As the world obsesses over the infamous O.J. Simpson case once again, Cuba Gooding Jr. is thinking of the victims.
The actor, who plays Simpson on the popular “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” recently revealed he suffered a “nervous breakdown” on set as he reflected on the murder of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
“As I did this research, specifically one scene in particular — when we shot the scene at the funeral when O.J. kisses Nicole’s corpse. I remember we broke for lunch and I went into my trailer and I couldn’t stop weeping,” the 48-year-old told Steve Harvey on Thursday.
“I literally had a nervous breakdown and I said I think I finally grieved for that family, I think it hit me that both those families were shattered and I just felt extreme guilt,” he continued.
Cuba Gooding Jr. admitted his popular FX show affected him to the point of a breakdown.
Goldman and Nicole Simpson were found stabbed to death in 1994 outside of her condo.
The Oscar-winning actor delivered a message to the families of both victims, expressing guilt that the tragedies were back in the spotlight.
“I just hope that they find some peace because I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” he said.
The actor plays O.J. Simpson on ” The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
“I don’t pretend to try to understand what any of this means to either the Goldmans or the Browns, but I’m an actor. I was asked to do a role. Hopefully I brought some truth to it and that will help in the process of understanding the circus that was this time in America,” he continued.
The “Jerry Maguire” actor felt compelled to do the project since it was being helmed by producer Ryan Murphy.
He said he had previously passed on an offer to portray the incarcerated football star, explaining he wanted to work with “real” filmmakers.
The actor explained his decision to portray O.J. Simpson.
The actor’s anguish for the deaths is strikingly different than how he reacted when “The Juice” was acquitted, admitting he was part of viewers rejoicing at the verdict.
“I cheered because I was a black entertainer in L.A. and I’d been harassed by LAPD. I’ve been pulled over. I’ve had guns put in my face,” he recalled.
“So I thought, if he did it then fine. At least there’s another black man that didn’t get railroaded or maybe it was our turn to get away with something like that,” he added, explaining how his thinking has changed since then.
The comments come days after the Goldman family blasted the show for turning the deaths into entertainment.