Sarah Paulson interview: ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’

Sarah Paulson believes to her core that playing Linda Tripp on “Impeachment: American Crime Story” is the biggest challenge she’s ever had as an actress. “It was a whole lot of fun because she was a really complicated character where nobody felt the need to dull her edges,” she tells Gold Derby during our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video interview above). She adds that she relished that opportunity specifically because of its complexity. “I sort of feel the minute you start to get very comfortable and complacent in your work, that’s just not really an interesting place for me.”

“Impeachment,” which can currently be streamed on FX on Hulu, explores the affair between President Bill Clinton (Clive Owen) and White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), how Tripp taped conversations between her and Lewinsky when they worked at the Pentagon and Ken Starr’s investigation that led to the titular punishment. The series also stars Edie Falco (Hillary Clinton), Judith Light (Susan Carpenter-McMillan), Annaleigh Ashford (Paula Jones), Billy Eichner (Matt Drudge) and Fred Melamed (William Ginsburg). Paulson has racked up a massive number of nominations at the Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards, winning each one in 2016 for Movie/Limited Actress for playing Marcia Clark in “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”

When the first pictures were released of her as Tripp, Paulson trusted in the eventual viewers to judge her based on the merit of her performance and see beyond the physical transformation. “The truth is I really wasn’t wearing that much. I was wearing a nose and a neck. That was it. The rest is all on me.” She also views it as one of the most challenging an actor can do but also one of the most exhilarating. “I personally love looking in the mirror and not recognizing what I see looking back at me.”

This installment of “American Crime Story” marks the 15th project that Paulson has worked that’s been produced by Ryan Murphy. She credits him as being the first person who was interested in giving her a shot. “At a time when nobody was very interested in me, he saw something in me that made me then believe in myself. There is no way to state that more powerfully or profoundly in terms of where it lives in me.” The bond that this insight of his had is what has fueled so much of their collaborative efforts. “He just kept throwing me the ball and saying, you can do this. It was like catching something coming at me full force and he’d just be like, run. That is a very rare, special thing.”

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UPLOADED Jul 12, 2022 6:39 pm