John Travolta takes on the role of Robert Shapiro in a new crime drama
John Travolta is coming back to television after 35 long years, on Ryan Murphy’s The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. By his admission, it took him four months to decide if he wanted to be part of the series that is based on the sensational trial of American football player, and actor OJ Simpson, who was accused of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. The Pulp Fiction star “asked every major artiste in town what their opinion was” about the story, and finally gave his nod.
On the show, he plays Robert Shapiro, a civil litigator who was part of the team that successfully defended Simpson in 1995. He tells us about his comeback stint.
How much research did you have to do for Shapiro’s role?
There are a lot of videos on him. Then I read these three books: The Run of His Life: The People Versus OJ Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, Shapiro’s book A Defense Attorney’s Brief on the OJ Simpson Case, plus If I Did It by OJ Simpson himself. I think they helped me get three different viewpoints of Shapiro. I could then shake out the truth from them, and the commonalities.
More on Shapiro.
He had a distinct style of speaking, physical gestures, cadence, and thought process. He was audacious. He was certainly shrewd and crafty, and like any great lawyer, he understood how to hire experts and put them together. But then at some point, that ousted him from the group. In the later episodes, you’ll see how he gets sort of kicked out.
What surprised you most about the OJ Simpson case?
It was the Fuhrman tapes (recorded interviews of detective Mark Fuhrman). No one had ever heard them, and only some of it was submitted in court.
Were you an OJ fan?
My father was. He was in touch with the case proceedings and would tell them to me every day.
Premieres on February 8, 10 pm on Star World Premiere HD
— Team Indulge