(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 1 of “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”)
Hillary Clinton was arguably one of the people most affected by the affair between her husband President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and the subsequent scandal that broke out when the then-commander-in-chief lied under oath about his sexual relationship with Lewinsky.
But in the Tuesday premiere of FX’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” Hillary Clinton (played by Edie Falco), then the first lady of the United States, is seen only once and has just one line, “Hello,” which she says to White House employee Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) while they are both washing their hands in the West Wing’s communal ladies room in a scene that takes place during Clinton’s (Clive Owen) first term.
However, she will be saying more than that, eventually, according to Sarah Burgess, who wrote the Ryan Murphy-produced “Impeachment.”
“I can tell you, yes, you will hear Hillary Clinton talk. I know I have a spoiler mentality (laughs), but you will hear Hillary Clinton talk,” Burgess said. “Look, she’s sort of a specter, sort of a mysterious figure there. I think of that Episode 1 is told from Linda’s point of view. Linda Tripp’s interaction with Hillary is going to be things like the bathroom. You know, which she, in real life, hilariously said, ‘Mrs. Bush would rather be catheterized than use a public restroom.’ It’s like my favorite thing, that Linda Tripp actually said that. I’m obsessed with the fact she used that word and everything. She was like judging Hillary, but also excited to see Hillary. And what Ryan [Murphy, who directed the premiere] and Sarah did with that scene was so great.”
We can tell you right now, having seen the first seven episodes of the 10-episode season that are available to media, that the former FLOTUS is only seen a handful of times after this first episode and has no other lines until Episode 7. And that is for good reason, according to Burgess.
“As the story affects Hillary more– I always tell the story, as Ken Starr’s life is impacted by the Monica-Linda-Bill situation, then Ken Starr is activated,” Burgess said, referring to independent counsel who led the investigation that ended in Bill Clinton’s impeachment. “As Hillary’s life is affected by the situation, she’s activated. So that is the idea behind it. And in the episodes you’ve seen, Hillary’s life is not being affected directly in a way that she’s aware, based on all of my research.”
“She will speak,” Burgess promised of Falco’s Hillary. “It would be a crazy thing where I cast one of America’s greatest actors to not speak.”
New episodes of “Impeachment: American Crime Story” air Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.