West Wing
The West Wing On The Charlie Rose Show

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"The Next Truthful Moment"
Personally, I'm not too happy that I'm already on page four here and have yet to hear a peep from Janney. There's a bit of everybody trying to talk at once, with Schiff losing out to Sorkin. Sorkin apologizes but continues as Schiff laughs in exactly that way we've seen Toby laugh a couple of times; the laughter strikes me as a blend of indulgence and annoyance. Sorkin says, "If I write what I like and what I think my friends will like and what I think...to an extent, what I think my family will like; in other words, because if it's just writing what I like, then I'm very scared...but if I write something...frankly, these days it's these people [gesturing to cast]...if I write something that I like and I think that Richard would like this, too, and Allison would like this, too, then I just cross my fingers and hope enough other people will like it, too, that I can earn a living doing it." Rose remarks that he assumes the writing must be easier now that the actors have fleshed out the characters so well. Sorkin agrees: "It's much easier knowing that I'm writing for Allison playing C.J. You want to be careful when you're doing that, though, not to think you know what it is that Allison Janney can do, that you've explored her entire range of acting. You constantly want to be..." Rose interrupts: "But are you thinking about Allison Janney or are you thinking about C.J. when you write that character?" Gee, maybe if you'd let the guy finish his damn sentence, he'd have told you. Sorkin starts to reply, but there's a lot of minor interjections and comments from several people at once which more or less derails the line of discussion and Sheen has a little fit of wheezy laughter and finally Allison Janney gets to say something, and decides to rat out her colleague: "Martin has a problem with names." Sheen gives her a fake-o look of wary indignation. Janney continues, "And Martin from the longest time...sometimes he doesn't quite remember my name. So he calls me either C.J. on a good day... or 'The Big Lady.'" Sheen laughs and wipes his eyes and keeps trying to give her a flinty-eyed look but fails. Janney seems to accept this foible with very good humour. Spencer tries to bring them back on topic and asks Sorkin, "When you're writing for Allison, for C.J., you're writing for C.J., but your C.J. is Allison, right?" Sorkin replies, "Yeah, absolutely. The truth is, when you're actually in it, when you're writing it, you tend to kind of let go of such a strict thought process. Something else has taken over and that machinery is in there already..." He adds that there's no question that he's picturing Janney as C.J.

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West Wing

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