Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”; Michael Becker/FX Networks(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) — Powerful performances are one reason why the FX series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story goes into next month’s Emmys as a favorite to win big. During the Television Critics Association gathering Tuesday in Beverly Hills, the cast revealed those performances were sometimes emotionally challenging for them.
Sarah Paulson, who played prosecutor Marcia Clark, still hasn’t seen the completed series. “I haven’t seen any of it and I just saw a little bit of that verdict, and it literally made me physically ill,” she said Wednesday, after highlights were screened for the press.
She added that watching Clark lose was tough: “It felt like the biggest responsibility of all, almost like some kind of fantastical idea that if we did it right, the verdict would be different.”
Cuba Gooding, Jr., who’s nominated for an Emmy for playing Simpson, said the toughest scenes for him to shoot involved the Bronco chase.
“[O.J.’s] having a mental breakdown, he’s going through a psychosis, I had a gun in my mouth all day, or for two weekends in a row,” Gooding recalled. “And it got to the point where they’d go, ‘All right, we’re ready for you.’ And I’d look at that Bronco. Just to see it would just make me physically ill.
Given the series’ popularity, could there be a sequel? Executive producer Brad Simpson doesn’t think so.
“We’d been pitched that,” he admitted. “I just…you know, I feel like…I mean, first of all we don’t want to overstay our welcome. And I really feel like, you know, this was…this is closed off. You know, you don’t have the same complexity of characters. That show would just be about O.J., I think.”
The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air September 18 on ABC.
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