Sarah Paulson Is Playing A Real-Life Notorious Diet Program Guru

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Sarah Paulson is set to play Gwen Shamblin Lara in The Way Down: God, Green, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.

By Chad Langen
| Published

Sarah Paulson is no stranger to playing real-life figures. The actress, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her portrayal of Linda Tripp in Impeachment: American Crime Story, was recently cast as the late Gwen Shamblin Lara in a new series for HBO Max, according to Variety. The upcoming show is a scripted adaptation of its own docuseries, The Way Down: God, Green, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.

The streamer’s docuseries revolves around diet-guru Gwen Shamblin and her rise to fame with her Christian-based diet program, Weigh Down Workshop. Before the series concluded, Shamblin was killed in a plane crash, and HBO Max was forced to edit the final two episodes to incorporate the tragedy. Sarah Paulson will star and serve as an executive producer on the upcoming adaptation.

In addition to launching her diet regime, Shamblin founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in Tennessee. Some of her diet followers accused her of having cult-leader-like control of them, complaining that she physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused them. Given the versatility Sarah Paulson possesses as an actress, portraying Shamblin should serve as yet another remarkable turn on the star’s resume.

Although Sarah Paulson is best known for her various roles on the FX series American Horror Story, the 47-year-old actress has graced our television screens for years. She earned the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance as prosecutor Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson. She’s also starred on several other acclaimed series such as Ratched, Mrs. America, James and the Giant Peach with Taika and Friends, and Family Guy.

The Way Down: God, Green, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin is a five-part docuseries that premiered on HBO Max last September. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an 80% fresh rating from critics and a 89% fresh rating from audiences. The scripted adaptation, which Sarah Paulson will headline, is currently without a release date, but Campfire Studios and Huntley Productions are reportedly behind the upcoming show.

Michelle Dean, who co-created the 2019 limited series The Act for Hulu, will serve as showrunner for the forthcoming series. In addition to Sarah Paulson, Dean will also serve as executive producer along with Nile Cappello, Ross Dinerstein, P.G. Morgan, Luke Dillon for 3 Arts Entertainment, and Chrissy Teigen.

Along with the upcoming adaptation of The Way Down, Sarah Poulson is currently filming a new thriller called Dust. She stars alongside Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Amiah Miller, Bill Heck, and Annaleigh Ashford. The feature will be directed by Karrie Crouse and William Joines from a script Crouse wrote.

Although the role Sarah Paulson portrays in Dust is currently unknown, the film will follow a young mother trapped by increasingly horrific dust storms. To make matters worse, she’s haunted by the past and convinced that a mysterious presence is threatening her family and takes extraordinary measures to protect them. No release date has been announced for the movie.

While we wait for Sarah Paulson to appear in the upcoming scripted adaptation, The Way Down: God, Green, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin is currently streaming on HBO Max. The five-episode docuseries follows the Remnant Fellowship Church and its leader, Gwen Shamblin Lara. It explores Lara’s fame and power as a diet guru and church leader, and the truth behind her carefully curated image.

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