Good morning kisses from Ewan McGregor and sisterly advice from Renée Zellweger. After facing her initial fear of a visit from the "acting police," you could say filming the over-the-top, '60s sex romp Down with Love was easy for Sarah Paulson.

But landing her role — a book editor whose latest find (Zellweger) encourages women to behave like men — definitely wasn't. Because the movie was shot during summer months, when sitcom actors are on hiatus, entire casts of TV shows went in to read for her part. "Anybody that's on any popular show was there," Paulson says. "It just seemed like the most implausible notion that I would get this job, because the list of names was ridiculous."

And then there's the fact that at first, she couldn't even get an audition. It wasn't until she met producer Bruce Cohen at a party, and he recognized her as the leading lady of NBC's short-lived Leap of Faith, that he and partner Dan Jinx (American Beauty) agreed to see her.

"Of course, they passed the week before, but whatever. I went in," Paulson says, laughing. "I wore a wig, I wore the clothes, I had my makeup done, cigarette props, the whole thing. You often don't realize how little imagination people have, so you really got to give it to them. All the women really went for it."

After a few callbacks, and reading with co-star/on-screen suitor David Hyde Pierce, the role was won. "The whole experience was very intimidating for me. I've never had a role of this size in this kind of movie," Paulson admits. "I feel so blessed to have been a part of something this special — and that it wasn't Final Destination 4."