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Actors faked disability for Sarah Paulson horror movie Run to land wheelchair role, director reveals

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Kiera Allen in Run
Kiera Allen won the role of Chloe in Run (Picture: Hulu)

The director of hit new horror movie Run, starring Sarah Paulson, has revealed how some actors lied about their disability in hopes of landing the leading role. 

Run follows overprotective mother Diane Sherman (Paulson) who uses the fact her teenage daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen) is in a wheelchair to prevent her from going outside. As the film unravels, it becomes clear that perhaps Diane doesn’t have her daughter’s best interests at heart. 

Director Aneesh Chaganty, his co-writer Sev Ohanian and producer Natalie Qasabian were determined to give the opportunity of playing Chloe to an actress who was actually in a wheelchair. 

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‘There were a couple of young ladies we saw that submitted themselves as people with disabilities,’ Aneesh explained to MovieMaker

He continued: ‘And we were like, wow, they’re really talented… but somebody looked them up on Instagram. There were videos of them walking on the beach from like, two hours ago.’ 

Aneesh said it was almost unsaid among his team that would cast a disabled actress in real life, stating: ‘It was never a controversial topic between the three of us. It was sort of like, “Yeah, we’re doing this right?” “Yeah”. “Cool”. And then the process of actually finding this person proved to be an intense and countrywide sort of search and we ended up finding this incredible talent in Kiera Allen.’ 

Sarah Paulson in Run
Sarah Paulson plays the overprotective mother (Picture: Hulu)

Run has broken down boundaries for the disability community as it is the first major thriller in 70 years to feature a real life wheelchair user. 

Kiera was thrilled to be cast alongside Paulson whose work she was a fan of before starring alongside her. 

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Speaking to Variety, Kiera recently recalled: ‘I remember on Wednesday I was watching American Horror Story and on Thursday I got a text saying Sarah had been cast and they wanted me to fly out and read with her on Sunday.

‘I was terribly nervous and intimidated, but she put me right at ease and believed in me. It all still seems impossible. For my first movie, I got to work opposite one of the best there is; it’s too good to be true.’ 

Sarah, who recently starred in Netflix’s chilling series Ratched, recently described Run as an ‘elevated thriller’ in a ‘Hitchcockian’ style. 

‘I think there is an effort being made to evoke that era and also in terms of his style. And it’s a thriller with psychological components that are complicated,’ she told Collider.

Run is out on Hulu in the US now. 

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