Monica Lewinsky wanted scene of flashing her thong at Bill Clinton in 'Impeachment'
The former White House intern admitted that she urged writers to include a scene re-enacting the scandalous moment
Monica Lewinsky wants everyone to know how she flashed her silver thong at former President Bill Clinton during their sensational Oval Office affair that dominated headlines in the '90s.
The former White House intern, 48, who is a producer of FX’s forthcoming series “Impeachment: American Crime Story”, admitted that she urged writers to include a scene re-enacting the scandalous moment. “Listen, I would’ve loved to have been really selfish and said, ‘That’s great that you guys think we don’t have to show that, fantastic,’” Lewinsky told The Hollywood Reporter of her original plans. “But I’m incredibly experienced in understanding how people see this story,” she added.
The all-new series is set to premiere on September 7 and is expected to touch on the juicy details of the sexual escapades between Clinton, now 75, and Lewinsky, who was just 21 while working as a White House intern from 1995 to 1997. Writer Sarah Burgess had initially cut Lewinsky's panty flashing incident from the original 'Impeachment' script, fearing “retraumatizing Monica” by bringing back those memories.
The controversial incident was featured in the Starr Report, compiled by counsel Ken Starr, whose probe into Clinton's sexual episodes with Lewinsky eventually led to his 1998 impeachment. Lewinsky, however, was determined to maintain the production's integrity and thus fought to incorporate her panty presentation into the script.
“So, ultimately, I felt two things: One was that I shouldn’t get a pass because I’m a producer; and two, that it was unfair to the team and to the project because it would leave everybody vulnerable,” she said, noting she would possibly be blamed for omitting the scene.
Lewinsky, however, steered clear of giving notes on one specific part of the show. "The one area where I felt less comfortable weighing in for myriad obvious reasons was on the more personal scenes with the Clintons," she said referring to the former president and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "I just felt that that was better left to other people."
The social activist and TV personality also shared how she helped Beanie Feldstein, 38, prepare for her role. The pair reportedly spent "several hours on Zoom" going through Lewinsky's family pictures, texted, and sent videos to each other. "I just thought, I'm not going to sit down with Beanie like a new therapist, 'OK, let me tell you the story of my life,' and this way she'd get to understand my world in a more organic way since we couldn't hang out [due to Covid-19]," she said. "But I haven't done any of this before, and it was hard for me — I'm a total control freak."
"But you've been so giving with me," Feldstein interjected. "You never asked me to do something a certain way or you never said, 'How were you planning to do this or that?' You let me find my own you in a very beautiful way — and you've been very open with all of us throughout this whole process. And yeah, there were times where I'd text her, like, 'So, what nail polish color were you wearing here?'"
Feldstein said she did not think twice when she was asked to play Lewinsky.
"It was an instant yes," she said. "Playing someone real is a huge undertaking — playing someone who texts you is a completely different thing. I mean, I'm playing someone who sends me videos, and I'll go to respond, and I'm fully wearing her hair. But of course, it was daunting because I just want to do right by her. All that matters to me is what she thinks."
'Impeachment: American Crime Story' stars Feldstein as Lewinsky; Sarah Paulson, 46, as Linda Tripp; Clive Owen, 56, as Clinton; and Edie Falco, 58, as Hillary Clinton.