Sarah Paulson is responding to the criticism surrounding her decision to play the role of Linda Tripp in the upcoming series Impeachment: American Crime Story, which revolves around the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal.
In order to transform into Tripp, the acclaimed actress gained 30lbs, wore a nearly five pound ‘fat suit’, prosthetic teeth, prosthetic nose, and a wig to emulate Tripp’s signature ’90s-style helmet of blond hair.’
Critics believe by taking the role, Paulson prevented a worthy actor, with Tripp’s larger body shape, from getting the role in what will be the third season of the FX true crime anthology American Crime Story.
Addressing the issue: Actress Sarah Paulson is addressing the backlash surrounding her latest role as Linda Tripp Impeachment: American Crime Story, which revolves around the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal that broke in 1998
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Paulson didn’t shy away from the controversy, admitting that she understands the criticism about the padded suit.
‘It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses. There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one,’ she explained
‘I think fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had. But that entire responsibility I don’t think falls on the actor for choosing to do something that is arguably — and I’m talking about from the inside out — the challenge of a lifetime.’
She continued, ‘I do think to imagine that the only thing any actor called upon to play this part would have to offer is their physical self is a real reduction of the offering the actor has to make.’
Criticism: In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Paulson admitted that she understands the criticism about the padded suit: she is pictured with Beanie Feldstein, who plays Lewinsky
In agreement: ‘There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one,’ Paulson explained; Clive Owen is seen as President Bill Clinton
Shared responsibility: ‘But that entire responsibility I don’t think falls on the actor for choosing to do something that is arguably — and I’m talking about from the inside out — the challenge of a lifetime, Paulson added; actress Edie Falco plays Hillary Clinton in the new season of American Crime Story
‘I would like to believe that there is something in my being that makes me right to play this part. And that the magic of hair and makeup departments and costumers and cinematographers that has been part of moviemaking, and suspension of belief, since the invention of cinema,’ she surmised.
‘Was I supposed to say no [to the part]? This is the question.’
Being more informed on the issues, Paulson went on to admit that she would have, in fact, responded differently to being offered the role of Linda Tripp.
‘I think the thing I think about the most is that I regret not thinking about it more fully. And that is an important thing for me to think about and reflect on. I also know it’s a privileged place to be sitting and thinking about it and reflecting on it, having already gotten to do it, and having had an opportunity that someone else didn’t have,’ the 46-year-old Golden Globe winner shared.
‘You can only learn what you learn when you learn it. Should I have known? Abso-f***ing-lutely. But I do now. And I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward.’
Tripp was a White House employee in the George H. W. Bush administration, and kept her job when Bill Clinton became president in 1993. During the summer of 1994, senior White House aides wanted Tripp removed, so they arranged a job for her in the public affairs office in the Pentagon.
At the center of the storm: In January 1998, Tripp gave the recorded tapes to independent counsel Kenneth Starr in exchange for immunity from prosecution (pictured 2001)
Scandalous: The scandal that proceeded resulted in President Clinton being impeached
Controversy: Impeachment: American Crime Story is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book – A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story Of The Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down A President (1999)
Tripp secretly recorded Monica Lewinsky’s confidential phone calls about her relationship with President Clinton. In January 1998, she gave the tapes to independent counsel Kenneth Starr in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
The scandal that proceeded resulted in President Clinton being impeached, but not removed from office.
Impeachment: American Crime Story is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book – A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story Of The Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down A President (1999).
Along with returning cast members Paulson (Linda Tripp), Annaleigh Ashford (Paula Jones), and Judith Light (Susan Carpenter-McMillan), the upcoming season includes new cast members Beanie Feldstein (Monica Lewinsky), Clive Owen (President Bill Clinton), Edie Falco (Hillary Clinton), Margo Martindale (Lucianne Goldberg).
The cast also has Billy Eichner (Matt Drudge), Cobie Smulders (Ann Coulter), Taran Killam (Steve Jones), Mira Sorvino (Marcia Lewis), Colin Hanks (Mike Emmick), Elizabeth Reaser (Kathleen Willey), Dan Bakkedahl (Kenneth Starr), Kathleen Turner (Susan Webber Wright), and Anthony Green (Al Gore).
Impeachment: American Crime Story will premiere on FX on September 7th.
Impeachment: American Crime Story will premiere on FX on September 7th