Monica Lewinsky goes full Hollywood glam in glitzy dress at premiere of Impeachment: American Crime Story as she poses with actress Beanie Feldstein – who reenacts White House intern’s scandalous affair with Bill Clinton
- Beanie, 28, and Monica, 48, posed together on the red carpet, having grown close during filming of the show
- Monica, who had an affair with then-President Bill Clinton between 1995 and 1997 while working as an unpaid White House intern, serves as a producer on the show
- Actress Sarah Paulson, 46, also graced the red carpet, dazzling in a silver gown
- She plays the late Linda Tripp, who was the whistleblower behind the Clinton impeachment in December 1998
- Linda, who passed away last year, secretly recorded conversations with Monica about the affair
- Clive Owen, who plays former President Clinton in the show, looked dapper in a navy suit on the carpet
Monica Lewinsky may be best known as the White House intern who had an affair with President Bill Clinton – but on Wednesday night, she threw her hat into the ring as a Hollywood heavyweight when she attended the premiere of a new FX show that is set to rehash her infamous relationship with the married father-of-one.
The 48-year-old activist and speaker put on an incredibly glamorous display on the red carpet at the Impeachment: American Crime Story premiere, dazzling in a glitzy pink-and-black dress, which she paired with some bold leopard-print heels.
Monica, who served as a producer on the series, was joined at the event by the show’s leading lady Beanie Feldstein, 28, with the duo happily posing together for the cameras, looking every inch the bosom buddies, having struck up a close friendship while working together during filming.
Clearly keen to make her mark alongside the premiere’s A-list attendees, Monica modeled a glamorous makeup look for the event, pairing lashes of mascara with pretty pink lipstick – while her highlighted brunette locks hung in a sleek straight style around her shoulders.
Meanwhile Beanie, who plays the then-22-year-old White House intern in the show, seemed to offer a subtle nod to the relationship between Monica and former President Clinton by wearing a pink Brandon Maxwell dress that was emblazoned with red kisses.
Glamorous: Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky put on a very glitzy display as she attended the premiere of Impeachment: American Crime Story, which details her affair with then-President Bill Clinton
Transformation: The 48-year-old (pictured right with Clinton in 1997) looked a world away from the young woman who was thrust into the spotlight in August 1998, when Clinton publicly confessed to having an ‘improper relationship’ with her
Spot the difference: Monica posed alongside leading lady Beanie Feldstein – who plays her in the series – having grown close to the actress while they worked on the show together
Hint hint? The 28-year-old star appeared to make a subtle nod towards the romantic relationship between Monica and former President Clinton by wearing a pink Brandon Maxwell dress that was covered in red kisses
Matching her frock, she donned ruby red silk sandals with a platform heel. Delicate earrings and a diamond pinky ring gave the look another level of elegance.
Beanie went for All-American girl glamour with her hair and makeup, styling her warm brown tresses to one side while playing up her features with peachy rouge and shimmering eyeshadow.
But while the actress has earned a swathe of praise for her portrayal of Monica in the show – which tracks the events that led to Clinton’s impeachment on December 19, 1998, including sordid details about his relationship with Monica, it was the real-life version of her on-screen character who stole the spotlight on the night.
Monica looked happy and relaxed in front of the cameras, flashing a big grin at the photographers, before posing alongside Beanie, with whom she formed a close relationship while serving as a producer on the series.
She looked a world away from the 22-year-old who was thrust into the spotlight in August 1998, when Clinton publicly confessed that he’d had an ‘improper physical relationship’ with Monica – an admission that led to his impeachment just a few months later.
Despite the difficulties she faced during production, Monica said she is ‘proud’ of how the show turned out – although she admitted that it makes for tough viewing.
‘I’m not proud of the choices I made back then, but I am proud of the show,’ she said. ‘And if I liked everything that was in the show, then everybody didn’t do their job.’
But Monica did not shy away from the more difficult details of her relationship with Clinton – in fact, when it came to some aspects, it was she who pushed for them to be included.
