The Emmy-winning actress is already a standout as the infamous civil servant who betrayed Monica Lewinsky.
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It took a village to turn Sarah Paulson into the infamous Linda Tripp, the former White House employee–cum–villain at the heart of Impeachment: American Crime Story on FX. To understand what went into Paulson's jaw-dropping transformation, we asked makeup artist Robin Beauchesne and costume designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack to share their behind-the-camera secrets.

MEREDITH MARKWORTH-POLLACK: Linda Tripp had a very specific build. I think she was like 5 feet, 10 inches, [or] 5 feet, 11 inches, with very broad shoulders. Sarah wore 4-inch heels in every single scene. Even the slippers that she wore at home had platforms because she wanted the height of Linda. Sarah just completely embodied her. Even her posture was identical to Linda's. Sarah gained 30 pounds, too. She was so involved in this. Sarah had such a great eye for it and really wanted it to be as accurate as possible.

Impeachment: American Crime Story
Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp in 'Impeachment: American Crime Story'
| Credit: Tina Thorpe/FX

ROBIN BEAUCHESNE: We did many tests to decide nose shape, whether to have a smaller neck or a larger neck. It all had to be proportioned. Do we do contacts or no contacts? And she had [false] teeth. So ultimately, Sarah had a wig [created by Paulson's stylist, Michelle Ceglia], a nose prosthetic, a neck prosthetic, and her teeth. And then there was makeup on top of the prosthetics. It's beauty makeup, but it's character makeup too. We didn't want to make her too pretty.

MARKWORTH-POLLACK: When I boarded the project about halfway into the first episode, the decision for Sarah to wear the fat suit had already been made. It was really about finding this look for Linda that was true to who she was, that was historically accurate. I'm sure people, when watching the show, may have the knowledge that Sarah wore it, but the idea is for it to look as natural as possible. We needed to make sure we weren't revealing any parts of it. If you really pay attention, she's wearing a lot of high-neck blouses and everything is long-sleeve. That was done intentionally to not reveal any padding or anything that she's wearing underneath. The other big thing for us was building up her shoulders. All of her suits had shoulder pads, which was something that was happening at the time anyway. But we really wanted to make sure Sarah had these broad shoulders like Linda Tripp did. So it wasn't only about adding weight. It's creating this complete person.

Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky
Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp and Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky in 'Impeachment: American Crime Story'
| Credit: Tina Thorpe/FX

BEAUCHESNE: I had a palette with every kind of '90s lip color you can imagine. I called it the Linda Tripp palette. All of us tried to figure out what was going to be that perfect color, because she had a very specific lip color… the '90s darker lip liner with the lighter shimmer or frost in the middle. [To be specific: She used Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Frost in Apricot Fantasy and Kissable Pink No. 805.] Sarah also bleached her eyebrows so we could get the exact shape and contour that we needed.

MARKWORTH-POLLACK: We were finding these images of Linda Tripp and replicating them down to a T, like an engraved pin with her initials. Everything was there for a reason because it was something that we had found in our research for Linda Tripp.

BEAUCHESNE: To see that all come together and when Sarah walked on the set? I was like, "Oh my gosh, it's Linda Tripp."

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American Crime Story
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