Ryan Murphy on Sarah Paulson’s Transformation Into Linda Tripp

Ahead of the third and final season of Pose, the groundbreaking FX series about the ballroom scene and LGBTQ community of color, the cast and crew gathered for a fabulous premiere at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center in Columbus Circle. 

Among those walking the glittery silver carpet was executive producer Ryan Murphy, who talked to ET about the celebration and working with Sarah Paulson on his other hit series, American Crime Story

“It feels great, you know, it feels exciting to see this cast out and about,” Murphy said while reflecting on what it meant to reach this point, especially after the pandemic halted production last spring and delayed the final season by a year. “We hadn’t all been in the same room for months, except when we shot the ball scenes.” 

“But it’s great and they’re a wonderful cast. They know how to bring it for the red carpet, so I feel like it’s a good group to bring that back,” he said, noting this was one of the first premiere events since the city has slowly started to reopen and lift restrictions on larger gatherings and events. 

Meanwhile, across the country in Los Angeles, Paulson has been spotted in full costume and makeup as Linda Tripp as she films Impeachment: American Crime Story, which recounts the events surrounding the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal.  

When asked about her stunning transformation, Murphy said that “Sarah, particularly, really had been dedicated to that role and she wanted to do it naturally and she gained weight to play Linda Tripp. And then, you know, you put the wig on her and it’s sort of an amazing thing she’s doing physically.”  

“It’s very transformative. It reminds me a lot of what Christian Bale did a couple years ago — that sort of dedication,” Murphy continued, referring to the Oscar-winning actor’s work on Vice. “We talked a lot about how she has to keep it up for many many months until it’s done shooting, so it’s hard.”

Originally expected to debut on FX last fall, during the 2020 presidential election, the series was also delayed by the pandemic. But last November, Paulson shared the first photo of her as Tripp, revealing the production on the season had finally begun. 

At the time, Paulson told ET, that getting into character has been “the biggest swing I’ve ever taken in my work life because I don’t look like her and there’s a lot that had to go into sort of helping to transform me.” 

She added that the process has “been very exciting and totally unnerving when you look in the mirror and you literally can’t see yourself.”

The third and final season of Pose premieres Sunday, May 2 with back-to-back episodes. 

–Additional reporting by Rande Iaboni

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