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Acting can be tough, but recreating an on-screen icon’s work, take for take? That’s a whole other skill set.

In FX’s new drama Feud: Bette and Joan, Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange bring to life Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s scenes on the set of their movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Sarandon and Lange sat down with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle during a SiriusXM town hall discussion to discuss impersonating Davis and Crawford’s roles in the 1962 horror flick for Ryan Murphy’s latest series.

“It was soul-sucking,” Sarandon told Cagle, who noted how difficult it must have been for the actresses to match every gesture and intonation.

“You had your visual to study over and over and over again, and that made it so much easier than you would think,” explained Lange. “You would just take it beat by beat.”

Matching every breath, head movement, gesture, and vocal “was painstaking,” said Lange, “but that’s not the most difficult part, I don’t think.”

“But it was a very different kind of talent,” added Sarandon. “It’s like people that dub in somebody else in a different language. They’re not really living it — that’s a very technical thing. It was a whole other set of skills you probably won’t ever have to use again.”

Cagle drew attention to a scene where Sarandon’s Davis is kicking Lange’s Crawford in the head, joking that that was a “very technical” moment. The actresses conceded that it was probably even more confusing and difficult for the director, who had to copy camera angles and distinguish between the movie footage and the behind-the-scenes filming of production. “Everyone had to stop constantly,” shared Sarandon. “It was a continuity woman’s nightmare to figure that out, but it was an interesting exercise. You’re not inhabiting it as much as you are recreating it, so there you go.”

See the clip above, and watch Cagle’s full town hall interview with the cast of Feud, streaming now on PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network at PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app on mobile or connected devices. You can also listen to the full interview on EW Radio (SiriusXM ch. 105) all this week.

Feud premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

Episode Recaps

Feud: Bette and Joan
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