Sarah Paulson's transformation is complete as late U.S. civil servant Linda Tripp for Impeachment: American Crime Story. She was photographed in character as Tripp on the show's set this past Sunday. Paulson's take on Tripp made her look completely unrecognizable. If you didn't know Ryan Murphy's muse was cast as the civil servant, you never would have guessed. Season 3 of American Crime Story will chronicle the former U.S. President Bill Clinton's controversial and highly publicized affair with his White House intern Monica Lewinsky. It was a scandal that ultimately led to his impeachment in 1998.
It all started when Murphy had optioned 'A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President', Jeffrey Toobin's book about Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment proceedings, Murphy ran into Lewinsky at a party, and said as much. "I told her, 'Nobody should tell your story but you, and it's kind of gross if they do,'"
"'If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer and you should make all the goddamn money.'" Lewinsky was in.
The cast includes Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, Margo Martindale as Lucianne Goldberg, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones, Clive Owen as President Clinton, Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton along with Anthony Green set to portray Al Gore. Colin Hanks has also joined the cast. Speaking of portraying Tripp, Sarah Paulson says, Playing Tripp is "more complicated than anything else [she's] ever done."
"Unlike when I played Marcia Clark on The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story - I've played real people before - there was a real opportunity to right a collective wrong in terms of how we thought about her and her purported failure in that trial. But with Linda, it's a little more complicated. She behaves in ways that are a little bit more confusing.
In October 2019, she also revealed that she would be gaining some weight for the role. "I don't feel like it would be a great idea for me to come to work putting on some kind of faux suit and just all mucked up and not being able to move my face nor feel the feelings that she (Tripp) might have been feeling," Paulson shared.
Murphy, speaking of her transformation, say, "It reminds me a lot of what Christian Bale did a couple years ago -- that sort of dedication," referencing Bale's Vice transformation. "We talked a lot about how she has to keep it up for many many months until it's done shooting, so it's hard."
Monica Lewinsky was hesitant at first to be a part of the telling, but ultimately changed her mind explaining, "People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades. In fact, it wasn't until the past few years that I've been able to fully reclaim my narrative; almost 20 years later."
"But I'm so grateful for the growth we've made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation. This isn't just a me problem. Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time. Many people will see this as such a story and for that reason, this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen."
Murphy says of Lewinsky's input, "She's involved with every script, gives a lot of insights and thoughts. The great thing about the story that we're telling is it's Monica's story, which I think needs to be told. Just like in The People v. O.J. Simpson we showed Marcia Clark in a different way, that's what we're doing with Monica." Impeachment: American Crime Story is set to premiere Sept. 7 on FX.