After the incredible success of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the Ryan Murphy anthology series was immediately snapped up for more seasons. The second will focus on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath and the third, on the murder of designer Gianni Versace. But, this is about American Crime Story, Season 4. According to THR, Murphy and Co. have optioned the rights to Jeffrey Toobin’s A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President; in other words, we’re headed right for the late 90s and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. I have some mixed feelings about this, mostly as it pertains to the women involved, though I do believe Murphy has the ability to find the right tone. Sure, some of his series (A.H.S. and the upcoming Feud) may tend toward the salacious, but the writer/director clearly has respect for women and he’s working hard to support them in all areas of entertainment. That said, I’ll be very curious to see how, in particular, Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton are portrayed.
On to the fun stuff; as soon as I read about the fourth season, one actress immediately sprung to mind. Allison Tolman (Fargo, Mad Dogs) is phenomenally talented, looks very much like Lewinsky, and she’s long overdue for a spin in a starring vehicle. American Crime Story should be hers for the taking.
Linda Tripp, Monica’s older coworker and confidant, is a little bit harder a role to fill …
… but I think with the right hair and make-up, Lisa Kudrow would be excellent.
Obviously SNL‘s Darrell Hammond has nailed the Bill Clinton thing, but Murphy would likely want to distance from parodies (although, John Travolta …). Bill Pullman would be just about perfect were he a bit younger; at 69, I’m not sure he can get away with 50?
I’d suggest Ethan Hawke, who bears a slight resemblance and with a proper grey-ening, I think he could carry off the former president rather well.
As for Hillary Clinton, I think we all know who Mr. Murphy will cast — favorite muse and recent Golden Globe, Emmy, TCA and Critics Choice award winner, Sarah Paulson — and I have absolutely no qualms with that.
At the height of the public scandal, (baseline 1996), the age of the main players ranged from 22 to 51: Clinton (age 50 -51), Lewinsky (age 22-23), Tripp (47-48). Tolman’s age would be the greatest stretch, but she looks fantastically youthful and I have no doubt she’d be perfect as Lewinsky.
American Crime Story airs on FX; Season 2 is coming in 2018, with Season 3 six months later (Season 4, TBA).