How hard is it to learn and deliver an Aaron Sorkin soliloquy?
It’s no harder than learning a play. I think one of the smartest they did at casting was they cast theater people. So we’re not afraid of words – we see this Sorkin-esque mountain range of dialogue and it’s okay, we have to do our homework. Usually it’s at least a week ahead – or at least four or five days ahead – you’re getting it into your head. And then you work on it leading up to the day of and you’re always overlapping with the next episode, memorization on the next episode, memorization on the current episode, memorization of what we’re shooting today. It’s like cramming for an exam for seven months. But that’s the gig. You know with Aaron, that’s the gig. I have to make it look like it’s falling out of my head. I’m thinking this and then saying it and that’s part of the trick of what I’m trying to do with Will.
You must’ve known this would be a controversial series. Was that part of the attraction?
Yeah, look, whether you like his writing or not, you want Aaron Sorkin writing about something that’s important, that matters, that’s relevant. So you want him writing ‘West Wing.” You want him writing “Newsroom.” You want people to love it and you want people to hate it. As strange as that may sound in this ego-driven business, you want that kind of provocative reaction. You want that water cooler thing happening on Monday where the one guy’s going, ‘I hated it – It treats women horribly.’ And the other is going, ‘No, not so much. They’re all just flawed human beings.’ They’re having a discussion, not to mention the political, not to mention the newscasts. So we love it. We knew going in it was not going to go unnoticed. Our job was to throw our best craft at it so that the acting, the directing and the writing would hold up. Then you just disagree or don’t like what it is. That’s okay. We love that.
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