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Getting Defensive With Angel Parker Of American Crime Story

By Dontaira Terrell
Posted On Feb 17, 2016
Getting Defensive With Angel Parker Of American Crime Story

Scene stealer Angel Parker has graced our television screens with groundbreaking performances in hit shows such as NBC’s Days of Our Lives and ER, Disney’s Hannah Montana and CBS’s Criminal Minds among many others. An extensive and quite impressive resume to say the least, this is just the tip of the iceberg as Parker’s passion to take the world by storm with groundbreaking performances is limitless.

New You had an opportunity to speak with the veteran actress about her latest role as acclaimed celebrity attorney, Shawn Chapman in the highly anticipated FX series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. As the go-to celeb legal representative, Chapman is known for representing Hollywood clients such as Lindsay Lohan, Tupac Shakur, and Nicole Ritchie to name a few. Obviously, the portrayal of Attorney Chapman was no easy feat but true to form, Parker can hold her own alongside an all-star cast and Hollywood heavyweights, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Sarah Paulson, and Courtney B. Vance.

As a wife, mother, and active member of The New Hollywood, a diverse philanthropic women’s group whose primary objective is personal empowerment and community partnerships, there is no question that Angel Parker is admiringly the star of her own show, both personally and professionally.

 

ArticlesquareWhat is the one thing you learned or found interesting about the case that you did not know prior to filming?

It was fascinating to learn about the case from beginning to end as well as witnessing a so-called slam dunk, end up being an acquittal and not even a hung jury! It was also incredible to find out how much of the evidence had been thrown out, the number of witnesses that had not been used and ultimately fully learning how the case had slowly unraveled and slipped away from the prosecution.

 

Do you remember your age, where you were or what you were doing at the time the infamous verdict had been announced?

Yes, I was 14 and in high school when they interrupted class and read the verdict over the loud speaker. It was fantastically incredible the various reactions of everyone because some people yelled, some cheered and there were many teachers gaping and gasping. It is something that I will never forget.

 

After filming and being fully engulfed in the infamous O.J. Simpson case, has your viewpoint or perception changed from previous years on the case? Why or why not?

After filming, I now completely understand the legal process, how it can be used and/or manipulated as well as the pivotal role of lawyers in determining exactly what the jury can or cannot hear. It was also very fascinating to learn about the jury selection and how the judicial process works and how it [the judicial process] can also fail.

 

Are you able to personally identify with acclaimed attorney Shawn Chapman? If so, in what ways? She’s so great, I just love her! Seriously, if I could be anywhere as near as smart as that woman (laughs). We’re very similar in many ways because we’re both mothers and we’re both from Los Angeles and attended the same Junior High school. She’s fantastic, funny, charming, and overall just wicked smart and very much a key player in all of this.

She was there in the background, working every single day, working just as hard if not harder than some of the other attorneys. There was a time in her life when she was very much proving herself and learning a lot about celebrity culture and celebrity legal teams, which she has continued in her practice to this day.

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Was it intimidating or motivating to star alongside Hollywood greats such as Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Travolta?

Incredibly intimidating but the wonderful thing about it, those men are such professionals, so warm and welcoming. As daunting as it was to walk into the room and fully engage with them they made me feel very comfortable and I just love them.

Although, all I kept saying to myself each day was, “Don’t say anything stupid and don’t fall down” (laughs). I just wanted to do my job, prove myself and play the scene.

 

What is one thing you are most looking forward to about the viewers’ reaction after seeing this film?

I think people will be surprised to witness how much we dive into other issues not just about O.J. Simpson. We’re diving into issues about race, police brutality, and things that are affecting our culture still to this day. Especially with the Black Lives Matter movement that is taking place right now.

I believe a lot of people will be astonished to see all of these themes that are still very much relevant in our culture. There is such a big outcry about the Academy Awards but television is proving to be a leader in that department especially with our cast being extremely diverse and very talented.

 

With the stresses of Hollywood and having to audition for several opportunities, how do you maintain a healthy body?

I make sure to attend hot Yoga because it’s good for my mind and body and just sweating it all out really helps keep me fit. I also love going spinning and the music definitely helps me push through it. I live a pretty active life because I steam and walk with my dog and kids. It’s not really for vanity but for sanity.

 

When you’re not filming and it’s time to indulge and treat yourself, what is your guilty pleasure?

Ooooh…I love to Netflix and chill. I love to go to the spa, I grew up in the Korea portion of Los Angeles therefore, I’m very well-versed with all of the Korean Spas. I’m definitely a spa girl, I love going out with my girlfriends and being outside especially on a warm sunny day which is why I live in L.A.

 

Who is someone who inspires you outside of your field and why?

I’m always inspired by black women in power such as First Lady Michelle Obama. A woman that possesses style and grace, who is not a pushover but also intelligently speaks her mind. Through her sense of humor, she showcases to the world that black women should be accepted and not feared.

 

How would you like to see your career evolve within the next five years?

I would love to work and play a role that reaches a wide audience encompassed with a sense of humor and heart. I would also love to complete a film, preferably a period piece, star in a play and appear on a television series that shoots in Los Angeles (that would be ideal) because I have two young children. If I can accomplish these things in the next five years that would solidify success for me.

Connect with Angel Parker: 

Twitter: @angelparker
Instagram: @angelparkerla