Sarah Paulson: ‘I have more in common with Linda Tripp than I care to admit’

paulson dujour

Sarah Paulson covers the latest issue of DuJour to promote her upcoming role in Impeachment: American Crime Story, about President Clinton’s impeachment drama in the 1990s. Guess who she plays? Linda Tripp. If you’re old enough to remember that drama, the idea of Paulson-as-Tripp is interesting but… somehow also kind of wrong. Tripp was such a terrible person and Paulson is, frankly, way too thin and pretty to play her. You can read Paulson’s full interview here. Some highlights:

Why she’s attracted to complicated roles: “I’m not looking for something specific in a role but looking for an internal bell that lets me know when I’m afraid of something. When I don’t see a path toward it clearly, I know that means I have to do it. I like to be as far away from me as possible. The more terrified I am of a role, the more likely I am to say yes.”

Why she loves working with Ryan Murphy: “Ryan Murphy is such a feminist and such an amplifier of women—really, of any disenfranchised group. He really puts a spotlight on women and storytelling for women over 45 years old. We’re real friends,” she says of Murphy, with whom she talks on the phone for hours regularly (even when she spends her days on set with him). “It’s a platonic love story.”

On Linda Tripp: “What was interesting to me is this story is really about these three women: Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp. There is one predominant thing that we forget: that these are human beings and multidimensional people. This series gives you an opportunity to understand some of the behavior. I have more in common with Linda than I care to admit. My impatience, my desire for everything to be just so. I can tap into that with Linda. I felt a connection with her.”

She got a puppy in 2020: Like many of us, Paulson has survived 2020 thanks to a new puppy (Winifred T. Paulson or Winnie—the “T” is for Paulson’s partner of five years, Holland Taylor).

Her relationship with Holland Taylor: Paulson and Taylor maintain separate homes in Los Angeles—for those worried about Winnie, she travels back and forth. “We are both really independent, and there is a fluidity and elasticity to our living arrangement that works well for both of us and takes the pressure off. It’s been a good thing to allow a change of scenery. It’s such a blessing to not feel injured by wanting that space. We’re not so interested in a total mutation of our ways.” Plus, since November, both actresses have been back on set (Paulson is currently filming Impeachment and Taylor is filming a streaming series). “Frankly, the dog is the one who’s really suffering.”

[From DuJour]

For some reason, I thought Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson lived together in New York? Why did I believe that? I have no idea. I guess I just thought of them as a New York couple. It’s interesting that they live apart and maintain those separate residences though – it sounds like a great situation, honestly. Joint custody of a dog, being in a fulfilling relationship and still having your own space and independence. That’s the dream for a lot of people! As for what she says about Linda Tripp… yeah, I get that the story is probably ripe for a second look and some humanizing, but I remember those days well and Linda Tripp was 100% the villain of the story. If anything, I’m looking forward to seeing a sympathetic look at Monica Lewinsky, but Tripp screwed over Monica so badly.

Cover and Instagram courtesy of DuJour.

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20 Responses to “Sarah Paulson: ‘I have more in common with Linda Tripp than I care to admit’”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    As someone who was fully in Monica Lewinsky’s corner at the time, like I regularly had discussions where I defended her, it’s hard to imagine viewing Tripp as any kind of sympathetic character. I’m fascinated to see what Paulson does with the role.

    • Esmom says:

      Right. I don’t think there’s any redemption for Tripp, no matter how much “humanity” Paulson might bring to the role.

    • Mac says:

      Tripp thought she would hailed as a hero for exposing Clinton’s lies. Instead, everyone was appalled at how she screw over her friend. Although, in today’s world, the GQP would enthusiastically embrace her and give her a talk show on News Max.

      • jay says:

        Linda Tripp was so delusional. She should be remembered as nobody-busy body out for revenge. Clinton was NOT the first president to have an affair in office. Doesn’t make it right but it wasn’t any of Tripp’s business.

