While there are plenty of people who are sad to see the first season of American Crime Story come to an end, don’t count Cuba Good Jr. as one of them. The actor, who plays OJ Simpson has had an interesting roller coaster road since the show began. There’s very little doubt American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson is one of the most popular new shows on television. There’s also very little question the success of the program could lead to a resurgence in Gooding’s career. Still, the veteran actor says the role of the accused murderer took quite a bit out of him.
The American Crime Story show took Gooding to a rather dark place, according to the actor himself. According to The Wrap, he appeared at a recent benefit for the Motion Picture and Television Fund where he talked about how much the show had messed with his psyche. In particular, he talked about the way people were actually worried about him, almost as if American Crime Story‘s effect on him was visible.
“I went to church one Sunday and the pastor asked for [me] to stay after the service. Him and his wife prayed over me because he felt there was a darkness in my spirit. It was things like that where I’m like, ‘Man, this show is really affecting people.'”
Gooding talked about the weight of playing an accused murderer, one who has a rather dark life since the trial. While Gooding still won’t say whether he believes Simpson is guilty or innocent, he did tell People Magazine that he hopes there are some things the former football star can take away from American Crime Story.
“I would hope he would find some identification of some truth as he knew it back then and that he would eventually find redemption and healing.”
The actor doesn’t only have negative things to say about appearing in The People vs. OJ Simpson. Cuba Gooding Jr. said his kids, especially his oldest son, loved the fact that he was playing Simpson in the star-studded dramatization. Other stars in American Crime Story included Sarah Paulson as the lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, Courtney B. Vance as OJ Simpson’s top defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, John Travolta as another defense attorney Robert Shapiro, and David Schwimmer as Simpson’s close friend Robert Kardashian.
The fact that actors like Cuba Gooding Jr. were able to get people that interested in American Crime Story, despite the fact that there wasn’t any sort of real suspense, shows how good it was at storytelling, as well as how good the performances were. Getting into character was something none of the stars seemed to have a problem with. As Gooding commented, it appears the real problem was getting out of character once the shooting was done. This is why Cuba Gooding Jr., when asked about his feelings about being done with American Crime Story, said that he mostly felt relief.
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]