John Travolta’s role in The People Vs. O.J. Simpson isn’t exactly one that steals the show each week, but it wouldn’t be the same show without him. Travolta plays a version of Robert Shapiro that seems to grab onto the legend of the man and amplify it to a role in the very real story behind the O.J. Simpson murder trial. As the architect of the Dream Team, Shapiro was the straw that stirs the drink on Simpson’s defense. But if you take the show as complete fact, you’d think Shapiro was thus larger than life character with odd eyebrows and a desire to get his clients out of trouble with some supernatural knowledge of the law. Settle, settle, settle.
“He’s having fun,” said Alexander. He added: “It was very important for John that he look like Shapiro, but still be able to move his face. John was very excited to be doing this part on the show, and was doing his own makeup work back home and sending photos, saying, ‘How do you like this? How do you like this?’ He was really into it.”
The entire piece by Buzzfeed is a nice glimpse into the dynamics of the show and how they managed to create something riveting for television without fudging too many of the details from real life. Travolta is definitely the best part from the chat, though. Just reading what film they compare his performance to is greatness:
“When you get a movie star of that caliber, you’re getting him to do his thing,” said Karaszewski. “If everyone were at that level, or that arch, maybe the show would not have worked. But having Travolta be there, it becomes exciting, I think. Some of my favorite performances, like Nicolas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss, is when an actor takes a gigantic leap and tries something. I think for Shapiro and Travolta, it works.”
(Via Buzzfeed News)