"The Next Truthful Moment"
Rose asks what, if anything, the show reflects of Sorkin's central beliefs, other than providing entertaining storytelling. He admits that the most attractive thing about the whole endeavour is getting to write dialogue. He says that he's not a natural storyteller. He says that he loves the sound of dialogue, and makes the statement they opened the show with, about getting two characters arguing about something. Rose asks the cast whether they see it as a genuine ensemble. They all nod and murmur their agreement. Janney kids, "Absolutely. Everybody but Martin." Sheen sputters with laughter again. Rose jokes about her maybe calling him "The Little Guy." I think she jokes that she calls him "Pumpkinhead," but I can't be sure. Sheen's facial expression pretends to be spoiling for a fight. Sheen tells an anecdote about the cast being in another panel discussion and being asked to state very directly and honestly, "'Who do you really like to play with in the other characters?' And without exception, every one of us [points to Janney] went to The Big Lady."
That doesn't surprise me in the least. Janney laughs endearingly. Rose asks why. Martin explains, "Because she never, ever, ever gets caught at it. Do you know the phrase?" Sheen relates a story about James Cagney, who, late in his life (having never written anything about acting or given any acting advice), was asked by a good friend to pass on some acting advice to young actors. Cagney replied, "Don't get caught at it." Sheen imitates Cagney slightly for this quotation. Sheen reiterates, "Don't let it show. And that's what this lady does. She's incapable [of letting it show]. And she will say something totally unrelated and we're caught, we're caught. We're sucked in. We don't have a clue that she's not doing the show. Whatever comes out of this woman is so honest and so beautiful and [art?] that we're just swept away." I'm thinking Janney must be just about ready to burst, sitting here listening to Martin Sheen sing her praises to the high heavens. Not that she doesn't deserve that, and more. But it must be kind of a heady experience. She laughs in a slightly embarrassed way. Rose asks whether she's heard all that before. Schiff cracks, "That's all very impressive...but what's her name?" Allison cracks up. Martin says that he doesn't want to embarrass her in front of the whole world.