"Eichner’s Drudge is a little ridiculous because Drudge is a little ridiculous, but he plays him with a certain dignity, elevating a performance that could have easily been an SNL-level parody," says Olivia Nuzzi. "Meanwhile, Smulders so completely embodies Ann Coulter that it seems less a performance than a documentation of a woman possessed. It’s not just her rendition of Coulter’s distinct squawk, which is uncanny, but the subtle flicks of the hair and sharp, judgmental intakes of breath. It’s as though the ghost of Coulter’s past has escaped from a studio in purgatory, where there’s a never-ending taping of Politically Incorrect, and landed in the future." Eichner says of preparing to embody Drudge: "I played around a little bit. Usually, what happens is there’ll be a certain line of dialogue, a certain word, where I’ll say it and I’ll hear that it stretches the voice. That’s what he would do with that word. And that makes me more confident. Then I start to apply what I’m doing to that word or that phrase to the rest of the dialogue. It’s like, All right, now I’m going to exaggerate it to see how that feels, or I’m going to bring it back a little bit. If you don’t know that is how Matt Drudge actually speaks, you might think what I’m doing in the show is crazy. If you think it’s over the top — well, Drudge is over the top! He’s also not a cartoon character. He’s a three-dimensional human being who covers politics." Meanwhile, Smulders says of portraying Coulter: "I don’t even know if you’d call it an accent, because you can’t place it anywhere. But it’s a certain rhythm. It’s more than just vowel placement — it’s an attitude. I found it very useful to respond to whatever everyone else was saying as if it was the dumbest thing she’s ever heard — as if her opinions were the best, that she was the smartest. This confidence, this assuredness she has, affects the way she talks. It was really more of her vibe and the way that she was constantly trying to get control of the room." ALSO: Michael Isikoff says Impeachment left the best part out of this week's episode: Linda Tripp offering to steal Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress and give it to him.
TOPICS: Billy Eichner, FX, Impeachment: American Crime Story, Ann Coulter, Cobie Smulders, Matt Drudge, Michael Isikoff