How Does Cuba Gooding Jr. Think O.J. Simpson Will React to American Crime Story?
"I would hope he would find some identification of some truth as he knew it back then," Cuba Gooding Jr. tells PEOPLE Now
“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,” Gooding Jr. told PEOPLE Now before the show’s premiere. “And I’m not saying that he’s guilty or innocent, but I hope that, you know, anybody who watches this finds a better understanding.”
At the end of the day, however, Gooding maintained Simpson’s reaction is “one of the questions that I don’t have to think about now.”
“I gave my portrayal as honestly as I could and you know, I’m sure anybody who watches will have their own opinions, and thank God I don’t have to think about that,” he explained.
Gooding also opened up about the show’s efforts to “be respectful of the victims of this crime,” which he said was a “deliberate action” on behalf of show runner Ryan Murphy.
“[Murphy] didn’t cast actors of note to portray them in flashbacks, there will be no flashbacks,” he said. “The project is more a dissection of the trial and the events surrounding the trial. We know the facts that two people were murdered and we tried to be as respectful to those families as possible.”
Meanwhile, the question of whether Simpson will actually be able to watch the series remained up in the air as of the day of its premiere last week: Though he was ultimately acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, he is currently imprisoned for a 2008 gunpoint robbery in Nevada.
A spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Corrections has maintained that Lovelock Correctional Center, where Simpson is imprisoned, “does not have FX offered to the inmates,” but his former business manager Norman Pardo told PEOPLE that Simpson does have a television in his cell and will be able to view the miniseries somehow.
“Plenty of people have cellphones in there and they can get it streamed to their phone,” Pardo said. “He’s not excited about it and neither is his family. And I’m not saying he’ll want to watch it, but it’s like a train wreck and he won’t be able to take his eyes off it.”
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on FX.