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Chad Benson
Chad Benson
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Presumed Innocent, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, debuts Wednesday on Apple TV+


Jake Gyllenhaal plays a Chicago prosecutor on trial for murder in the new Apple TV+ drama Presumed Innocent. The first two episodes of the series based on Scott Turow‘s bestseller debut Wednesday.

The show hails from a guy who knows a thing or two about mining courtroom drama for television, David E. Kelley, the Emmy-winning writer-producer veteran of L.A. Law, The Practice and Boston Legal.

In 1990, Presumed Innocent was adapted into a film starring Harrison Ford in Gyllenhaal’s role: Rusty Sabich is a family man accused of brutally murdering his mistress, a crime he swears he didn’t commit.

“I think we’re always interested in legal drama, murder, sex, all of those things,” Gyllenhaal tells ABC Audio. “So, you know, it encompasses a lot of things that … humans are intrigued by.”

Does playing a legal eagle lead Gyllenhaal to think he has the chops to perform as a real-life lawyer? “There’s certain similarities” to his profession, Jake allows.

An attorney’s job is “in a lot of ways what you do as an actor,” he suggests. “I mean, someone gives you a story and then you try and find a path through it and then you try and contradict it.”

“The [courtroom] performance part is that,” he continues, before saying he’s “not smart enough” to be a lawyer in real life.

Actor O-T Fagbenle plays Rusty’s boss Nico. He tells ABC Audio he once flirted with the idea of becoming a lawyer — until he visited a courthouse for a few days as a teen. “It was so boring in there,” he laughs. “It’s not like the television at all.” He added, “I was like, this is not for me. I want to be a fake lawyer, Mom!” 

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