Malcom-Jamal Warner: Recreating Famous Ford Bronco Chase Was ‘Surreal’

The Trial of the Century will finally make its small screen debut on Tuesday in FX’s new series ”American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

The 10-episode series, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. (as O.J. Simpson), David Schwimmer (as Robert Kardashian), Sarah Paulson (as Marcia Clark), John Travolta (as Robert Shapiro) and Malcolm-Jamal Warner (as Simpson’s friend and former teammate Al Cowlings), will focus on Simpson’s 1995 criminal trial.

The June 1994 chase, during which Cowlings drove Simpson’s white Ford Bronco away from Los Angeles police, was a can’t-look-away moment in America. It lasted roughly two hours on LA’s 405 freeway and resulted in Simpson surrendering himself to authorities at his suburban mansion.

For Malcolm-Jamal Warner, recreating the moment was a surreal experience.

“We shut down the 77 freeway for a weekend and basically recreated the scene,” he said during an interview with The Huffington Post. “It took two days to do it. And even though I knew we were shooting a TV show, it’s still something that’s very surreal when you look in the rear view mirror and you got about 20 cop cars behind you.”

In November FX released a promotional clip for the series showing a portion of the chase with Gooding Jr. seen holding a gun up near his head and heard saying, “I’m not a bad person.” With no official account of Simpson and Cowlings’ dialogue on record — and the film’s cast adhering to producer’s request to avoid contacting anyone in preparation of their roles — Warner said it took creativity to film the scene.

“We still don’t know what was said during the chase. So I guess it was really just all on supposition,” Warner said. “And what we find, at least in terms of the recreation of the scene, was that there really wasn’t a game plan. They were really just trying to abide time for O.J. to get his head together.”

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