Beanie Feldstein Says She'd 'Probably' Do 'Same Thing' as Monica Lewinsky in Clinton Relationship

"Monica and I are cut from the same cloth in so many ways," said Beanie Feldstein, who plays Monica Lewinsky in Impeachment: American Crime Story

Beanie Feldstein for W Magazine
Beanie Feldstein. Photo: Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh

Beanie Feldstein sees a lot of herself in Monica Lewinsky.

The actress, 28, stars in the forthcoming FX limited series Impeachment: American Crime Story, portraying Lewinsky, a 22-year-old White House intern who had a sexual relationship with then-President Bill Clinton — a late-'90s scandal that captivated the nation and ultimately led to the president's impeachment.

In a new cover story for W Magazine, Feldstein explained which ways she feels connected with Lewinsky, who also serves as an executive producer on the series.

"I felt gutted by some of the things that Monica went through. My task is to be Monica's bodyguard — to put my body in front of hers," said Feldstein, who only met with Lewinsky, now 48, once in person due to COVID-19 restrictions. "It's my job to portray her pain, because I feel so much for her."

"Monica and I are cut from the same cloth in so many ways. 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 added. "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."

"It wouldn't matter if you were male, female, nonbinary, queer," Feldstein continued. "When that man put his spotlight on you, the world fell away. And if I was 22 and the most powerful person in the world focused his high beams on me, I would probably do the exact same thing as Monica."

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Feldstein also said that Lewinsky's "fame wasn't positive." She explained: "When you're hurting, none of that fancy stuff like photoshoots or invitations to parties matters. From my own life experience, you can be on Broadway or at an awards show, but there's always pain beneath the surface.

"That nuance is very hard to see from the outside," she added.

In Impeachment, which premieres Sept. 7, Clive Owen stars as President Clinton, and Sarah Paulson plays U.S. civil servant Linda Tripp, whom Lewinsky confides in, ultimately leading to the affair coming to light. Edie Falco stars as Hillary Clinton, Billy Eichner as reporter Matt Drudge and Cobie Smulders as conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Beanie Feldstein for W Magazine
Beanie Feldstein. Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh

The series is based on Jeffrey Toobin's book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.

Feldstein said during a Television Critics Association panel held Friday, according to Entertainment Weekly, that Lewinsky had a say in "every word" and "every script page."

"When I received the scripts, I knew that every word that I was saying was approved and had been to Monica first," she said. "... [The producers] would go through the scripts with her and [she would] give all her feedback and her notes. And by the time it got to me, I was sure that everything in there was something that she felt comfortable with, she felt was real to her life and represented her."

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