Sadly, John Goodman was robbed and is not playing Linda Tripp in Ryan Murphy’s take on the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal. Sarah Paulson is. And after much back and forth, the third season of American Crime Story is a go.
About two and a half years ago, Ryan Murphy announced that the second season of American Crime Story would be all about Jeffrey Toobin’s 2000 best-seller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. Then Ryan Murphy put the project on ice and made The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and announced that the third season of ACS would be about Hurricane Katrina (which doesn’t seem to be happening anymore). Ryan claimed he scrapped the Bill Clinton season after running into Monica Lewinsky at a Hollywood party.
“I told her, ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do,'” Murphy recalls saying. “”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.'”
When Ryan said that Monica should produce it and make all the money, he wasn’t just running his mouth. Deadline reports that FX announced that Monica Lewinsky will be a producer on Impeachment: American Crime Story. Production will begin in February, and will premiere on FX September 27, 2020. Monica released a statement to Vanity Fair saying she’s excited to “fully reclaim” her own narrative 20 years after she became as synonymous with the 1990’s as Beanie Babies and the dial-up internet sound.
“I was hesitant, and truthfully more than a little scared to sign on. But after a lengthy dinner meeting with Ryan, I came to understand even more clearly how dedicated he is to giving a voice to the marginalized in all of his brilliant work. I’m privileged to work with him and the other talented people on the team, and I’m privileged to have this opportunity.
People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve been able to fully reclaim my narrative; almost 20 years later.
But I’m so grateful for the growth we’ve made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation. This isn’t just a me problem. Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time. Many people will see this as such a story and for that reason, this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen.”
As for the cast, Ryan teased a couple years ago that he was thinking Sarah Paulson for Linda Tripp, which apparently wasn’t a hard decision for him to make. Joining Sarah in the cast will be Beanie Feldstein (from Booksmart, and also Jonah Hill’s sister) as Monica Lewinsky. Paula Jones will be played by Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, who also appeared in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. I’m sure Annaleigh Ashford will do a fine job, but Paula Jones was a redhead with major lipliner skills, so obviously this role should have been filled by Connie Britton. But maybe Ryan Murphy didn’t want Connie to get typecast.
Here’s the cast with who they’re playing:
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 6, 2019
As for the rest of the cast, that’s still a mystery. Which means it’s time for me to wildly speculate who could show up! If Naomi Watts is willing to darken her eyebrows and suffer hard plastic headband migraines, then I’d say she’s a shoo-in for Hillary Clinton. Ryan Murphy loves a 90s-famous actor, so I’m going to guess Paul Reiser for Bill. Also, Sean Astin for Kenneth Starr, Gary Sinese for Al Gore, and Lady Gaga for Gennifer Flowers. And maybe John Goodman will still have a chance if Ryan Murphy films a scene about those SNL sketches he was in. But even then, I’m sure that if there’s a role defined by being an older woman, having blonde hair, and chewing the scenery, Jessica Lange gets first dibs.