Sarah Paulson is looking back on her role as Linda Tripp on “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
Speaking at the show’s FYC Event in Los Angeles, the actress recalled the intense reaction people had to her portrayal of the infamous figure.
“It was very clear from that very first TCA, or whatever we did, people didn’t like her,” said Paulson about the presentation given at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in 2021, via IndieWire. “They didn’t like her and they didn’t think that we liked her, and it seemed to be that they thought we were making a point of doing what most people expected would be the story of Linda.”
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She continued, “I personally found it almost unrecoverable from that experience because I was so devastated that they’d think that about someone I had spent a very long time sort of living inside, and I didn’t have those feelings about her.”
Paulson portrayed the politician who was instrumental in exposing the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal that saw the former president impeached. Their show portrayed the scandal with Beanie Feldstein in the role of Lewinsky.
The early reactions to her role made the actress feel like “nobody wanted to challenge their experience or expectation of what she was, and what they thought her to be. And they didn’t want to be invited inside the experience because she was a person who betrayed someone and all that is true. There are real truths about things that Linda did that are just undeniable. And it’s hard, I think, to rewrite what we’ve already written and subscribed to in our minds, so it shouldn’t surprise you, but I found it to be utterly devastating. Devastating.”
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Despite the negative backlash with her role, the 47-year-old actress still enjoyed her time filming the new season, calling it “still the greatest experience I’ve ever had from an acting standpoint period, the end, and chiefly because of what Sarah Burgess wrote. And because of the experience I got to have with Beanie.”
“Impeachment: American Crime Story” is available now on Hulu and FX in Canada.