*FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story” looks to be must-see viewing next month as it revisits what was billed as “the trial of the century” by the media and all parties involved in the case.
Reminiscing over how he felt when the verdict was announced and O. J. Simpson ended up a free man, Cuba Gooding, Jr. mentioned feeling relieved at seeing a black man triumphing over the Los Angles Police Department.
“Back then, I was just so relieved that another black man got away from the injustice that was the LAPD,” the Oscar winner told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview for a cover story in its latest issue. “I was just so relieved that they didn’t screw us over again.”
In addition to seeing Gooding as Simpson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” boasts an all-star cast that includes Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta and David Schwimmer as Simpson’s defense lawyers Johnnie Cochran, Robert L. Shapiro and Robert Kardashian; and Sarah Paulson as the prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Despite his feelings on the outcome of the case, Gooding confessed that his view of the situation changed during the months long preparation to play Simpson. So much so that he broke down emotionally
“There was one day after filming that I went to my trailer and I couldn’t stop crying because I realized I never [even considered the loss] for the Goldman or Brown family,” the actor shared.
Although it would be logical to actually talk to Simpson himself to get a better handle on how to portray him, Gooding opted against going to visit the former NFL star in Nevada, where he’s currently serving a 33-year sentence for felonies that include kidnapping and armed robbery.
With Simpson behind bars, Gooding figured that he would be in a different mind state now compared to how he was before he went to jail.
“I have a lot of friends and family who are incarcerated, and I know what that jail cell does to your psyche. I didn’t want him to take me into that frame of mind,” Gooding told the Reporter while noting that the Simpson that he’d been cast to play was at a very different stage of his life. “He was the O.J. Simpson whom everyone loved — not just an athlete but a movie star — and in that cage, he’s a broken man. Now, if I did a movie about O.J. Simpson in jail, I would do everything I could to sit with him and get into his mindset today, but I wanted to understand who he was when this crime happened.”
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” is set to premiere Feb. 2 on FX. Click here for more about the upcoming 10-episode miniseries.