West Wing
The Secret Life Of An Actor

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"I Drive Around L.A. and Try to Make People Like Me"

Brad was probably getting pretty annoyed at this point, especially since Fox was knocking on his door and waving around a lot more money than he would get for The West Wing to entice him toward a role on an unspecified hour-long drama. ["Good for Brad to be classy and not say what it was. I hate it when I read actors' profiles and they're all bragging about parts they could have had, but declined to give to other (implied: lesser) actors." -- Wing Chun] Brad: "And if I wanted to do it, I could have done it. None of this bullshit of jumping through Tommy fucking Schlamme's hoops, you know? At this point, I'm furious at him. It's like, I know, I know, I know I can play this role! You feel like a crazy person in an asylum trying to convince the orderly that you're sane. 'I know this is ridiculous because I'm an actor trying to get a part, and of course, this part would be great for me, but seriously, I am really built for this!'" Suddenly, the week before The West Wing went into production, they called and offered him the part of...Sam. Sam? Hoo boy. No, no, no.

Brad knew it was wrong, so very wrong. He resorted to calling Aaron, not knowing whether he would come off as "articulate or pathetic," but probably not much caring at that point, either. He told him, "Aaron, I just feel this very strongly. This isn't about me wanting a job. This is the only time in my life I will play this card. I am this guy; I am not the other guy." Damn straight. Aaron told him not to worry about what he did in the pilot. Brad was insistent: "No, no, no. There is a difference. There is a difference starting with the pilot. Josh isn't sexual-high-jinks boy. Josh is You know what? I had to tell the fucking Christian Right off! Because it's ridiculous! And I lost control!" According to the author, "Sorkin was impressed," and felt that Brad and Josh really were a "good marriage."

David Whitford says that, over the weekend, Rob Lowe got "first billing" and "more money than anyone else in the cast except Martin Sheen." The author says that this "meant Lowe could play Sam." I'm not sure exactly how or why that follows, but I'm just happy that that's what Lowe seems to have wanted. (I wonder whether Lowe is still happy with the choice he made?) Brad goes on to recount that, during the first read-through with Rob playing Sam, he began to think that Lowe had the much better part in the pilot, getting the "big laughs" with the story line about accidentally sleeping with a hooker, but obviously realized ultimately that he was right all along: "I'm so happy it's this part." See? That was a little scary, but I promised you a happy ending.

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West Wing

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