Who Is Shawn Chapman Holley? 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' Star Angel Parker Learned A Lot From Her Inspiration
There were many moving parts in the trial of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, of which he was found not guilty. All of them will come to the foreground when The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premieres Tuesday night at 10 p.m. The "Dream Team," the legal defense for Simpson, was one of the most important parts of the trial, made up of Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Robert Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, and Alan Dershowitz. One of the other lawyers brought on by Johnnie Cochran was Shawn Holley, nee Chapman, played by Angel Parker on The People v. O.J. Simpson . "It's sort of an actor's dream to be able to play a real person," Parker says in an interview with Bustle.
Parker says that the cast was encouraged to not meet their real life counterparts until they got into shooting. "We're not basing it off of [the real life people], we're basing it off of [The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson]," she says. Luckily, Parker was given the opportunity to meet with Holley later in filming, sharing "she's very open with her time and experience [regarding the trial]."
The way the two came together is a true "L.A. story," as Parker calls it. According the actor, both Holley and Parker's hairdressers hooked up the women. "I was telling my hairdresser about my new job, and the hairdresser across from him was like, 'I do Shawn's hair!'" Parker says. "I had her phone number burning a hole in my pocket forever, because we weren't really supposed to reach out to them until we got the OK, so it took me two and a half months to actually call her"
Parker shares that she didn't even call the celebrity lawyer when she did reach out. "I just texted!"
Parker says that meeting Holley, "which was wonderful," gave her insight to Holley's thoughts at the time of the trial. "She's a very successful lawyer now, and she attributes a lot of that to that time and being under the microscope and understanding what it is to be a celebrity lawyer."
"It was just very cool to meet this strong, successful, black woman who is so smart and so brilliant and so warm and open and loving."