Sarah Paulson Is Unrecognizable as Linda Tripp for 'Impeachment: American Crime Story'

After the coronavirus pandemic briefly upended Impeachment: American Crime Story's production, Sarah Paulson is back onset and completely unrecognizable as Linda Tripp in the upcoming FX series. The 46-year-old Emmy-winning actress was photographed Monday walking around the Los Angeles set for the Ryan Murphy-created series, which centers on former President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Many fans did a double-take when images leaked thanks to her drastic new look.

Stepping into Tripp's shoes, Paulson was spotted wearing a blush pink collarless skirt suit, which aptly featured shoulder pads. She was all but unrecognizable as Tripp, Lewinsky's friend and the whistleblower who became a significant player in the affair scandal, with Paulson foregoing her typical hairstyle for a blonde wig boasting a '90s hairstyle. Adhering to onset safety precautions, she also wore a face mask.

Tripp became a major player in the scandal that eventually led to Clinton's impeachment trial, as she notoriously taped calls she had with Lewinsky about the White House intern's sexual encounters with the 42nd President of the United States. Speaking with Deadline recently, the actress revealed how she's able to tap into Tripp's humanity, crediting Steve McQueen for making her realize "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." She said this bit of wisdom that McQueen instilled on her is "something I've been reaching for on this part."

"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," she told the outlet. "It's 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."

Along with Paulson, Impeachment also stars Clive Owen as the former president, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones, Billy Eichner as journalist Matt Drudge, Margo Martindale as Licianne Goldberg, Anthony Green as Vice President Al Gore, Betty Gilpin as Ann Coulter, and Beanie Feldstein Lewinsky. Feinstein was also spotted on set Monday. The series marks Paulson's latest collaboration with Murphy. Prior to landing the role of Tripp, she starred as the famed director's muse in FX's horror anthology series American Horror Story, taking on numerous roles throughout the course of the show. She also starred in American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, executive produced by Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson.

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Impeachment: American Crime Story was initially scheduled to debut ahead of the 2020 presidential election, though the pandemic put a kink in those plans, with production being put on hold in December due to a positive coronavirus case. At this time, it is unclear when the series will be premiere.