American Crime Story, Sarah Paulson, Marcia Clark

FX, AP Photo/Lois Bernstein

Marcia Clark took center stage in The People v. O.J. Simpson's appropriately titled hour "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." The pivotal hour saw Sarah Paulson's character get that much-discussed makeover, but the real Marcia Clark is setting the record straight about the hairy changes that occurred during O.J. Simpson's infamous 1995 murder trial.

When asked at what point did she decide to play along with the media scrutiny and change her looks, Clark told Vulture she didn't.

"That was a media creation. In the very beginning of the case, before opening statements, our press person said, 'You need to get a haircut. You look kind of messy.' And I did. I was kind of scraggly. So I got my hair cut. That was it. And after that point—the media goes crazy with this s--t—it's just so weird," Clark said. "There came that point in the trial when my perm grew out. I didn't have the time to go and get permed again. That particular morning I looked at myself and I said, 'Just blow it out and stop trying. You can't keep it up. You're never going to have time to go back to the hairdresser now.' And I have straight hair. So I blew it out. Thus began the media parade about the makeover. And my girlfriend gave me a concealer pencil, which my youngest son then stuck down a sprinkler pipe, because it fit. That was my makeover. How could I have had a makeover and still looked that bad?  I just don't understand."

Marcia Clark, Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson


Clark revealed Gil Garcetti did help her out with a certain aspects of her looks: he "very quietly" got suits donated to her that were "much nicer" than the suits she owned. "The suits were a quality I could never even have dreamed of, let alone buy," Clark said.

"[Garcetti] was the only person who really stood up to help me out with that," Clark said about the public attacks on her looks. The jury consultant said to wear pastels and talk softly. Thanks, dude. That's very helpful [Laughs.] Wear a pinafore."

Paulson said filming the makeover scene on The People v. O.J. Simpson and the character's reentry into the courtroom was "one of those out-of-body experiences."

Marcia Clark, Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson


"Ryan Murphy just said, ‘Walking in here, I want you to feel good. You're ready to take on the day.' Even without my haircut I was ready to take on the day. People were calling on me to be softer and I thought I was taking care of some of that business with the haircut. Then I walk in to take the day on and Judge Ito [Kenneth Choi] made that crack. There was a tittering of laughter. And I could feel the temperature rise in my neck and the color change in my face. Something happened very organically because I — like Marcia — felt quite vulnerable," Paulson told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was walking into a roomful of people. It was like doing a play with the lights on. The people who were watching the trial and the reporters, everybody that was there in the courtroom every day, plus the jury, plus the defense team. All of them staring at me as I walked in. So I felt incredibly embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed. What happened to me was incredibly organic. But it wasn't a Sarah reaction, it was a cellular Marcia thing that happened. I like to think it was a moment where I don't know where she stopped and I began. I don't know if it could have been planned."

The People v. O.J. Simpson airs Tuesdays, 10 p.m. on FX.

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