Sarah Paulson Has 1 Regret About Her Role in 'Impeachment: American Crime Story'

One of the most anticipated television releases for September is Impeachment: American Crime Story. Ryan Murphy tapped Sarah Paulson once again for another one of his productions, this time to play Linda Tripp in the political drama.

The TV series focuses on the events leading up to former president Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial and with a spotlight on Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones. Tripp is an essential part of the story, but Paulson recently expressed one major disappointment with her performance.

Sarah Paulson has 1 regret about playing Linda Tripp in ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’

Previously, Sarah Paulson tackled the role of Marcia Clark in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime anthology. For this latest offering, she stars alongside Beanie Feldstein who plays Monica Lewinsky, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones, and Clive Owen as Bill Clinton. When fans first learned about the casting back in 2019, Paulson caught some flak. A social media debate ensued.

She discussed it in an interview with the Los Angeles Times and noted that some preferred a plus-size actor for the role. In addition to packing on extra weight, Paulson donned padding to make her appear larger and more like Linda Tripp.

She acknowledged the complaints as valid but also said that in general, she’d like to believe actors bring more to the table than physical looks. Paulson spoke on how performers love choosing challenging roles. However, she also felt conflicted about whether she should have said yes to the Tripp part.

“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,” said Paulson.  “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. 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.”

Linda Tripp was a divisive figure

Looking back at the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair, many point to Linda Tripp as the instigator. She secretly recorded conversations with Lewinsky who confided in her about her relationship with the then-president. To Lewinsky, she was a friend that betrayed her, and many in the public reviled her for that reason. Others thought Tripp was a responsible steward.

Her actions led to a full investigation by special prosecutor Ken Starr and set off a domino effect. Tripp and Lewinsky became the faces of the scandal tied to Clinton and his impeachment proceedings. It rocked the nation. After testifying, Lewinsky famously said that she hated Linda Tripp.

Paulson did her best to play her with objectivity. But she told the L.A. Times that she studied her, embodied her, and became protective of her character. On the flip side, she and Lewinsky got close in the process.

When to watch ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’

A limited 10-episode series, Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres on FX on Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. Episodes will air weekly. Viewers will see the beginning of Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky and his entanglement with Paula Jones. Both he and Hillary Clinton are depicted in the show. Tripp — who died in 2020 — never had the opportunity to meet Paulson before her death.

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