In the retelling of one of the most bizarre criminal trials to ever go down on American soil, we get a peek into who the “Juice” was at the time of his ex-wife’s murder, in addition to a glimpse at the state of America and how police politics eventually played right into O.J.’s exoneration.
In the mini-series, O.J. is played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. – so naturally many are interested in the actor’s take on the trial. The 48-year-old tells E! that while he turned down a previous offer to play O.J. prior to the American Crime Story project, he then “immediately said yes when his agent called and said he was being offered a Ryan Murphy project.”
On accepting Ryan Murphy’s offer:
“I’m at that age in my career, or experience level, where I don’t worry about the scripts as much anymore as I do the filmmaking team, the director. When my agents called and said Ryan Murphy wants to meet with you, I said, ‘Great! Tell him I’m in!’”
On why he didn’t want to meet O.J. before the project was done:
“I played him when he was at his most flamboyant and charismatic,” Gooding explains. “And he’s just a shell of himself now, sitting in a jail cell.”
But now, if Simpson were up for it? “Yeah. I mean, now. I’ve finished the character. The character’s locked away, so I would do it.”
On whether or not he believes O.J. is guilty:
“If we did our job right, people will understand how they came up with that verdict based on incompetence on many different levels. And I hope even in that statement, I hope you don’t think that I think he’s guilty or innocent.”
Cuba likes to leave a little mystery.
Get into it if you haven’t already – not only is the show good, it’s pretty accurate. Every week, Rolling Stonecompares the TV version to its source material, The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin. Here’s what the publication said about the accuracy of some of the most interesting and important details from episode 2.
The suicide note:
As O.J. and A.C. went on the run, Robert Kardashian took the podium at the defense’s June 17th press conference to read what seemed to be a suicide note from Orenthal James Simpson. “First, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole’s murder,” Kardashian read. But what he had written was much more ambiguous: “First everyone understand nothing to do with Nicole’s murder.” The opening seemed to be written under extreme duress — that, or Simpson was nearly illiterate. So Kardashian edited the note as he went along, potentially changing its meaning and certainly obfuscating the man’s desperation.
It was actually signed, as the series acknowledges, with a morbid smiley face for the “O” in his name. But the show plays into a misconception: Robert Shapiro suggested during the press conference that the letter had been written that day, and Kardashian doesn’t correct that. In the first episode, the attorney discovers O.J. penning both a will and his final words just hours before he goes on the run. In reality, the note was dated June 15th, 1994 — two days earlier, a fact that Kardashian also edited out. As Toobin points out in his book, if Kardashian admitted that his friend had written this some time before, he might have also let on that Simpson was considering breaking his agreement to surrender. “By leaving out the date, Kardashian avoided uncomfortable questions about his own role in O.J.’s disappearance.”
As far as a young Kim spelling her last name and the rest of the Kardashian children chanting it to the TV, one can only hope this is true. (3/5 Gloves)
Domino’s Pizza had its best day ever:
The chase lasted roughly two hours — cops started pursuit at about 6pm and he reached his home around 8pm. In the meantime, Los Angeles came to a halt. Not only was the 405 shut down—”The backup on Sepulveda must be unbelievable,” one D.A. staffer notes on the show — but people were rapt, unable to take their eyes off the white car. There’s a brief scene in a chain pizza restaurant in which workers are scrambling to fill dozens of orders and are running out of cheese, a seemingly odd detail to include in a show about a high-profile murder. But in fact, the day of the chase was Domino’s best day to date. “We benefited from the fact that it was essentially ‘dinner time’ on the West Coast and late evening on the East Coast,” the franchise’s VP Tim McIntyre told Business Insider. “People were so enthralled by the bizarre nature of what was happening, they didn’t want to miss a moment.” Bad day for the Juice, great day for pizza. (5/5 Gloves)
Head over to Rolling Stone to read their fact-checking recap in full. ACS airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.