whose memoir Untamed is, in part, her coming out story. "So there's only one person who's a transcendent actor, twinking gold, and who is queer, and she was it. So I was terrified. I wrote her a letter asking her to do it and she wrote back within minutes."

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It seemed that the casting choice was a match made in heaven, as Paulson was also enthusiastic about the opportunity from the get-go.

"When she read Untamed, she knew in her bones that she was supposed to play the role," Doyle says, adding that the happy turn of events made her feel "goose bumpy."

But while Doyle already had a connection to Paulson — which made it easier for her to approach the actress — it by no means made her feel completely comfortable about nabbing her for the role.

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"My only connection with her was, we did this kind of internet activism thing called Share the Mic with my friends Luvvie Ajayi Jones and Bozoma Saint John, and she was on that. She was part of the movement," Doyle explains. "So I got to meet her through that and get to know her as a person, instead of just an actress. And she just was quite fierce, and awkward and funny."

"And before that, I felt, I would tell Abby, I'm scared that she's going to be too fancy and elegant. She's kind of elegant," she continues. "Fancy and elegant isn't really my vibe."

Wambach, 41, adds, "Because you have an idea of what an A-list celebrity is, and it's fancy and elegant."

"But her, in particular, Lady Paulson, it wasn't just her A-listness, it was her regality. Like, can she be un-regal, because I need her to be un-regal," Doyle says, later adding, "And she can [be]. And it's going to be a perfect, perfect role."

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Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle. Melissa Lyttle

As for who is set to play retired soccer player Wambach in the Untamed series, the women say their options are more limited, but they'd be intrigued to cast someone unknown.

"It would be really amazing to get a queer A-list celebrity who really buys into this love story that could play across from Sarah Paulson," Wambach says. "It'd just be amazing. And I also think that it could be really interesting to have somebody that we don't know, that we've never heard of."

"We feel committed to finding somebody, because when you look out at who could play Abby, there aren't a lot of known actors that could play Abby," Doyle notes. "And that's because queer butch actresses and actors are not given a shot."

"So it feels really important for us on every level of this project to bring in new queer talent, writers, actors, because there's a reason that there's not a whole bunch to pick from, right?" she continues. "Because it's harder to get into this industry if you're a queer person. And especially if you're a butch queer person. So it's been fascinating, the process already, and we'll see. I don't know who. We really don't know. We're not being coy. We have no freaking idea who it will be."

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