Beanie Feldstein is having a major moment — and what’s a major moment without a stop at fashion week? The night after her much-buzzed-about leading turn as Monica Lewinsky in “American Crime Story: Impeachment,” the breakout actress was up bright and early at the Kate Spade New York presentation in the Meatpacking District. It was Feldstein’s first time being back in New York since the pandemic began, and she couldn’t have picked a more fitting event to hit: the brand’s presentation was “I Love New York” themed complete with apple trees, mini bagels and lox and corner-coffee-stand pop-ups.
Feldstein described the show’s premiere as “surreal,” saying she stayed up late to watch it the night before and hasn’t had much of a chance to process the attention it’s garnered online.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” she said. “Also because it’s in 10 parts, people are going to be experiencing the story through November, which is very new for me because I come from theater and film which is a two- to three-hour experience. So this is a brand new world, but I think it’s a really powerful medium to tell such a vastly complicated story. I’m really excited for everyone to see it. I hope that people engage with it and I hope it starts a very needed conversation.”
By the time she finally got to meet Lewinsky, she had done so much research that little surprised her — but she knows that won’t be the case for a lot of people.
“I think that for those who didn’t question what they were being fed at the time, a lot will be brand new and will feel very uncomfortable and visceral to watch,” Feldstein said. “There are also people who are way younger than me who have seen Monica’s TED talk and are so excited to see her story for kind of the first time. And that always brings me such a fuzzy, filled-up feeling. There was a 17-year-old at one of our screenings who was so excited to meet Monica — she was her hero. And that was very emotional for us because obviously that was not happening for her at the time.”
Feldstein is hoping to take in a Broadway show, potentially “Hadestown,” while she is in New York, and said Broadway’s return is one of the things she’s most excited about at the moment.
“I can’t wait to go and be in a theater,” she said. “And fashion week! We’re seeing artistry and creativity and pushing yourself to get dressed in the morning and all that good stuff.”
For her latest press tour for “Impeachment,” she and stylist Erin Walsh went for Feldstein’s signature bold style but matured a bit for the role, which is one of the first time audiences will see the actress as an adult and not a high schooler.
“We always like to have fun. We always love to make sure that we play with color and pattern,” she said of working with Walsh. “But for this show obviously, I’m not sitting next to a locker for the first time. It’s a shift for me as far as the maturity of the piece and the nature of the show, so we wanted to incorporate color and fun as we always do, but also make it a little more mature, for those that think of me in high school. I’m an adult, I’m 28 years old, and this is a really dramatic poignant story so we wanted to make sure we leveled with that.”
Given “Impeachment” only stopped shooting around 10 days ago, Feldstein plans to take a bit of a break post press tour and fashion week. But not for too long: her next big role, “Funny Girl” on Broadway, starts rehearsals soon. “It’s surreal and so exciting,” Feldstein says. “I’m so excited to go back to theater as an audience member so it’s sort of next-level to be on and I’m so honored to be bringing ‘Funny Girl’ back to Broadway after all these years. It’s literally my dream coming true.”