In real life, Linda Tripp, who played a key role in the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky controversy in 1998, is a plus-size woman. In the FX anthology series Impeachment: American Crime Story, the role was played by Sarah Paulson, who faced outrage after she was shown wearing padded costumes to portray Tripp’s figure.
Some complained that the industry had squandered yet another opportunity to choose someone with a better body for the part.
‘Can You Please Just Hire Actual Fat People to Play Fat Characters, Hollywood?’ read the headline of an April op-ed on Refinery29, which used the ACS’s position to highlight Hollywood’s greater fatphobia problem.
Sarah Paulson on Taking on the Role of Linda Tripp
It’s easy to assume that the Emmy-winning actress is ecstatic to play Linda Tripp in the FX anthology series, which debuts its third season on September 7. After secretly recording her phone discussions with Lewinsky regarding her relationship with the former president, Tripp became a key figure in the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.
When Tripp was relocated to a position at the Pentagon in 1996, she became acquainted with the former White House intern. Tripp was working as a federal servant at the time and testified in court for about 20 hours. Paulson earlier stated in 2019 that she hoped to do away with the fat suit entirely for her portrayal as Tripp, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 70 in April 2020.
To play with her, I’ll have to gain some weight, and I don’t want to wear a suit… I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to show up at work wearing a fake suit and being all messed up, unable to experience the emotions that she [Linda Tripp] might be experiencing. Paulson, on the other hand, seems to have altered her mind. However, in response to the outrage, the 46-year-old stated that she will not make the same mistake again.
Sarah Paulson’s Reaction to the Criticism and her Regrets
Following the public outcry, Paulson responded by admitting she has some misgivings about the way she portrayed the character. Actors and fat costumes have sparked a lot of debate, and I believe the debate is justified. Fatphobia, in my opinion, is genuine. Pretending otherwise, I believe, creates more harm. And it’s a very vital discussion to have.
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She appreciated the hair and cosmetics crews for their contributions to filmmaking. However, Paulson stated that the actor should not bear the entire weight.
“Was it my responsibility to say no [to the part]? This is the issue, “she expressed herself. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, she said, “It’s really difficult for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses.”