David Schwimmer Steps into Robert Kardashian’s Shoes on ‘American Crime Story’: “I wasn’t trying to mimic him ever”

David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian

“I didn’t know who he was, and I needed to do my homework” – David Schwimmer on Playing Robert Kardashian

FX has scored yet again with American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. Former Friends’ star David Schwimmer stars in the show as Robert Kardashian and recently talked to Vulture about how he prepared for what may very well be his second role of a lifetime.

It’s clear Schwimmer doesn’t read the headlines because he was oblivious to the man he was going to eventually play. “I thought it was incredibly well-written, and I was intrigued by who Robert was because I really didn’t know anything about him. That’s why I was hesitant. I didn’t know who he was, and I needed to do my homework.”

He added that “it seemed to be centered around his faith: his faith in God, his faith in O.J.’s innocence, and his faith in his own friendship with O.J. And once I realized that was the journey — and it comes to a point in episodes seven and eight where he has a crisis of faith, and he’s suddenly uncertain about everything — that, I thought, was really moving to me. I also thought it was really interesting that Robert is the only person who has nothing to gain. When I heard Ryan [Murphy, the creator and director] say that, I realized that’s extraordinary. He basically put a year of his life on hold, if not more, and was thrust inadvertently and unwittingly into the public eye. He lost a lot of friends and a lot of colleagues over the process of this trial. It was a great loss that Robert incurred from doing this, but he did it for very personal, I believe, reasons of faith. There was no upside, nothing for him to gain, like the rest of the lawyers. This was a career-making case for all of them. For Robert, he just felt that he had to be there for [O.J.]”

Knowing very little about Kardashian, Schwimmer started to watch interviews and read all the material he could. “I wasn’t trying to mimic him ever. I was more interested in his essence, his spirit, and what was really guiding him and motivating him. That’s what I was focused on.”

“There is a lot of material,” he went on to say. “There’s almost an overabundance. I didn’t read Chris Darden’s books, or Marcia [Clark]’s. I took a peek at some other books, but Jeffrey’s was the most important to read, which I read twice. For me, a lot of my research was done online — any article that referred to Robert or in which he was quoted. Any interview he ever gave, including his Barbara Walters interview, the archival footage of the trial, and the footage of his reading the suicide note. Those were all great and very informative. But the single greatest help was my conversation with Kris Jenner, and just hearing from her who he really was as a man, as a father, as a husband, what his character was like. That was hugely influential.”

American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson airs on FX Tuesday nights at 10pm.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/laura-linney-genuis.jpg
Laura Linney: “The thing that makes the theater different from any other art form: it’s time”
Linney cast's some light on why revivals in theater are looked at differently than their television and film counterparts.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/corey-hawkins.jpg
Corey Hawkins: “I grew up a theater nerd”
"The fun of it and the challenge of it is to take the play — to take the text — and make it your own, to find it your own way" - Corey Hawkins on Theater
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/sally-field-the-glass-menagerie.jpg
Sally Field on Performing on Broadway: “You’re so totally and utterly and completely alive”
Field reveals how the lack of intermission helps her maintain her energy and why she decided to return to Broadway after a nearly 15-year break.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/watch-sag-conversations-with-geo.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Geoffrey Rush of ‘Genius’
Rush speaks at length about his career and portraying who many consider to be the wisest man of the 20th century.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ben-Platt-Dear-Evan-Hansen.jpg
Ben Platt on How He Found Himself Starring in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’
"Every day is a different sort of vibe and feeling. It can be impacted by anything from like, "Is it raining outside?" to "Are there a lot of old people?"" - Ben Platt