THR: What — or who — inspired the character that you play?
Thomas Sadoski: The script. It’s all there on the page and when you work with extraordinary actors and (the) extraordinary writer, directors and production staff and crew that that we have, the inspiration is coming from so many different angles. In terms of basing the character on anybody in particular, my sort of thinking was Anthony Bourdain, who I’m a big fan of. I wanted to take some of Anthony’s swagger and sort of no-bullshit approach to life and see if I could take some small semblance of that and put it into Don.
Emily Mortimer: I went and did a little bit of research at CNN and my girlfriend, whom I’ve known for many years, is now an EP in London, and I talked to her a lot. And I’ve realized from doing that that the thing that was concerning me was like, s–t, I have to order a lot of people around a newsroom and I’ve never been in control of anything in my life. I don’t know how to do that. I get shy asking people to make the barbeque a half an hour earlier or whatever, so to do that was a stretch. But then I realized that these people are doing a vocational job – you don’t get rich and famous by producing the news. And so they’re in it because they’re passionate about it, because they’re obsessed with it and that was my inspiration. Then I was like, “Ok, if there is a toughness or whatever, it’s not being tough for the sake of it, it’s because you just care so ferociously about what you’re doing and you want it to be right.”
THR: What kind of research did you do for the role?
Sadoski: I’d love to tell you that I’ve done a ton of research but I didn’t. I didn’t have time. I was doing a play on Broadway right up until two days before we started shooting — with [co-star] Alison Pill, actually. And I got here and I just said to [producers] Greg Mottola and Alan Poul, “I’m throwing myself entirely at your mercy. You guys trailed and did all of this research, you just tell me where I’m going wrong and I’ll trust you guys.” And it worked out really well, I think.
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