Sarah Paulson to Star as Cult Leader Gwen Shamblin in ‘The Way Down’ Scripted Series

Emmy winner Sarah Paulson has been cast as the late Gwen Shamblin Lara, the diet-guru turned cult-like figure, in HBO Max‘s scripted adaptation of its own hit docuseries, The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.

The original five-part docuseries, which premiered in 2021, explored the Tennessee-based eccentric leader’s legacy and her Remnant Fellowship Church. Shamblin Lara, as well as the church, have been accused of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse, as well as the use of “cult-like” practices.

Michelle Dean, co-creator of the 2019 Hulu limited series The Act, will serve as showrunner of the scripted adaptation.

This marks another “big wig” portrayal for Paulson, who previously played Linda Tripp for Impeachment: American Crime Story, which earned her an Emmy nomination.

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