‘American Crime Story’: Why Sarah Paulson Changed Her View of O.J. Simpson Trial Prosecutor Marcia Clark

PHOTO: Sarah Paulson leaves "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater, March 31, 2016, in New York City.PlayGC Images/Getty Images
WATCH OJ Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark on New FX Series

Playing Marcia Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” gave Sarah Paulson a new perspective on the famed Los Angeles prosecutor.

“I really had a very particular image and picture of her that -- one that I think most Americans had, which was that she was a kind of strident, aggressive b----, for lack of an articulate way of putting it,” the actress said in an interview with ABC News’ Deborah Roberts that aired Tuesday on “GMA”. “And through all the research I did and the scripts themselves, I just came to realize that was so, so far from the truth.”

Part of her change of heart came from meeting Clark, Paulson said, adding that the woman apologized to her.

“She's like, ‘I just want to say sorry.’ I said, ‘For what?’ She said, ‘Well, for the hair,’” Paulson said, explaining that she wore different wigs that “were all varying versions of not very attractive ... .”

Viewers have been riveted by the series. Even though Paulson says that she actually hasn’t watched it, she understands why people would be compelled.

“I think everyone was so obsessed during the trial, I don't know why it would be different now ...,” she said.

The FX series examines the 1995 murder trial of Simpson, who was accused of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted, but was found liable for the two deaths in a subsequent civil suit brought by the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman.

Paulson said that, for her, the series wasn’t about making a judgment about guilt or innocence.

“What I hope they come away with is two-fold. One that at the center of this story is the death of two innocent people, and the circus that this trial became really made that hard to see clearly,” she said, adding “but more than that ... every player involved in this trial was a real person. A flesh-and-blood thinking, feeling person. And so many of them were sort of treated almost like they were holograms. That they weren't real people.”

She continued by saying that observers "didn't really think about what (defense attorney) Johnnie Cochran's personal struggles were, what Marcia's personal struggles were. And all of that was sort of left out of this story. And so I really hope that what you're able to see here is that we were talking about real people ... .”

Comments