"The Next Truthful Moment"
Sheen says that John Wells called him collect on a film set in Charleston, and that Sheen was about to wrap up that shooting and go on to Ireland for a little vacation. They asked him just to commit to a couple of days when he came back. He agreed and told them to send the script, and also told them that if Sorkin was involved, he was really inclined to be part of the project, having worked with him on The American President. He didn't realize that he had worked with John Wells, before, too; he didn't realize it was the same John Wells. Poor guy can't remember names. Sheen says, "When I read it, I got on a double hookup...whaddaya call that..." He struggles for the correct terminology -- he's so like Jed -- and continues, conflating reality and TV in much the way nearly all TWW fans are wont to do at times, "Mrs. Landingham keeps trying to teach me how to work one of those..." Someone supplies the correct phrase -- conference call -- and Sheen carries on: "And we talked and I said, 'Yeah, I'm in.'" Rose wonders whether he knew how big the role was going to be at that time. Sorkin says that they didn't, really; they were so focused on the pilot. And in the pilot, Bartlet's only in the last few minutes of the show. Sorkin thinks that Sheen's original deal was for four out of thirteen episodes, and that he would only appear from time to time. As we know, Sheen was so well-liked and well-received in the role that it quickly expanded. He was told that he could go out and do anything else he wanted except play another President. Sheen says that he was asked by some reporters from Ireland and England whether he would have played the role of Jed if Sheen were a Republican, and admits that he'd never given that a thought until he was asked. I suspect that Martin Sheen doesn't waste too many moments of his life thinking about what he would do or not do if he was a Republican. He adds that he doesn't think they would have called him if he were a Republican. He likes to think he could have done it. I like to think so too, but I really don't like to think of him as a Republican.