Behind The Amazing Transformations Of The People V. O.J. Simpson

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the latest from producer extraordinaire Ryan Murphy, is a must-watch for so many reasons. The 10-episode anthology on FX chronicles the nearly yearlong trial of the former football star accused (and later acquitted) of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, and tackles a host of significant issues. While the events took place from 1994 to 1995, the overarching themes of the well-publicized trial are 100% relevant in 2016. Race relations are sadly still painful, hot-button issues and, thanks to social media, we’re even more beholden to the 24-hour news cycle. On top of that, a Kardashian — the late patriarch Robert — played a pivotal role in the broadcast mayhem.
The casting of the series is genius: Selma Blair as Brown Simpson’s friend (and Kardashian's wife) Kris Jenner, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Simpson, and so on. While much respect goes to the actors for nailing their respective parts, the flawless hair and makeup play a critical role in transforming each actor into his or her real-life counterpart. After all, we'd never really seen a resemblance between Tami Taylor Connie Britton and Brown Simpson's friend (and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills guest star) Faye Resnick before, although Blair as Jenner kinda makes sense. But the resemblances on the show are absolutely uncanny.
“Our goal was to give the reference of the real person to the actor and not necessarily do a carbon copy,” says hair-department head Chris Clark, who watched hours of the trial via YouTube for prep. He worked closely with makeup designer Eryn Krueger Mekash to find an iconic "look" to emulate for each person (except for lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, who had quite a few, but more on that in a bit). The two also pored over countless photos from the era. “Then, you find each little tiny thing that you can possibly match up to make them look more like that person, without it being a huge prosthetic,” the three-time Emmy-winning makeup artist explains. “They didn’t want to do any prosthetics. We didn’t have time.”
Click through to see the beauty magic that went into turning high-profile actors into the key players in one of the most infamous trials of the 20th century.

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series