Sterling K. Brown is earning major notice for playing prosecutor Christopher Darden, the lawyer who asked murder suspect O.J. Simpson to try on those notorious bloody gloves. Now, his story is a key part of the FX hit miniseries "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," airing Tuesdays.
Brown, a graduate of Stanford and NYU, says he's been as immersed in the story of Simpson, who was acquitted, as the rest of us.
"After six months of playing Christopher Darden, it's hard to separate his views from my own. Seeing the preponderance of evidence he had, it's hard for me to reach a conclusion other than (Simpson) was guilty of a double homicide," he says.
The jury didn't buy it, declaring Simpson not guilty in what is now known as the trial of the century. It's being revisited by a star-studded cast including Sarah Paulson as fellow prosecutor Marcia Clark, Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, and as Simpson's legal dream team: John Travolta, David Schwimmer and Nathan Lane.
"I've seen some of the reviews and I've been very, very happy. We have eyeballs and critical success. Normally you get one or the other," he says.
Shooting the show was intense, but also intensely worthwhile. And not as heavy as you'd imagine.
"You have to have some sort of release. I have two kids at home and a wife who look forward to seeing me. But there's a lot of levity as well when you're dealing with something so heavy. We laughed a lot. Cuba Gooding Jr. is a very funny man. Travolta would dance for people. Everyone would cheer. Sarah is hysterical," says Brown.
It's one of the many reasons he's saying the E word (we mean Emmy) in relation to his costar, who impeccably embodies the drive, confidence, insecurity, passion and hubris of Clark, who never imagined that the evidence wouldn't be enough to convict Simpson of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
"I will say, hashtag: Paulson is a beast. I am rooting for her. She deserves it," he says.
Key Players in the OJ Simpson Trial
OnlyOnAOL: Sterling K. Brown is all trial, no error, in 'O.J. Simpson'
Defense attorney Robert Shapiro (L) sits next to O.J. Simpson during a preliminary hearing following the murders of Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman July 7, 1994 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Prosecutor Marcia Clark complains to the judge 27 February about a second statement by Rosa Lopez, a key defense witness, that was not released by the defense. Lopez, a housekeeper to a neighbor of O.J. Simpson's, claims to have seen a white Ford Bronco outside his home at around the time the prosecution claim the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman took place. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read POO/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 19: O.J. Simpson (R) whispers to Defense attorney F. Lee Bailey (L) during testimony of FBI special agent William Bodziak 19 June during the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles. Bodziak compared one of O.J. Simpson's tennis shoes to a model of the Italian-made Bruno Magli shoes, which left imprints at the murder scene of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read POO/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: O.J. Simpson defense attorney Alan Dershowitz (standing) gestures during a motion to Judge Lance Ito 16 June in which he said that the standard of juror dismissals must be changed. The defense has accused the prosecution of juror targeting and hiding witnesses. Seated are (L-R) prosecutor Marcia Clark and Scott Gordon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read POO/AFP/Getty Images)
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors in the OJ Simpson murder trial is shown during a court hearing December 9
OJ Simpson sits in court October 14 with his attorney Robert Shapiro during a hearing in Simpson's murder trial
Defense attorneys Robert Shapiro (L) and Johnnie Cochran, Jr., arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles September 26 for the first day of jury selection in the OJ Simpson murder trial. A protestor's painting on spousal abuse is in the background
Superior Court Judge Lance Ito makes a point during a pre-trial hearing on suppression of evidence in the OJ Simpson murder case September 21 in Los Angeles
Josephine Guarin, housekeeper at OJ Simpson's estate in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, testifies during a pre-trial hearing on evidence suppression in the OJ Simpson murder case September 22
Prosecution witness Candace Garvey, a friend of Nicole-Brown Simpson, testifes about OJ Simpson's appearance at his daughter's dance recital June 12, 1994, during afternoon court session in OJ Simpson's murder trial
Prosecutor Marcia Clark wears rubber gloves as she places a left-hand glove found at the feet of murder victim Ronald Goldman into a plastic bag during OJ Simpson's murder trial, February 17
Denise Brown (L), sister of Nicole-Brown Simpson, cries as she testifies February 6 about Nicole-Simpson's relationship with O.J. Simpson, during morning court session in Simpson's murder trial. Brown wears "Angel" earrings and pins in memory of her sister
FILE PHOTO 16MAR95 - Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman is shown on the witness stand March 16, 1995 during O.J. Simpson's murder trial in Los Angeles. A bloody fingerprint was found at the scene of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman but police bungling destroyed it, Fuhrman says in a new book published on February 17.
Prosecutor Brian Kelberg points out a wound near Ronald Goldman's ear on an autopsy chart during testimony June 9 in the OJ Simpson murder trial. The Los Angeles County coroner said that Goldman received two small stabs to the neck in addition to fatal slashes, suggesting that he was taunted by his attacker before being killed
Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, reacts to the showing of a photograph of her brother's bloody shirt during the OJ Simpson double murder trial in Los Angeles June 26. The prosecution presented the final phase of its case, trace and hair evidence.
**POOR QUALITY DOCUMENT
Arnelle Simpson, daughter of murder defendant OJ Simpson, testifies July 10 on her father's behalf in his double murder trial in Los Angeles. Arnelle Simpson is the first witness in the defense's case
Defense witness Robert Heidstra points during his testimony July 12 at O.J. Simpson's murder trial to the area near where he walked his dog on the night [Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman] were murdered June 12,1994. The chart is a map of the area around Bundy Drive, site of the murders