Beanie Feldstein never expected to get close to Monica Lewinsky as she prepared to revisit one of the darkest moments of the former White House intern’s life.
The actress, who connected with the anti-bullying activist while playing her in “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” told People (the TV show!) that she hopes the 48-year-old will finally be seen in “a different light.”
Lewinsky joined the 28-year-old at Wednesday’s premiere in West Hollywood. In the series, Feldstein portrayed Lewinsky during her affair with President Bill Clinton and the subsequent impeachment trial that came about in December 1998.
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“Monica was silenced in 1998 and 1999, because of her immunity deal with the Office of Independent Counsel,” the Golden Globe nominee explained to the outlet. “She was literally not allowed to speak. So for someone whose story people think they understand, but really they only understand an SNL character, a late-night joke, a picture to be ripped apart, because of her weight or what she was wearing.”
“They don’t know the person, they don’t know the human that had to go through a very traumatic, overwhelming experience at 21 to 24 years old,” Feldstein shared. “I really hope that people are exposed to her humanity in a different light by watching this show.”
While Lewinsky served as a producer, Feldstein said she wasn’t given any restrictions on how to take on the role.
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“I think everyone maybe suspects that I had these big kind of big emotional questions for her, but I had done so much research by the time that I had met her,” said Feldstein. “I’d been studying her for 10 months by the time I met her, that when I met her, I just wanted to know the little things, the things that aren’t in books. ‘What nail polish did you wear to this event? What did you call your best friend, Catherine?… These little specificities that really fill out the humanity of who a person is, and I didn’t want to get them wrong.”
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For years, Lewinsky has kept quiet about her relationship with Clinton, 75. She has since re-emerged as a public speaker.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.