Last night (April 18), American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson concluded in controversial and brilliant fashion. The show is based on the trial which saw OJ Simpson acquitted for the murders of wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and starred several big Hollywood names (John Travolta and Cuba Gooding, Jr). Take a look at the characters and their real-life counterparts side-by-side and find out what happened to the stars of the trial when it was all over.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. as OJ Simpson
Actor Gooding, Jr. said playing OJ was a difficult role that moved him to “hatred, anger, frustration and grief. I was just so upset.” The real OJ is currently in prison for his role in an attempted robbery of a Las Vegas hotel, for which he was sentenced to 33 years in jail in 2008.
Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
Clark acted as the lead prosecutor for The People and was criticised for her appearance and mannerisms by the media during the trial. Sarah Paulson later said that when she read the script and discovered how badly Clark was treated she was left ”so angry that it was making me shake”.
Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden
Darden was a member of the defence team alongside Marcia Clark. Following the trial both he and Clark resigned from the D.A.’s office. Brown said that he tried to speak to Darden about playing him, but that Darden wasn’t interested in being involved with the show, adding “I hope he’s pleased with the representation if he indeed watches it”.
Bruce Greenwood as Gil Garcetti
Gil Garcetti was the District Attorney for Los Angeles during the trial and often gave advice to Clark and her colleague Christopher Darden. In the year following the verdict he was re-elected as D.A. before losing the role in 2000.
Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran
Cochran was the lead attorney for OJ and provided the controversial defence during the trial. He died of a brain tumour in 2003 aged 67. Vance, who plays Cochran said that researching Cochran’s career left him inspired but even though he played OJ’s lawyer – he believes Simpson ‘did it’.
David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian
Robert Kardashian was a close friend of OJ before the trial and later assisted the defence to acquit OJ. When discussing the role, Schwimmer noted that the internal conflict Kardashian had over the trial may had contributed to his death in 2003 adding; “I think it changed him profoundly in probably every way”.
Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey
Bailey was a key member of OJ’s defence team during the trial and came to prominence for his cross-examination of Det. Mark Fuhrman during the trial. Following filming, Lane said that he contacted Bailey and described him as ‘charming and gracious’.
John Travolta as Robert Shapiro
Shapiro was acquainted with OJ before the trial and he was initially hired as lead attorney for Simpson. Travolta said that playing Shapiro was incredibly interesting and said “The egocentric part of [Shapiro] loved the limelight,” much like many actors.
Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito
Ito presided over the case as Judge. He continued with his post as a judge until 2015 when he retired aged 65. He has refused to speak about the trial due to potential ramifications to his job and to remain impartial.
Selma Blair as Kris Jenner
Jenner was a close friend of the murdered Nicole Brown and was also married to Robert Kardashian between 1978-91. Blair said that Jenner was a ‘larger than life’ character to portray, but when they spoke on the phone she noted that ‘Kris actually speaks really quietly, and she’s really thoughtful when she speaks.’