Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: Impeachment is the third installment of the anthology series, featuring a few returning actors from past seasons. Impeachment follows another controversial, politically-charged moment in recent American history, highly similar to the cases of American Crime Story’s previous seasons with the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the assassination of Gianni Versace. The new season documents the events of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to the actual impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton – the first in the United States in over a century.
Similar to his tactic primarily used in American Horror Story by reshuffling actors, American Crime Story features a few actors from previous seasons portraying new characters. On the other hand, Impeachment introduces a phenomenal, all-star cast who are brand new to American Crime Story and the Ryan Murphy scene. Certain new actors like Beanie Feldstein, Clive Owen, Edie Falco, and Colin Hanks provide excellent performances in the new season, which will hopefully prompt them to return in either future American Crime Story installations or other Ryan Murphy shows.
Although the series is based on the Bill Clinton impeachment trial, American Crime Story focuses far more on the women who were instrumental in the scandal. Nonetheless, each returning American Crime Story performer is a previous actress who now plays a highly significant role in the drama of the new season.
Most notable for her collaborations with Ryan Murphy on projects like American Horror Story and Netflix’s Ratched, Sarah Paulson is returning in a lead role for Impeachment after starring as Marcia Clark in American Crime Story’s first season on the O.J. Simpson case – a performance that earned her an Emmy win. Surprisingly, Paulson didn’t return for American Crime Story season 2, which paired with her notable absence from Murphy’s AHS season 9 after appearing on all 8 seasons beforehand. Thankfully, she’s back in action for American Crime Story: Impeachment, where Paulson portrays Linda Tripp, one of Lewinsky’s coworkers who was a key player in exposing her affair with Bill Clinton. If history repeats itself, Paulson’s main role in Impeachment may garner another Emmy nomination – if not a win.
One of the breakout stars from American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Annaleigh Ashford is coming back to play a role far more intense than that of Elizabeth Cote in season 2, though both are involved in the takedown of the man in question. In Impeachment, Ashford plays Paula Jones, who was most notable in real life for bringing a highly publicized lawsuit against President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, launching the case in which he would be accused of perjury during his impeachment. In Ashford’s case, she received assistance from several notable conservative figures who shared an investment in taking down Clinton, including Susan Carpenter-McMillan.
Also getting her start with American Crime Story in season 2’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace as Marilyn Miglin, actress Judith Light is returning to play wealthy conservative Susan Carpenter-McMillan. Light’s role was fundamental in Paula Jones’ case seeing the light of day, in which she helps negotiate with lawyers, serves as Jones’ spokeswoman, gives Jones makeovers, and invests in her own self-interest to promote conservative ideals under the Women’s Coalition. Light’s role in American Crime Story: Impeachment is also far more intensive than her season 2 character, cementing herself as a growing presence in Ryan Murphy’s projects after also having starred in The Politician season 2.