Cuba Gooding Jr has expressed deep feelings regarding the portrayal of his character as O.J Simpson on American Crime Story: The People Vs OJ Simpson, as he called it his darkest role ever.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Gooding said Simpson’s character left an imprint on him.
“It took me a month and half to shake O.J. Simpson from my psyche,” Gooding said, “It really did, because it was the darkest role that I had ever done, and yet I still am proud of what I did even though I still feel the residual in my psyche.”
Gooding drew a correlation between an event that happened in his life which disturbingly mirrored that of O.J Simpson.
He narrated, “Friday after we wrapped filming, I got two tickets to see the Blackhawks in Chicago. Saturday, I went to my daughter’s dance recital, she’s 10, my wife and I — she didn’t have a ticket for me, so I got upset. I said, ‘Don’t think about her, just focus on Piper. It’s Piper’s day.”
The actor continued, “And then I watched, and then that night got on a plane to Chicago, and it hit me. The Saturday before the murders, O.J. went to his daughter’s dance recital, and went off — he was f—king furious that [Nicole Brown] didn’t have a seat for him. And that night the murders happened, he flew to Chicago.”
Gooding chopped it all down to great acting as actors get so involved in certain roles because they want to get the story right.
He said, “I think it’s because we as actors try to find an emotional truth to the character in whatever situation we put him in.”
In acting, the complexity of a character sometimes can affect an individual personally where they are unable to isolate themselves from a role.
A good example is that of Heath Ledger who was unable to separate himself from The Joker character in The Dark Knight film.