Cuba Gooding Jr. talks playing O.J. Simpson in ‘American Crime Story’

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Photo courtesy of FX Networks

Throughout his career, Cuba Gooding, Jr. has taken on a variety of memorable roles that have showcased his tremendous range as an actor. From from his breakout turn as Tre Styles in John Singleton’s classic Boyz N The Hood to his Oscar-winning performance as Rod “Show Me The Money!” Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, Gooding, Jr. has taken on a multitude of characters and effortlessly brought them to life.

His latest role as O.J. Simpson in FX’s “American Crime Story,” however, is an altogther different story.

When asked during a recent interview whether he felt any pressure regarding his portrayl of a key figure in one of the most talked about and well known crimes ever, Gooding. Jr. said he doesn’t feel it yet but he’s sure he will.

“I probably will [feel the pressure] when it’s all said and done for people to watch it, but when I’m in it, I’m in it,” Gooding, Jr. told Variety. “It’s a character. You have to be the character and be confident. But yeah, reflecting on it, I will be hoping that the intent of what (director) Ryan Murphy wanted to create in the story comes through. And I think it will, because no one pays attention to detail like this guy.”

Indeed in terms of detail, Gooding, Jr. said he had plenty of study materials to get down every nuance of Simpson’s personality.

“It’s a minutia of watching tapes and reading interviews and watching video,” he said. “Usually, when you prepare for a role, you can spend weeks or months and then when you do it, you’re pretty much in it. But this is like, everyday, they’re like, ‘Oh, [he] did a workout video.’ … Everyday there’s something.”

The ten-episode series will feature a star-studded supporting cast including John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Selma Blair as Kris Jenner, Connie Britton as Faye Resnick and more.

“It’s like playing basketball with the Lakers,” Gooding, Jr. said of his castmates. “You got to have your best game because everyone around you is better than you. … On this set, if you don’t come with your A+ game, you’re going to get blown over. You really will.”

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is slated to premiere in 2016 on FX.

TJ Armour
TJ Armour

"I'm not a biter, I'm a writer for myself and others."