‘American Crime Story’ Features Big Stars

It’s been about 22 years since TV reporters first captured footage of the white Ford Bronco being chased by police in Los Angeles. The driver of course was O.J. Simpson, on the run and a wanted suspect of the murder of his ex-wife. That story and the court case mayhem that surrounded it are the subject for American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, a new limited series to air on FX.

American Crime Story is a new show by Ryan Murphy and has a similar formatting to another Murphy Show; American Horror Story. While the new show is not horror based, it will feature a new story every season with a different cast. Next season the show will focus on Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath the followed, but this season the story will be all about O.J.

One of the actresses featured in the new series also appeared in American Horror Story. Sarah Paulson, who will be portraying prosecutor Marcia Clark, was reportedly over the moon to do so.

“The first time I met her, Marcia did say to me, ‘I’m sorry about the hair. And the blazers — I’m sorry about the blazers.’” Paulson told Entertainment Weekly about her meeting with Clark. “It was a very extraordinary thing. It felt like I was meeting Meryl Streep or something. I had a great deal of sympathy for her. When I first saw her, I just sort of started to squeal and I hid my face. I thought I was gonna start to cry or something. We had a lovely meal. It was a very wild thing.”

Clark will no doubt be looking forward to seeing Paulson’s portrayal of herself in American Crime Story, but she’s not the only one. Kris Jenner is excited too. “I’m excited to see it. I’m excited in a lot of ways, and I’m anxious about it, and I want to see how it turns out, but I’ve heard it’s really good,” she told People magazine.

What does Kris Jenner have to do with the O.J Simpson case? During that time, she was married to defense attorney Robert Kardashian, the father of the Kardashian children. Jenner continued saying that it was “a very dramatic, sad, crazy time in my life and something that was tremendously difficult to go through.” But Jenner sounds a little more excited to see Selma Blair portray her in the show. “She has, I hope, done a really good job of bringing it home. I’m sure she has, she is such a talented actress.”

Jenner is also excited to see David Schwimmer who will be portraying her former husband. “Robert was one of David’s biggest fans when they were doing Friends, back in the day – he watched it religiously. So it was kind of, you know, wild that he is playing Robert.”

Wild is right. The cast for American Crime Story features a huge list of big name actors. The cast includes:

  • Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O. J. Simpson
  • Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
  • John Travolta as Robert Shapiro
  • David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian
  • Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran
  • Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey
  • Jordana Brewster as Denise Brown
  • Selma Blair as Kris Kardashian
  • Billy Magnussen as Kato Kaelin
  • Connie Britton as Faye Resnick
  • Steven Pasquale as Mark Fuhrman
  • Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden
  • Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito
  • Jonelle Allen as Mom Darden
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Al Cowlings
  • Evan Handler as Alan Dershowitz
  • Cheryl Ladd as Linell Shapiro, Robert Shapiro’s wife
  • Bruce Greenwood as Gil Garcetti
  • Rob Morrow as Barry Scheck
  • Leonard Roberts as Dennis Schatzman
  • Asia Monet Ray as Sydney Simpson
  • Keesha Sharp as Dale Cochran
  • Kelsey Griswold as Dominique Brown

The O.J. Simpson case was chaos from the beginning with daily news reports for weeks at a time. Most people could not believe that this smiling former football player-turned rental car spokesman could have done such a thing.

After years of playing football, Simpson became a fairly decent actor and appeared in The Klansman (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Cassandra Crossing (1976) and Capricorn One (1978). Later he decided to give comedy a try in Back to the Beach (1987) and The Naked Gun movies (1988, 1991, 1994) which made people love him all the more. Simpson had worked on more acting projects, including a pilot of NBC call Frogmen that was to air as a two-hour movie. In never aired as it was scheduled to be shown a few months after the death of O.J.’s ex wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. During the court case, many wondered if Simpson was just acting in another story altogether.

Although we already know the verdict in the case, what we don’t know is what happened behind the cameras. Now we will. American Crime Story premieres on February 2, on FX.

[Photo courtesy of FX]