Sarah Paulson is addressing the controversy surrounding her latest role.
In the upcoming Impeachment: American Crime Story, the 46-year-old Emmy-winning actress plays Linda Tripp, but Sarah isn’t exactly a dead ringer for the late civil servant.
In order to transform into Linda, Sarah gained 30lbs and wore a nearly five pound “fat suit” along with “being outfitted with prosthetic teeth and a prosthetic nose, as well as a wig modeled after Tripp’s signature ’90s-style helmet of blond hair.”
However, Sarah received a lot of backlash for wearing the fat suit, with critics saying she prevented people that had Linda’s body shape from getting the role.
In a new interview, Sarah addressed the controversy.
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“It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses,” Sarah explained with the Los Angeles Times. “There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one.”
She continued, “I think fat phobia 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,” Sarah added. “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.”
Sarah then admitted that she would have responded differently to being offered the role of Linda, knowing what she does now.
“I think the thing I think about the most is that I regret not thinking about it more fully,” Sarah said. “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.”
She continued, “You can only learn what you learn when you learn it. Should I have known? Abso-f–king-lutely. But I do now. And I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward.”
Impeachment: American Crime Story will premiere on FX on September 7th. You can watch the trailer here.