LOS ANGELES – It was a challenge for John Travolta, 62, to return to television for the “The People v. O.J. Simpson” after decades away from the small screen.
“I hadn’t done television for 40 years so I was not used to trying to do that amount of work in a day’s work,” he told FOX411. “But because they structured it so well for me it became natural again, I think. Because the writing was so good— every department on that project, cinematography, directing, wardrobe, makeup, hair, everything was so acutely good, it made it easy. The challenges as we went on became more about concentrating on performance and not worrying about those other departments. We have the luxury of actors being committed to these roles.”
Dressed in a black suit, sweater and shirt and accompanied by his wife Kelly Preston, Travolta revealed that because of this project, he learned a lot about the O.J. Simpson case. Travolta plays Robert Shapiro, one of O.J. Simpson’s defense attorneys.
“I think I just got more understanding,” he explained. “When you see the judicial and the system be broken as it is, you understand why these twists and turns happen. When you hear the Fuhrman tapes, when you see the depth of tragedy that affected these families, you can’t help but be enlightened by truth and go ‘wow.’ And the collective truth is what is impacting everybody so much, it’s a lot of messages, and you pick one.
Preston, a huge fan of the series, raved about the series.
“I found it was perfectly handled with such integrity and such care and learning so much,” she gushed. “I learned a lot with everyone else. I think it really helped me to understand it because I was surprised at the verdict years ago. It doesn’t get better than (executive producers) Nina, Ryan and Brad. They had a complete understanding with so much truth and so many twists and turns and facets… and they handled it beautifully with empathy.”
The 10-part FX miniseries ends Tuesday night.
“It’s so real,” Travolta said of the series. “Everyone really played this authentically. There is something about the level of humanity that was explored and I got out of this.”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.