That was the case with a scene in which Monica flashes her thong to Clinton during an event, a moment that producers initially omitted from the script for fear of ‘re-traumatizing’ the former White House intern.
However, Monica was adamant that it be featured, telling THR that she didn’t feel she could be ‘selfish’ by allowing producers to ‘give her a pass’.
‘Listen, I would’ve loved to have been really selfish and said, “That’s great that you guys think we don’t have to show that, fantastic,” but I’m incredibly experienced in understanding how people see this story,’ said Monica, who felt she would be held responsible for the scene’s absence, whether or not that was true.
Dynamic duo: The pair posed together
Scandal: Lewinsky had a sexual relationship with then-President Clinton as an unpaid White House intern, and the affair led to his impeachment in December 1998
‘So, ultimately, I felt two things: One was that I shouldn’t get a pass because I’m a producer; and two, that it was unfair to the team and to the project because it would leave everybody vulnerable.’
But if Monica was concerned about the reactions of spectators at the premiere, she certainly she didn’t allow her nerves to show through on the carpet, where she looked very much the Hollywood celebrity in her shimmering frock and animal-print shoes, which featured a blinged-out diamante strap around the ankle.
Meanwhile Sarah Paulson, who plays Lewinsky’s confidante-turned-whistleblower Linda Tripp in the series, was simply dazzling at the event, stepping onto the scene in a long-sleeved Alexandre Vauthier dress with fierce shoulder pads and completely covered in rhinestones.
The star, 46, went classic with her accessories, opting for black sandals and an envelope clutch. Showing some of her signature edge, she wore her hair in kinky blonde waves with dark roots.
Looking sharp as ever was Clive Owen, who plays President Clinton in the series.
The Englishman, 56, went with a double-breasted suit in a blue and black plaid. Keeping with the polished, blue theme, he added a light shirt and silk tie to match.
Glamourama: Sarah Paulson, who plays Linda Tripp in the series, was simply dazzling at the event, stepping onto the scene in a longsleeve dress with fierce shoulder pads and completely covered in rhinestones
Chic: She went classic with her accessories, opting for black sandals and an envelope clutch
Paulson’s glamorous red carpet appearance couldn’t have been any further from her portrayal of whistleblower Tripp (seen)
Squad: Monica, Sarah, and Beanie posed for a cute snap together
Billy Eichner, the actor behind conservative muckraker Matt Drudge, was summery in a blue blazer with crisp white pants and a patterned polo.
Colin Hanks, who plays Office of Independent Counsel prosecutor/Clinton antagonist Michael Emmick, went with a more casual look, teaming a dark suit with a black shirt unbuttoned to show a bit of chest.
Cobie Smulders, who plays conservative pundit Ann Coulter, rocked a crisp white suit contrasted with a black top and matching accessories.
Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Clinton accuser Paula Jones, was all about drama in a flouncy green and magenta frock.
Though the buzz around Impeachment is big, so far the series has divided critics almost as much as the original scandal divided the American public.
The self-contained season, the third from the American Horror Story veterans Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, left several television observers cold despite its sometimes overheated depictions of the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal that led to the impeachment of the former president.
Stunner: Mira Sorvino – who plays the role of Monica’s mother in the show – turned heads in a sheer black gown
Dynamic duo: She and Beanie posed for a few snaps together
Annaleigh Ashford, Monica Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Mira Sorvino seen from left to right
Even among the naysayers, Paulson and Feldstein both received strong reviews for their portrayals of Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky.
Among those giving Impeachment a thumbs down, The Hollywood Reporter’s Angie Han saluted its picture-perfect production design and its ‘physically transfigured’ cast, but complained that it’s unclear ‘what all this effort is for.’
‘Even as the season zeroes in on the finer details of the story (drawing primarily from Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy), it struggles to locate a larger point worthy of the time it takes to convey it,’ she wrote.
Han also complained that the season ‘feels oddly static’ despite its charged subject matter.