  2. Noki says:

    I like her as Marcia Clark in OJ :American Crime Story that was the first casting that i felt was not more or less the same characters she always plays.

  3. Tulipworthy says:

    Linda Tripp was not a good person, no matter how Hollywood tries to spin the story.

  4. Stacy Dresden says:

    Ha ha that header quote is great

  5. Sally says:

    According to a friend of a friend (I know how this sounds, but her ex gf worked/works with Sarah and she has met them) they have a pretty open relationship, so I’m not too surprised they’re not living together. And honestly, good for them, the past year really opened quite a lot of people’s eyes to what they prefer in living arrangements, I’d say.

  6. Courtney B says:

    I get what she’s saying. Very few people are all bad even when they are mostly awful. Many actors have said finding the humanity in a villainous character is key to playing them without being cartoonish or a caricature. I read the book this is based on years ago and it was fabulous. I can’t wait for this. I wonder if someone will play Brett kavanaugh (on Starr’s team) and Kellyanne Conway. They were in it up to their eyeballs. It’s where Conway made her name. I admit,I was pretty awful in my thinking towards Lewinsky back in the day though I was always anti-Tripp and that group as well as thinking Monica got unfairly trashed. I wasn’t much older than her, married, working and felt very adult plus considered myself a feminist. I thought she was old enough to know what she was doing and wasn’t wronged except in the overwrought tenor. Looking back now I can appreciate how young she was, how ‘slut shaming’ the coverage and narrative was (driven by both sides) and see now the awful power dynamics and that the blame should lay with Clinton. I’ve watched several documentaries on the time and they’ve been very eye opening. Especially getting to hear her own voice.

  7. smcollins says:

    Is it just me or does she look strikingly like a young Holland Taylor on the cover? She usually sports dark, strong eyebrows and that look is freaking me out a bit lol. Anyhoo…I’ll definitely be tuning in to this latest RM series. I pretty much abandoned the AHS series after the second season (although I did watch 1984. Eh…it was okay). I’m much more into his ACS series. And SP as Linda Tripp is definitely an interesting choice.

  8. teehee says:

    John Goodman should continue to play Linda.

  9. L84Tea says:

    Whoa, I had no idea this movie was being made. I was in college at the time of that scandal and I lived and breathed every second of it. I can’t wait to see this. I have listened to the Monica tapes with Linda Tripp, and yeah, Linda manipulated her every step of the way. Monica was not innocent and was, quite frankly, an obsessive little pest in those days, but Linda totally scammed her.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      I think Monica was just immature. She struck me as someone who didn’ t have a whole lot of relationship experience, who tried to act more cool and sophisticated than she really was. I was a lot like her at that age, and I can only imagine how horrifying it would be to have my sex life put on blast globally. Tripp and Clinton really threw her to the wolves.

  10. chimes@midnight says:

    I LOVED the first American Crime season but I wish he had delayed this storyline for a few years. If I never hear the word ‘Impeachment’ again it will be too soon, and I really don’t want to watch a fictionalized drama about corrupt politicians right now, frfr.

  11. Mumbles says:

    Lol at Ryan Murphy being described as a “such a feminist and such an amplifier of women.” I don’t really see that in his work but I get that she works with him a lot and has to say something nice about him.

  12. Lissdogmom02 says:

    I think living separately sounds divine. If I ever have a serious relationship this would be ideal, I like living with my dogs & am really not into having someone in my space.
    The Clinton stuff is interesting, I remember it well, the same people who were horrified by a blow job now are so okay with the orange ones many transgressions. Hypocrites the lot of them, I hope their party fractures serves them right.

    • laura-j says:

      My partner and I live separate and I love it. In fairness we met about 6 months pre pandemic and we both realized that the space was incredibly important over the last year. We may live together someday, but for now, it’s been great.

  13. jbyrdku says:

    Old enough to remember SNL ripping Lewinsky and Tripp. I’m not saying Tripp was a decent person, but even a small child I knew that it was crappy that John Goodman was playing her as ravenous she-beast in the skit.