Ryan Murphy is nothing if not fastidious. Say what you will about the prolific writer/director/producer – and many have with The Independent dubbing him the “$300m king of phoning it in” and Los Angeles magazine claiming he’s been “overrated for decades” – but there’s no denying that his attention to aesthetic detail is like no other! The set design, costumes and makeup for his many historical anthology series, which include “Halston,” “Feud: Bette and Joan” and “American Crime Story,” are a vibrant testimony to that fact. The latest season of the latter, titled “Impeachment,” is no different. Chronicling the illicit affair between President Bill Clinton (Clive Owen) and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), as well as the national fallout that resulted from it, the show, which wrapped up its 10-episode run this week, is set against a painstakingly recreated 1990s-era Washington, D.C.
As realistic as the retro East Coast backdrop seems, in truth filming took place in California, with Los Angeles and its environs standing in for the nation’s capital. Production designer Jamie Walker McCall (who also styled Murphy’s “Prom”) and her team were tasked with bringing the setting to life – a project they took great lengths to execute. As McCall told House Beautiful, “It was important to make the sets feel real and authentic to this moment in history.”
The group had a rather serendipitous stroke of luck with one particular locale – the home belonging to Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson), the chain-smoking whistleblower who brought the Clinton/Lewinsky affair to light, ultimately becoming one of the most controversial figures ever to tangle in American politics. As the location team discovered, nestled in the heart of Eagle Rock at 2154 Hill Dr., about 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, is a residence that bears a striking resemblance to the house Tripp actually called home during the scandal, where she notoriously recorded some 22 hours of phone conversations with her Pentagon co-worker Lewinsky. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not trespass or bother the residents or the property in any way.)