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What Does O.J. Simpson Think of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Portrayal in ‘American Crime Story’?

Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays O.J. Simpson in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, revealed on Watch What Happens Live on Thursday, February 4, what the man himself thinks of his portrayal in the anthology series. 

Simpson, 68, has yet to watch Ryan Murphy‘s anthology series, which debuted this week and details the high-profile murder case of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. While Gooding Jr., the star of it all, hasn’t spoken to Simpson directly, the former NFL player has apparently been talking to other people about the FX drama.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

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“He must be posted up at the pay phone in jail right now,” Gooding, 48, told Andy Cohen. “It’s like everybody keeps giving a quote that he said.”

“He said he hasn’t seen the show,” Gooding continued. (According to The Wrap, the prison where he’s incarcerated doesn’t even get FX.) However, Simpson reportedly threw some shade at the actor, saying: “‘Cuba’s portrayal I feel indifferent about,'” Gooding recalled. “Well, what is it? Have you seen the show or you feel indifferent?” The actor didn’t elaborate further about Simpson’s comment.

O.J. Simpson and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cohen, who praised Gooding for his performance, noted that Simpson originally wanted Denzel Washington to portray him in the series.

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Gooding, meanwhile, worked very hard to prepare for the role. “It took me a month to get out of the mind-set of O.J.,” the actor told Esquire in an interview. “It’s funny what we have to do as actors to understand something. Our body goes along with it. Once you put yourself in it, your body believes it.”

The Academy Award winner also responded to whether Simpson should watch the series. “I don’t think about it. I just don’t,” he claimed. “My mom is so emotionally involved, more than anybody else. She was like, ‘This is going to be healing for O.J. When he sees these episodes he’s going to find redemption.’ I’m like, ‘Mom, just keep watching and call me after it’s done.’ You can’t think about that.”

John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson.

Other stars in the series include David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Selma Blair as Kris Jenner.


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