Sarah Paulson Addresses Backlash Over Wearing Fat Suit to Play Linda Tripp

With FX's 'Impeachment: American Crime Story' set to premiere next week, Sarah Paulson admits she regrets wearing a fat suit to portray Linda Tripp in the show.

Sarah Paulson

Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty

Sarah Paulson

With Impeachment: American Crime Story premiering next Tuesday on FX, Sarah Paulson sat down for an interview with the Los Angeles Times where she opened up about her role in the upcoming series.  

Paulson, who’s faced backlash for wearing a fat suit to portray Linda Tripp, the whistleblower who exposed former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, admits that she has regrets about wearing prosthetics to match the heavier body type of Tripp. 

“It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses,” Paulson told the publication. “There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one. I think fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had.”

Paulson added that while her body type is different from Tripp’s, she still believes there’s something inside her that made her right for the part. “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,” she explained.”I would like to believe that there is something in my being that makes me right to play this part.

Paulson didn’t pretend to have an answer to the conundrum, but did suggest that the question of whether someone else should be cast is a worthy one. “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 added. “Was I supposed to say no [to the part]? This is the question.”

Paulson said that she does have “regret” for “not thinking about it more fully.”

Paulson, who also gained 30 pounds for the role and serves as an executive producer on the series, maintained that playing the White House staff member was the “challenge of a lifetime.”

Produced by Ryan Murphy, Impeachment stars Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky, Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, and Paulson as Tripp. The series follows Lewinsky, Tripp, and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford) closely as it retells the story leading up to Clinton’s impeachment.

Check out the latest trailer below.

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