Why was Cuba Gooding, Jr. cast as the titular character in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson?
Not everyone is loving Gooding's performance in the FX miniseries, but what caused the showrunners to pick him toe play O.J. Simpson?
Showrunners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski spoke with Vulture recently and revealed their thought process behind casting Gooding.
"We felt we needed to cast somebody who would remind people of the general likability," Karaszewski said, noting that his kids mostly knew Simpson for his negative qualities beforehand.
Alexander delved into Simpson's incredible rags to riches story, which included rising through the ranks and winning the coveted Heisman trophy, plus a movie career.
"So the idea that O.J. couldn't have done it--that first week when you heard it happened, and it was just, 'Not O.J.--O.J.'s a good guy.' So we thought you needed to cast somebody in that role that had that general likability," Alexander said. "That's really where Cuba comes in perfectly, because Cuba is a great guy. Everyone loves Cuba. He's won the Academy Award. He played a football player. If you heard that Cuba killed someone, you'd be like, 'There's no way Cuba could do it.'"
Based on the Twitter response so far, people are divided on Gooding's performance.
cuba gooding jr's acting in that oj simpson vs the people series is the worst, ruins it.
— Daniel (@BOLAAX_) February 8, 2016
Watched the first episode of #ThePeoplevOJSimpson. Cuba Gooding Jr does a fantastic job playing OJ
— Todd (@CubsCloser) February 7, 2016
— whatsupdoc00 (@whatsupdoc007) February 7, 2016
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 3, 2016
Cuba Gooding Jr's head is too small to play OJ
— SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) February 3, 2016
— Lisa Bonner, Esq. (@lisabonner) February 3, 2016
We shall see how the response changes (or stays the same) as the episodes go along.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.