The People v. O.J. Simpson has dubbed Robert Kardashian as the moral hero of this tale, and it seems to be the truth.
Not because Kardashian somehow had a big, previously unknown role in the case but because he really was the only person involved who seemingly had selfless motives.
David Schwimmer, who plays Kardashian, recently did an interview with Variety where he explained that Kardashian “was the only one with nothing to gain” in the case.
Schwimmer said that though he wasn’t able to talk with Kardashian himself — he died of cancer in 2003 — he was able to get in touch with Kardashian’s ex-wife, Kris Jenner, who happily spoke with Schwimmer for “hours.”
“I learned that he was a real family man,” Schwimmer revealed. “That was what he lived for — family time, his parents, all the kids, Kris, big meals with family and friends. That he was quiet, but in the privacy of his family and friends, he was quite gregarious. He was quite funny. He was very charismatic. At the same time, he was also humble and very private and very modest. He had no interest in the spotlight. The whole celebrity thing was an inadvertent byproduct of this unfortunate ordeal.”
And the show definitely plays these reported characteristics up. We saw tonight that going to a restaurant became a fascinating experience for the Kardashian kids, who were amazed at the idea of fame when their father became recognizable. But for Kardashian, he was more interested in instilling morals and integrity within his children by American Crime Story‘s account.
While I still don’t necessarily agree with the show’s use of the Kardashian kids, after understanding the show’s point of view and the direction Schwimmer saw within the character, I can appreciate the family time incorporated throughout the series. It definitely helps to make Kardashian’s motivations more understandable. Especially since, until now, Kardashian’s involvement in the trial seemed pretty ambiguous.
Even Schwimmer admitted that he didn’t know much about him before being cast.
“I really knew nothing about Robert. I had no real memory of him other than that white guy who stuck with O.J. and was on the defense team, too. I really didn’t know his deal,” Schwimmer explained to Variety. “The more I read, the more I talked to the writers and Ryan [Murphy], and understood in his role in the series, I really was intrigued. And frankly, I was moved by the fact that he was the one character that had nothing to gain from his involvement in the trial.”
Schwimmer, on the other hand, has much to gain. Though the “Ross” Kardashian references around the web are hilarious, it gets harder and harder to align the Schwimmer of Friends fame with his character now in American Crime Story. Kardashian could be a defining character change for Schwimmer, no doubt, especially as his emotions continue into turmoil as the season progresses.
Schwimmer teased a Kardashian breakdown coming in the middle of the season. And it means Schwimmer may be showcasing an impressive emotional depth that could launch his career in a new direction and far away from his days bantering with Jennifer Aniston.