Sarah Paulson has opened up about the criticism she received after playing civil servant Linda Tripp in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: Impeachment.

In the Power Women Summit with The Wrap, the actor spoke about how she felt when reading the reviews and the negativity she received for wearing a fat suit.

In the conversation (7 December), she explained how she had also gained 30 pounds in the two years she spent preparing for and playing the role.

“It did hurt my feelings, but partly because it felt, as often happens when you’re criticised for your work, but it’s very hard to not personalise,” Paulson said.

She added: “And it’s very hard to not want to say, ‘I just spent two years of my life and then I gained 30 pounds to play this part. I slept, breathed, wept, bled Linda Tripp for two years. So for you to sit down at your computer and decide that this endeavour was maybe not worthwhile, and that maybe I shouldn’t have been the one to play it, it’s so hurtful and also wrong.’”

The American Horror Story star has previously spoken about her ‘regrets’ over wearing the fat suit, but this is the first time she has mentioned that the comments had upset her and seemingly caused frustration.

“You have to imagine that something I’ve experienced in life may make me just the right person to play Linda Tripp,” she said.

Paulson then went on to explain how the varied response to her performance was expected and did not bother or surprise her: “It means I showed up and did my job, whether you like it or you don’t, that doesn’t really matter to me. It meant the world to me to get to do it.”

In an interview with the LA Times in August, she said it’s “very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses”.

Paulson expressed her opinions on the use of fat suits and attitudes from the industry towards it.

“There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one. I think fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had.”

Paulson starred alongside Beanie Feldstein, Annaleigh Ashford, Cobie Smulders, Billy Eichner and Clive Owen in Impeachment.

Based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, the season dramatises the events of the impeachment trial that took place following the infamous 1998 sex scandal between Bill Clinton and Lewinsky.