Marcia Clark, the former prosecutor of the O.J. Simpson trial revealed that she went through an "out-of-body" experience while watching the first episode of FX's new miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” and revealed why she felt "absolute misery" when the show was initially announced.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, Clark discussed the episode, and explained why watching the trial on TV more than 20 years after Simpson was acquitted of his criminal charges is an "out-of-body" experience for her.
"It’s so weird. It’s so frickin’ weird," Clark said. "It’s like an out-of-body experience. I’m sitting here in the living room. Wait, I’m [on the TV].”
Clark, who is portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the TV show, admitted during the interview that she felt "absolute misery" when she first heard that the miniseries was being created, because she did not want to be forced to relive the "trial of the century."
"The whole experience of that trial was a nightmare," Clark said. "It was a runaway train from the start. Things happened that should never happen. It was crazy. It got crazy really fast, and it only got crazier as the days and months went by. Everybody seemed to forget that two innocent people were slaughtered — not just killed, slaughtered. It was hideous. No one seemed to remember that. The prospect of reliving it and having it all over the world again, not a happy one."
Clark also noted in the interview that while she believes that Paulson does a "brilliant" job portraying her on the show, but revealed that for her, the miniseries will never be simply entertaining television to watch.
"This will never be entertaining to me. I watched [the show] with my stomach in knots," Clark said. "As much as I could, I focused on Sarah and the other actors. I tried to enjoy what they were doing and enjoy their craft, but to be honest with you, it’s not entertaining to me. It’s just extremely painful to watch."
The first episode of the miniseries, titled, "From the Ashes of Tragedy," begins by showing real-life footage from the 1991 beating of taxi driver Rodney King by the LAPD, followed by new reports detailing the LA riots of 1992. This set the tone of the racial tension and mistrust that was present during the time of the O.J. Simpson Trial in 1994.
Simpson, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., is introduced walking out of his house and getting into a limo, cool and collected as ever. Moments later, a neighbor following the growls of a dog discovers the dead bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman at the entrance of a condo complex.
Detectives are called in to investigate, and as they explore both Nicole Brown Simpson and O.J. Simpson's homes, they find incriminating evidence connecting Simpson to the scene of the crime. Prosecutor Marcia Clark is introduced to the audience as having no clue who Simpson is, a stark contrast to many of the detectives who comment on his celebrity status.
Throughout the rest of the episode the audience learns backstory about O.J. Simpson history with domestic violence as well as watches the prosecution build a case based on the incriminating evidence-- including solid DNA evidence-- that implicates Simpson in the murder, witness testimonies that place Simpson at the crime scene, and a failed polygraph test.
The aforementioned details result in Simpson being charged with the murders of Simpson Brown and Goldman, and an order that he surrender himself to the court. When Simpson hears the news, he begins writing goodbye letters and a will, and threatening suicide.
The police arrive at Simpson's house to arrest him, because he took too long to self-surrender, and the episode ends with Simpson escaping with Al Cowlings, played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner, using his white Ford Bronco as the getaway car at the beginning of the infamous slow-speed chase.
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.