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‘People v. O.J.’ Author Jeffrey Toobin ‘Impressed’ by Show’s Details: ‘Down to the Fabric’ on the Courtroom Chairs

Cosultant Jeffrey Toobin attends the premiere of FX's American Crime Story - The People V. O.J. Simpson at Westwood Village Theatre on January 27, 2016 in Westwood, California.
Cosultant Jeffrey Toobin attends the premiere of FX’s American Crime Story – The People V. O.J. Simpson at Westwood Village Theatre on January 27, 2016 in Westwood, California.

*FX’s breakout hit “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” is based on a book by author and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who covered the 1994 murder trial for The New Yorker and says he’s “impressed” by the way his source material has been interpreted and dramatized by executive producer Ryan Murphy and company.

“My book is a work of journalism, and it is a work that attempts to be factually accurate at every stage,” Toobin said, regarding ‘The Run of His Life, The People V. O.J. Simpson,’ published in 1996. “This is a drama; it is not a documentary. But just from my perspective, I was so astonished and impressed by the commitment of these people to try to get the essential truth of the story. As someone who lived through the story, saw the people in the flesh and who sat through the trial; the authenticity of the script, of the performances, of the narrative is breathtaking, to me.”

new yorker cover toobin

Toobin joined The New Yorker as a legal analyst in 1993. The following year, he broke the story that O.J. Simpson’s legal team planned to play the race card by accusing LAPD Det. Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence at Simpson’s home – a turn of events depicted in Tuesday’s episode.

Fictional Jeffrey Toobin (L) with John Travolta in "The People V. O.J. Simpson; and the real Jeffrey Toobin
(L) Chris Conner as Jeffrey Toobin  in “The People V. O.J. Simpson; and the real Jeffrey Toobin

Toobin says he “never had any doubt” that O.J.’s murder trial would be turned into a drama someday.

“I am fortunate that I got to work with this wonderful group of people, and they chose my book. But this story is one of the great American stories,” Toobin, 55, told the TCA in January. “This is the story about everything that obsesses the American people. This is the story about race, sex, violence, sports, Hollywood, and the only eyewitness is a dog. I knew it was going to happen. I mean, this was the most famous event in American history that had never been dramatized. I’m just fortunate that I got to be associated with this project, but I knew it was going to happen someday.”

And Toobin says the project got it right. Despite some dramatic license taken with the narrative, producers made a concerted effort to recreate locations with as much accuracy as possible, he said, “down to the fabric on the chairs” inside the courtroom.

Listen below:

“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” airs Tuesdays at 10 on FX.

Watch the promo for next week’s episode below:

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