BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

American Crime Story Season 3: Everything We Know About Impeachment

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American Crime Story, the Emmy-winning FX series that gave audiences a closer look into the trial of O.J. Simpson and the assassination of Gianni Versace, will be tackling a new, eerily relevant topic in its third season: the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

The season, appropriately titled Impeachment: American Crime Story, will explore the case against Clinton, which infamously involved his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clive Owen will play the role of Clinton, while Beanie Feldstein will take on Monica Lewinsky. The season, originally set to begin filming in March before the pandemic hit, has now officially started filming. Deadline previously reported that production would begin on October 13.

John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, said when the season was announced in August 2019, “Impeachment: American Crime Story will…explore the overlooked dimensions of the women who found themselves caught up in the scandal and political war that cast a long shadow over the Clinton Presidency.”

Here, all we know about season 3 so far, including Sarah Paulson’s wild Linda Tripp transformation.

When will it be released?

American Crime Story season 3 is set to premiere on September 7, 2021 on FX. FX announced that the show’s premiere date was changed to accommodate a shifting production schedule.

Production officially started in fall 2020, around the time it was originally meant to conclude. Paulson, who plays Lewinsky’s confidant Linda Tripp, shared a surprising first look at shooting. “Linda. American Crime Story: Impeachment has begun principle photography ⁦@MrRPMurphy,” she tweeted alongside a behind-the-scenes photo.

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Who’s involved?

Beanie Feldstein will play Monica Lewinsky.

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ACS alum Paulson will play Linda Tripp, the woman who secretly taped Lewinsky confessing to the affair.

Paulson told Deadline that playing the role is “totally challenging in a way that is very exciting to me as an actor, but it’s not super easy to live inside of it as a human being.” She added, “I think about something that Steve McQueen said to me when we were shooting 12 Years a Slave with him, how important it was for me to stand back from my own judgement of the character and to not sit in a space of judgement, and that it wouldn’t help me play the part, and it wouldn’t help me tell the story… Unlike Marcia Clarke, who was so misunderstood and vilified erroneously, this story with Linda is much more complicated. I don’t think a lot of people in life don’t stand in the mirror and constantly assess what they’re doing. I think Linda was just not one of those people who was, perhaps, not aware of just how far this story was going to go, and what her part was going be.”

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Annaleigh Ashford is set to play Paula Jones, the woman who accused Clinton of sexual harassment and sued him in 1994.

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Clive Owen will play Bill Clinton.

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Billy Eichner will play conservative blogger Matt Drudge, who first reported the existence of a Newsweek story about Clinton and Lewinsky’s affair.

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Betty Gilipin has been cast as conservative political commentator Ann Coulter.

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Does Monica Lewinsky approve of the project?

Feldstein, who plays Lewinsky, will be a producer on the show, along with the real-life figure herself. The show will be written by playwright Sarah Burgess, who will also be an executive producer, alongside Ryan Murphy, Paulson, and others. In early September, Michael Uppendhal (Fargo, Mad Men) stepped in to direct and executive produce the series after previously announced director Richard Shephard exited due to the filming delay, per Deadline.

In the past, Murphy said he would only feel comfortable working on a season about the Clinton impeachment if Lewinsky, who has become an anti-bullying activist after receiving intense scrutiny and press, was involved. He once told The Hollywood Reporter, “I told [Monica Lewinsky], ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do. 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.'”

Lewinsky recently gave Vanity Fair an exclusive statement about how she came to work on the project. She wrote:

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.

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky(C) is es
Lewinsky in Washington, DC, in 1999.

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How can I learn more?

According to Variety, this third season will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, if you want to dive further into the story before the show’s premiere.

Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson also inspired the show’s season about the O.J. Simpson trial.

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