Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton


Cobie Smulders as Ann Coulter


Judith Light as Susan Carpenter-McMillan


Margo Martindale as Lucianne Goldberg

Fill 1
Fill 1
November 29, 2021
Online Originals


Many in the Impeachment cast had the tough job of portraying real people, including some who were extremely well known.

EDIE FALCO as Hillary Clinton
Executive producer Ryan Murphy persuaded this four-time Emmy winner to step into the supporting role of the embattled First Lady with one well-chosen episode script. In it, the president finally admits to his wife that he’d lied to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Lewinsky.

“The whole world wonders about what it was like when she found out that he really had been with Monica,” Falco says. “The scenes, as written, were very interesting and moving. Your heart breaks for this woman trying to navigate this very public life she has with the man she loves.”

The experience of Impeachment taught her that she’s not a fan of playing reallife characters, Falco adds. “It was daunting throughout. I have so much respect for Hillary. And who the hell wants to be imitated? Kate McKinnon imitated me on SNL. She was really good. But it creeped me out.”

When Smulders first heard that the role of Coulter was up for grabs, she wasn’t sure it called out to her: the now-familiar media pundit worked behind the scenes during the Clinton-Lewinsky crisis, crafting legal briefs for Paula Jones’s lawyers. The actress learned of the part from her husband, Taran Killam, who’d been cast as Jones’s husband, Steve. And after listening to hours of audiobooks by the conservative pot-stirrer, Smulders was ready to go.

“She has a very recognizable cadence, so it was easy to hook into,” the actress says of her character’s lockjaw speech patterns. “I was glad she wrote so many books and read them herself. We don’t have the same point of view, but it was helpful for the process.”

As for Coulter’s gleeful patrician swagger and her comportment in far-right circles, that took further thought. “To be able to walk into a room and automatically think you’re the smartest, that everybody wants to talk to you and that you can hold a room’s attention? I had to psych myself up for that.”

JUDITH LIGHT as Susan Carpenter-McMillan
An anti-abortion activist and self-proclaimed “conservative feminist,” Carpenter-McMillan swooped into the life of Paula Jones. But in assigning herself the role of Jones’s senior advisor, spokesperson and fashion consultant, she herself made it onto the national stage.

“Does Susie Carpenter-McMillan want to help Paula Jones? Or is she manipulating her?” Light asks. “As human beings, we’re not just one way. And she’s a smorgasbord of many different things.”

A mainstay of New York theater, Light knew Annaleigh Ashford, who was cast as Jones, from Broadway circles. They’d never worked together, but their chemistry as brassy big sister and insecure little sister is instantly apparent — and often hilarious. Light had faint memories of Carpenter-McMillan’s TV appearances in the late ’90s. But her favorite Impeachment moments come when her well-tailored, sharp-tongued character takes charge in rooms full of self-important men in suits. “People thought she was nuttier than a fruitcake,” Light says. “She didn’t care. She believed there were women who’d been done wrong, and that Paula was one of them. She was there to make sure that was heard.”

MARGO MARTINDALE as Lucianne Goldberg
Before Impeachment, Martindale’s only knowledge of Linda Tripp’s literary agent was that she’d advised Tripp to surreptitiously record her phone conversations with Lewinsky. Research taught her, however, that Goldberg was difficult to pigeonhole.

“I thought she was a terrible person for what she did,” Martindale says. “But I also found her to be a wild combination of things. She’s funny, charming and talks about drinking a lot. But when she’s grounded, she’s smart as a tack.”

Dressed in flowing caftans and sporting a blonde pageboy, Martindale nails Goldberg’s cocktail-sipping flamboyance. And after learning that one-party consent recording is illegal in D.C., she captures Goldberg’s righteous lack of remorse. “She’s unapologetic because she actually believes that Bill Clinton needed to be brought down,” Martindale says. “She thought she was keeping immorality at bay.”


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