The cast of The West Wing must really enjoy each other’s company. Our reunion shoot for the Emmy-laden NBC drama was scheduled for a Sunday morning — early Sunday morning, at a dive bar in East Los Angeles, on one of the hottest days of the waning summer. Some of the women were scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m. Again: On a Sunday.
But Martin Sheen (President Josiah Bartlet), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman), Elisabeth Moss (Zoey Bartlet), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Janel Moloney (Donna Moss), Kathryn Joosten (Dolores Landingham), and Stockard Channing (Abigail Bartlet) could not have been more game to reconnect and reminisce about the show, its impact on the culture and their careers, its eerie parallels with Barack Obama’s ascent to the real White House, and where their characters would be today. (Cast mates Richard Schiff and Rob Lowe were unavailable; Lowe tweeted a shout-out to his West Wing buddies, explaining he was filming a movie in Big Sur that was keeping him from the reunion shoot: “Miss you, old friends.”)
The actors also remembered John Spencer, who played Chief of Staff (and later vice-presidential candidate) Leo McGarry; Spencer died suddenly on Dec. 16, 2005 in the middle of the seventh and ultimately final season. “It’s not The West Wing without John Spencer,” said Hill. “All the time, he would be saying, ‘We wouldn’t be getting this [experience] if we were on a cop show.’ He would always say that with a big smile on his face whenever we had some kind of amazing experience because we were on this show about the White House.”
Check out the exclusive EW.com video below to see what else they had to say. Channing had to leave the shoot before we had a chance to chat with her on camera, unfortunately, but you can see what she told us about the perks (or lack thereof) of playing the First Lady in Entertainment Weekly’s Reunions issue (on newsstands now). You can also check out interviews with the reunited casts of Back to the Future, The Lord of the Rings, Will & Grace, Scream, Pretty in Pink, Alias, Married… With Children, and more.