Sarah Paulson Regrets Wearing A Fat Suit To Play Linda Tripp In “Impeachment: American Crime Story”
In Impeachment: American Crime Story, which follows the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, Sarah Paulson plays Linda Tripp, who died last April at the age of 70. Well, Sarah herself doesn’t only play the role of Linda Tripp. Sarah got some help from a straw wig, rubber face pieces, and padding. And in an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Sarah talks about her regret of wearing one of Mrs. Doubtfire’s leftovers and won’t do that in the future. Unlike Julianne Moore who is always game!
Sarah said that she really connected with Linda during the production of the FX series which premieres on September 7. Sarah really took this character with her after filming and has betrayed all of her close friends. Just kidding, but she did say that “it feels almost like she’s stuck to me,” and even still wears the ring she wore as Linda Tripp. While playing Linda Tripp, Sarah wanted to show more sides to Linda, including a human one. But at a press event for Impeachment, one reporter let Sarah know how unlikable Linda was in real life and also in the show. That made Sarah wonder if she succeeded at all:
“I think in the initial moment, I thought: ‘Oh, my God, I took a really big swing and I missed,” Paulson says later of the antipathy voiced about Tripp by a couple of reporters at the aforementioned press event. “Not only may it not affect anybody’s assessment of her, it might make people double down. And that is something I never thought of. And I don’t know if that makes me foolish, or it just makes me a person who was so invested in trying to be a person. … I think Linda was certainly a victim of being caught up in a machine. Don’t get me wrong — she put the gas in the car, she put the keys in the ignition, and then she started driving, put her foot on the pedal. But then it’s like a runaway train — I know I just mixed my vehicle metaphors. I will never think that what she did was right. Far from it. But I do have a greater understanding as to the why.”
And about the fat suit, Sarah said she gained 30 pounds to play Linda but added 4.5 pounds of padding to look bigger. Sarah went on to say that the character of Linda Tripp was so much more than her body size. But Sarah also said that she should’ve thought more about taking the part and will not make that same decision again.
“It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses. There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one. I think fatphobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had. But that entire responsibility I don’t think falls on the actor for choosing to do something that is arguably–and I’m talking about from the inside out–the challenge of a lifetime.
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. I would like to believe that there is something in my being that makes me right to play this part. 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.
Was I supposed to say no [to the part]? This is the question… I think the thing I think about the most is that I regret not thinking about it more fully. And that is an important thing for me to think about and reflect on. I also know it’s a privileged place to be sitting and thinking about it and reflecting on it, having already gotten to do it, and having had an opportunity that someone else didn’t have. You can only learn what you learn when you learn it. Should I have known? Abso-fucking-lutely. But I do now. And I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward.”
So what’s supposed to happen if all the skinny people stop wearing fat suits? Actual fat people would be given jobs and allowed to exist like normal people? Jillian Michaels is going to revolt over this! But I do love how Sarah Paulson is acting like she had a choice in turning down a role in a Ryan Murphy production. If she said, “You know Ryan, I’d like to give my scalp some time off from being suffocated by polyester wigs,” he’d magically produce the contract that Sarah signed with him IN HER BLOOD!