At this point Aaron Sorkin is famous for a variety of successful projects, from The West Wing to The Newsroom to his latest film, Steve Jobs. As Jimmy Kimmel mentioned during their Wednesday night interview, Sorkin is one of the few working screenwriters whose face is recognizable to the general public. Despite this illustrious career, one of Sorkin’s most famous lines will always be from his very first movie: “You can’t handle the truth!” Sorkin says even he was surprised by the popularity of the climactic line from A Few Good Men.
“I liked the line, but I never imagined Burger King would use it for ‘you can’t handle this Whopper’ and that kind of thing, that it would have this enormous lifespan,” Sorkin told Kimmel.
A lot of that line’s power comes from Jack Nicholson’s iconic delivery. Nicholson was already well into a successful career by that time, but Sorkin said he was still just as dedicated to getting things right.
“We spent the entire day just shooting that speech,” Sorkin said. “There came a time when he didn’t need to be there anymore because we’re doing coverage of other people. The director Rob Reiner said, ‘Jack you don’t have to keep doing this three-page speech.’ He said, ‘Nah I just love to act,’ and he kept doing it all day and all night. There’s nothing like having your first movie experience be with Jack Nicholson.”
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Watch the interview below.