After Courtney B. Vance‘s immersive embodiment of Johnnie Cochran in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story caught Emmy voters’ eyes and led him to awards gold, the actor shares that there was one scene in the series of which he is particularly proud.
“One scene, in the jail cell with O.J., when I told him, “Come on! Snap out of it! You’re O.J. People love you!” the 56-year-old said after winning the 2016 Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series on Sunday.
Vance recalled a conversation he had with Anthony Hemingway – who directed five episodes of the saga – just days before shooting the scene.
“Anthony Hemingway called me a couple days prior to that scene and said, ‘Courtney, I need you. I need you to be on this one. You gotta drive this thing,’ ” he said.
“And from the very moment we went in the room, I was on it and I was ready and it was this rare – when you know you got it and you’re ready for the moment and I was ready for that moment.”
Vance recalled that everyone on set was amazed at the performance – “We knew that we hit that one out of the park. So, that scene I’m so proud of.”
The Emmy is Vance’s first and, during his acceptance speech, he dedicated the statuette to his wife Angela Bassett – “the woman who rocks my chain,” he said.
When asked about his win, the actor told PEOPLE that it “feels wonderful.”
“We will go to the Governor’s Ball. I will give this [award statue] to my wife and she will be telling me where in the house it will go,” he said.