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Pastor prayed for Cuba Gooding, Jr. during O.J. filming

Published 08/04/2016

Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The actor's friends and family were concerned about the effect the role had on his mental state.

A concerned pastor prayed for Cuba Gooding, Jr. when he was in a dark place portraying O.J. Simpson in the recent TV drama.

The Jerry Maguire star played the former American footballer during a recreation of his 1995 murder trial, for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, in The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

The role put him in such a dark place that his friends and family were concerned for his wellbeing, and his pastor even focused on the actor in his prayers to help him through the low phase.

“I was in a dark place with it. It’s overwhelming the reception I get from people I don’t know famous or not,” he said, according to AFP news agency. “I went to church one Sunday and the pastor asked for me to stay after the service. And then he and his wife prayed over me because they thought there was darkness in my spirit... I mean it’s things like that where I’m like, ‘Man, this show has really affected people'.”

Cuba had previously said it took him around a month to shake off the character because it had such an effect on him, especially following a scene when Simpson kissed his ex-wife's corpse at her funeral.

"I couldn't stop weeping," he told U.S. host Steve Harvey. "I was so emotional. I literally had a nervous breakdown. I think I’ve finally grieved for that family. It hit me that both of those families were shattered and I just felt extreme guilt.”

The role also affected him physically and he thought he had a problem with his vocal cords after filming finished, yet a doctor found nothing medically wrong with them.

"Everyone keeps asking why I'm so hoarse..." he previously told Esquire magazine. "Even now still I think it might have done something to my vocal cords... I went to see the doctor and he was like, 'I don't see anything. You're fine'... Mentally I might have broke a little bit..."

The miniseries concluded in the U.S. on Tuesday (05Apr16).

O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders. He is currently in prison on kidnapping and robbery charges.

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