I don’t believe we’re alone in being excited about American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Ryan Murphy’s spin-off/detour from his horror-themed offerings on Fox and FX. We’ve seen the cast and premiere trailer, but what we’ve been missing is a little of what we can expect from this series. Is it going to be wild and crazy like American Horror Story, or will it play the story straight? Turns out, it might be a mixed bag.
The Daily Beast caught up with several of the folks behind the series at a luncheon on Tuesday, and the highlight is definitely Cuba Gooding Jr. The Oscar-winner and Snow Dogs star talked about how Ryan Murphy caught his interest to star in the series and manages to balance the insanity of the trial with the events behind it:
While shooting, Murphy had him do takes playing Simpson as both guilty and innocent. “He says to you, ‘On this take, I want you to play it this way,” Gooding said. “That way might be showing O.J.’s guilt, or it might be portraying the frustration of his innocence. I have to be true to what he’s asking me to do. So I can’t let myself be too convinced in one frame of mind or one way of thinking…
“This show isn’t saying O.J. did it, he didn’t do it,” he said. “We’re not about the verdict. We heard the verdict. They found him not guilty. But if you watch all these episodes I truly believe everyone will say, ‘Of course they found him not guilty.’ That’s what the focus is: to show you the absurdity of the life events surrounding that trial.”