Critics were provided seven of Impeachment’s 10 episodes, but she argued that the first three episodes diluted the season’s impact by spreading the narrative too thinly among a huge cast of thinly drawn characters.
Guy in charge: Looking sharp as ever was Clive Owen, who plays President Clinton in the series
Boys club: Billy Eichner (left), who plays conservative muckraker Matt Drudge, was there along with Colin Hanks (right), who plays Office of Independent Counsel prosecutor/Clinton antagonist Michael Emmick
Sharp dresser: Cobie Smulders rocked a crisp white suit contrasted with a black top and matching accessories
Pattern power: Elizabeth Reaser went with an elegant floral dress while Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Paula Jones, was all about drama in a flouncy green and magenta frock
For Time, Judy Berman wrote that Impeachment ‘struggles’ with the question of ‘what is there to say about it that hasn’t been said before?’
She argued that the series tries to reframe the scandal, in which President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for lying under oath about sexual relations he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky starting in 1995, by focusing on the women affected, rather than the men in power.
‘If there’s a point to this exercise, it gets lost amid so many histrionic reenactments of scenes we’ve seen replayed on the news and parodied in late-night comedy for more than two decades,’ Berman wrote.
Although she praised the ‘preternaturally effervescent’ Feldstein as Lewinksy, she added faint praise for Paulson as Tripp, who ‘isn’t exactly bad.’
Clive Owen was called out for looking nothing like Clinton even with extensive prosthetics, though his performance was praised for departing from stereotypical portraits of the president, while she wrote that Edie Falco was ‘egregiously miscast’ as Hillary Clinton.
Caroline Framke of Variety criticized Impeachment’s attempts to get the mid-1990s look correct by saying the show ‘feels like taking a trip to the uncanny valley rather than the recent past.’
Nailed it: The Hollywood Reporter’s Angie Han saluted its picture-perfect production design and its ‘physically transfigured’ cast; Beanie Feldstein pictured as Monica Lewinsky
Nothing to it: She complained that the series ‘struggles to locate a larger point worthy of the time it takes to convey it’
She added that the season takes itself ‘too seriously to be camp, but not seriously enough to avoid some of TV’s most obvious traps,’ and argued that many of the characters are depicted as ‘the most obvious versions of themselves.’
IndieWire’s Ben Travers claimed that Impeachment was ’empty’ and ‘obsessed with its own recreation.’
He applauded its attempts to ‘better appreciat[e] America’s past abuses of power’ but added that it was ‘far more beguiled by the trappings of history (the hug, the dress, the tapes) than excavating telling angles for today.’
Among those with more positive assessments, Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin applauded Impeachment for not being a ‘post-#MeToo hagiography of two notoriously wronged women.’
She praised Feldstein for portraying Lewinsky with ‘the reckless bravado of a young adult both emboldened by and crushed under the weight of an overwhelming infatuation.’
While others criticized Paulson use of a fat suit and extensive prosthetics to look like Tripp, Baldwin thought she got to the core of the character.
Running on fumes: For Time, Judy Berman wrote that Impeachment ‘struggles’ with the question of ‘what is there to say about it that hasn’t been said before?’ She praised Clive Owen’s performance as Clinton
Better in theory: She thought the show’s attempt to focus on the women affected by the scandal was a misfire
‘Buried under a layered blonde wig and an oddly-controversial fat suit, the actress reveals the complex frailties and contradictions fueling so many of Tripp’s decisions,’ she declared.
CNN’s Brian Lowry called Impeachment ‘engrossing’ and ‘undeniably juicy.’
He wrote that Paulson’s Tripp ‘steals the show,’ and he said that she had ‘created another indelible character.’
Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres on FX on Tuesday, September 7 at 10 p.m. ET.
New perspective: Among those with more positive assessments, Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin applauded Impeachment for not being a ‘post-#MeToo hagiography of two notoriously wronged women’
Coming soon: Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres on FX on Tuesday, September 7 at 10 p.m. ET
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