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Sarah Paulson: Playing Linda Tripp is 'more complicated than anything else' I've ever done

The Hill logo The Hill 11/17/2020 Morgan Gstalter
Sarah Paulson wearing a suit and tie: Sarah Paulson: Playing Linda Tripp is 'more complicated than anything else' I've ever done © Getty Images Sarah Paulson: Playing Linda Tripp is 'more complicated than anything else' I've ever done

Actor Sarah Paulson said portraying Linda Tripp in the upcoming season of FX's "American Crime Story" is perhaps her most complex role to date.

Tripp's secret recordings of then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky played a key role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Paulson appeared virtually on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Tuesday to discuss playing the civil servant at the center of the scandal.

She said getting into the character of Tripp was "more complicated than anything else [she's] ever done."

"Unlike when I played Marcia Clark - I've played real people before - there was a real opportunity to right a collective wrong in terms of how we thought about her and her purported failure in that trial. But with Linda, it's a little more complicated," she said.

Paulson previously won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the prosecutor in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story."

"She behaves in ways that are a little bit more confusing," Paulson added about Tripp.

Tripp died in April at the age of 70.

Lewinsky is one of the executive producers on the show, which is currently in production in Los Angeles.

Paulson said that Lewinsky is "sanctioning" the details of the show and is frequently on set.

"I think she's a wonderful person," the actress added.

Creator Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter last year that he asked Lewinsky to sign onto the project.

"I told her, 'Nobody should tell your story but you, and it's kind of gross if they do,'" Murphy said. "If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer and you should make all the goddamn money.'"

"Impeachment: American Crime Story" will explore "the overlooked dimensions of women who found themselves caught up in the scandal and political war that cast a long shadow over the Clinton Presidency," FX previously said.

The season's script will be based on Jeffrey Toobin's best-selling book "A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President."

"Booksmart" actress Beanie Feldstein is portraying Lewinsky. Annaleigh Ashford will play Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who sued Clinton for sexual harassment. Actor Clive Owen will be tackling the role of the 42nd president.

Comedian and actor Billy Eichner will play Matt Drudge, the conservative founder of "The Drudge Report" who was first to break the news in 1998 of the then-commander in chief's relationship with Lewinsky.

"GLOW" star Betty Gilpin will also make an appearance as commentator Ann Coulter.

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