Sarah Paulson Addresses Fat Suit Criticism

Sarah Paulson feels bad about that fat suit she wore to play Linda Tripp in Impeachment: American Crime Story. 

She told the LA Times: “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 fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had.”

She also gained 30 pounds for the role, and said that playing Tripp was the “challenge of a lifetime.”

“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,” Paulson added. “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.”

Tripp’s secret recordings of her phone calls with Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) almost brought down President Bill Clinton’s (Clive Owen) presidency. 

Of taking the role, Paulson added, “I think the thing I think about the most is that I regret not thinking about it more fully.”

“You can only learn what you learn when you learn it,” she said. “Should I have known? Abso-f—ing-lutely. But I do now. And I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward.”

The Ryan Murphy series debuts on FX on September 7th.