TheInsider.com: As a huge Sorkin fan, I was already committed to The Newsroom, but the moment it was revealed this show took place in the past cemented my love. What did you think after reading that moment?
John Gallagher Jr.: My jaw dropped. It’s such a great reveal because the episode is coasting along in such a way that you don’t know how close to home these stories are going to hit. It’s a great way to put the last few years into context and explore, as a nation, these stories we may have forgotten – and look at what we’ve learned from them. It was such a smart place to set this story.
VIDEO – The Stars Talk Newsroom
Insider.com: Would you have been as interested in doing this show if the fictional characters reported on fictional events?
John: I think the show would have been compelling purely for having Aaron Sorkin at the helm. I know he would have made it work, but I do think it’s wise, and probably a better approach, to have the fictional characters of our show mixing with actual events. Hopefully it’s done in a way that doesn’t feel manipulative. Aaron and his team were very, very careful about which stories they picked for each episode and tied in, in some way, to what’s happening in our character’s personal lives.
Insider.com: Aside from that moment, what was it about the script you were most attracted to?
John: I just love the way Aaron writes professionals. I’ve always enjoyed how he brought to life characters who are really good at what they do. Jim is so selflessly dedicated to doing his job well. He pours all his energy into doing his work, and as a result, he rose through the ranks at a young age for his status. I also love that in that, there’s a real dreamer quality. That’s why I think he gets so tongue-tied when trying to communicate his feelings. Should he be embedded in Iraq to cover a story, he wouldn’t even think twice, but when it comes to saying, “I’m falling in love with this girl and I don’t know what to do about it,” he’s hopeless. I love that you could have someone who is so capable of one thing, but so incapable of a second that seems so much simpler in the grand scheme of things.
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