Courtney B. Vance, Actor – TSC046

In the season 3 finale, The Supporting Cast welcomes Tony and Emmy Award winning actor Courtney B. Vance. In this episode, Courtney speaks about growing up in Detroit during the 1960s and 1970s and attending an independent school, Detroit Country Day, before heading to Harvard and then Yale School of Drama. In addition to discussing his career as an actor, Courtney describes many of the broader themes that have impacted both his family and his creativity, such as race, mental health, education, and criminal justice. Among the most noteworthy of Courtney’s roles was playing O.J. Simpson defense attorney Johnny Cochran on FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” for which Courtney won an Emmy in 2016. Courtney describes finding his connection to Cochran through their shared experience of being “the only Black kid at an all-White School” and therefore also sharing, in his mind, both the experiences and skill sets that helped Johnny to understand O.J., and Courtney to understand Johnny. Courtney references George Brown, Kay Slaughter, and Beverly Hannett-Price of Detroit Country Day and Earle Gister and Lloyd Richards of Yale School of Drama as profound educational influences.