TIME: Is there a bit of every celebrity that wants to snap?
Jeff Daniels: I wouldn’t limit it to just celebrities. We live in a very civilized, ‘everybody be polite and say the right thing’ society. Sometimes people are mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore.
What was it like working with an Aaron Sorkin script?
A friend of mine, Tim Busfield [who had a recurring role on The West Wing], said, ‘Wait till you see what you get to say.’ You read it and go, ‘Oh my God.’ It is the best part I’ve had since The Purple Rose of Cairo with Woody Allen. The writing is so well done. All I had to do was show up every day and play the best part I have ever had. Once I got inside Will McAvoy’s head, once it started rolling like thoughts instead of words, it was just a thrill. That said, Aaron will be the first one to tell you he likes to see things he knows were written. There is an art to what he does and a craft and there is no room for ad-libbing or paraphrasing, just like on Broadway. It is a wonderful kind of challenge to bring to life what he intended when he was typing.
Is Will McAvoy modeled after a specific anchor?
No, nobody in particular. Aaron had done so much research on cable news that it was more like creating someone who you could imagine tuning into tonight in between Wolf [Blitzer] and Larry [King] and Sean [Hannity] and Bill [O’Reilly]—someone who would host a show that would fall in the middle of all that. Having done the first season now, I have an admiration for all of them, to be honest, at the national level on both sides of the aisle. You many not like what their spin is, but their whole juggling act of dealing with producers and networks and handling breaking news or that live interview that veers off the cards… I have great admiration for them.
Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2012/06/20/jeff-daniels-on-the-newsroom-sorkins-script-and-public-meltdowns/#ixzz1yN5gCZ2h
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