03:08 PM EDT 04/19/2016

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Courtney B. Vance

American Crime Story's Courtney B. Vance on Facing Police as a Black Man: I've 'Been Trained' to Know What to Do – 'Defuse It'

Originally posted 03/30/2016 04:50PM

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson has brought the famed 1994 trial back in the spotlight – as well as the race controversies that surrounded it.

Now, actor Courtney B. Vance – who plays lead defense attorney Johnnie Cochran on the hit FX series – has opened up about a scary, real-life encounter he once had as a black man confronted by police.

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Angela Bassett's Husband Didn't Know About Her Lady Gaga Sex Scene in AHS – Until He Watched the Episode

Originally posted 03/01/2016 02:05PM

American Horror Story is known for its gruesomely gory sex scenes – so what did Angela Bassett's husband think of her scary-steamy scene with none other than Lady Gaga?

Well, as it turned out, Bassett didn't actually tell her husband of 19 years, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story star Courtney B. Vance, about that particular part of her script on the recently concluded American Horror Story: Hotel.

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The People v. O.J. Simpson: Who Is Connie Britton's Breakout Character Faye Resnick?

Originally posted 02/03/2016 09:50AM

Faye Resnick made quite the impression in Tuesday's The People v. O.J. Simpson premiere, with Connie Britton playing the close friend of the late Nicole Brown Simpson.

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People Picks

REVIEW: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Is a Superb, True Crime Must-See

Originally posted 02/02/2016 10:00PM

There are media frenzies … and there are media frenzies.

You can make a similar distinction when discussing legal circuses and celebrity meltdowns. The O.J. Simpson murder trial, a public narrative that delivered a series of sensational jolts from start to finish, consistently falls into the second camp. Everything veers to the right side of the ellipses – the sensational side, the side that goes too far, almost to the improbable.

The case, which ended with the acquittal of Simpson on two counts of murder, was referred to as "The Trial of the Century" – the last one – and within the first hour of FX's superb The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, you'll remember why. Or, if you weren't around for the white Bronco highway chase, Kato Kaelin (no, that's not the name of a minor character in the new Star Wars) or the astonishing moment when the glove didn't fit, you'll learn why.

There are trials of the century … and there are trials of the century.

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American Crime Story

American Crime Story's Courtney B. Vance on the O.J. Simpson Trial: 'It Was a Greek Tragedy, and Everyone Had Their Role to Play'

Originally posted 02/02/2016 06:30PM

In The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, it's lawyers and law enforcement – not the charismatic football player known as "Juice" whose exoneration divided a nation – who are truly on trial.

The limited series examines the case through the prosecution and defense teams, giving an unvarnished at the little mistakes, misjudgments and miscalculations that turned a seemingly slam-dunk conviction into a dramatic legal saga with what many consider an unhappy ending.

Courtney B. Vance stars as defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, whose shrewd courtroom performance Simpson himself has credited with his freedom.

"It was a Greek tragedy, and everyone had their role to play," Vance, 55, tells PEOPLE.

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Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
PHOTOS: John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr. Revealed in First Cast Pics of O.J. Simpson Series American Crime Story

American Crime Story

See John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr. and More in First Cast Pics of O.J. Simpson Series American Crime Story (PHOTOS)

Originally posted 05/22/2015 01:50PM

With production underway in Los Angeles on FX's newest anthology series, American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson, FX released the first set of cast photos exclusively to EW on Friday, giving viewers a glimpse of the cast's transformation into character for the 2016 drama.

Wearing a suede brown jacket and mock turtleneck, Cuba Gooding Jr., 46, portrays former NFL star O.J. Simpson during his 1994–95 trial for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

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Credit: ABC
Scandal's Courtney B. Vance Opens Up About the Show's Most Powerful Episode Yet

Scandal

Scandal: Courtney B. Vance Opens Up About Ferguson, Race and the Show's Powerful Episode

Originally posted 03/07/2015 11:10AM

There was nothing scandalous about Thursday's Scandal: The drama was too raw, the plot – a young, unarmed black man being shot by police – all too familiar.

But that's what made the episode so moving, and why Twitter is already clamoring for guest-star Courtney B. Vance to win an Emmy.

Vance, 54, is known for his work in Law & Order: Criminal Intent and being the proud husband of actress Angela Bassett. He also has an upcoming role as O.J. Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran in Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story

On Scandal, he played Clarence, the father of the slain teen Brandon Parker, who incited a police stand-off when he rushed the crime scene and raised a shotgun, refusing to leave his son's body until justice was served.

"Some people called me and said 'I'm still crying over it,' " he tells PEOPLE. "If nothing else, it will hopefully keep the dialogue open, which was one of the tragic things about Ferguson and other situations. Let it go to trial. Let's talk it out. When you change that process, people don't get the chance to hear it all and flesh it out.

"If that doesn't happen, then all we're left with is our anger."

Vance discusses the powerful episode, House of Cards's take on race and working with Kerry Washington below:

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