After exploring the O.J. Simpson trial and the murder of Gianni Versace, American Crime Story is taking on one of the most explosive political scandals of all time. The third season of the FX drama, which premieres Sept. 7, looks at White House intern Monica Lewinsky’s mid-90s affair with President Bill Clinton. Beanie Feldstein, who plays Lewinsky, worked closely with Lewinsky when preparing for the role and says she feels she has some things in common with the woman at the heart of Impeachment: American Crime Story. 

Beanie Feldstein worked closely with Monica Lewinsky 

Lewinsky has been actively involved in the development of Impeachment: American Crime Story. While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic meant that she and Feldstein were only able to meet once in person, they nonetheless developed a relationship as they worked together on the show. They talking about their unique partnership during a joint interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

“You’ve been so giving with me,” the Booksmart actor said to Lewinsky. “You never asked me to do something a certain way or you never said, ‘How were you planning to do this or that?’ You let me find my own you in a very beautiful way — and you’ve been very open with all of us throughout this whole process.” 

Meanwhile, Lewinsky had to come to terms with the prospect of seeing some of the most difficult moments of her life play out on screen. But she said that working with Feldstein made it easier. 

“It is incredibly surreal. I’m very lucky to be in Beanie’s hands in that way, but it’s very challenging,” she said. 

The ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’ star says she and Lewinsky have a lot in common 

Feldstein, who was born in 1993, was just a child when the Clinton-Lewinsky affair was in the news. But despite the difference in their ages, Feldstein said she felt like she and Lewinksy had quite a bit in common. 

“Monica and I are cut from the same cloth in so many ways,” she said in an interview with W Magazine. “We’re both Jewish girls from L.A. who listen to show tunes on the treadmill!” 

“But still, I never felt less in my comfort place than when I was playing Monica,” she went on to say. “Obviously, I’m queer, so I don’t know if I’d flirt with the president, but who knows? When Clinton shined his light on you, there was no better feeling in the world.”

Feldstein says playing a real person is a ‘huge undertaking’ 

Feldstein has said she’s acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with portraying a real person, especially one who has been so maligned by the media in the past. 

“Playing someone real is a huge undertaking,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “Of course it was daunting because I just want to do right by her. All that matters to me is what she thinks.”

“I’m most excited about the return of her story,” Feldstein added. “The thing I don’t think people understand about this story is the depth of pain that Monica had to go through during it.”

Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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