Watch The West Wing cast and Aaron Sorkin explore the chemistry behind their characters
Sorkin and his cast remember how that first season was basically them learning how to do the show.
The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin looks back at that first season of the acclaimed White House drama as "us learning how to do the show." He likens it to being "in previews for a year." As someone who returned to theater writing with his 2018 adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, the comparison sticks. During those early days, Sorkin credits the success to having "the very best ingredients set out on the kitchen counter," including "an extraordinary cast," "the chemistry," and "electricity."
The acclaimed writer discussed the chemistry behind his characters with the West Wing cast, who reunited for EW's September issue.
Bradley Whitford says Sorkin "needs, in the best sense of the word, to exploit you" as an actor. It's "one of the most under-acknowledged things," he adds. "He looks at a creature like Allison [Janney] and goes, 'Oh, I can do the comedy, I can do the heartbreaking stuff.' He's in love with the actors and really intuitively connects with them."
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Costar Richard Schiff agrees with that assessment. "He doesn't only expound upon what's good or what's eloquent about [the characters], but on what's really dark and what hurts about them."
Whitford, Schiff, Janney, Rob Lowe, Janel Moloney, Martin Sheen, Dulé Hill, Marlee Matlin, and Mary McCormack reunited with Sorkin and director/executive producer Thomas Schlamme to help boost voter turnout for the upcoming presidential election in 2020. The cast and series creator appeared on EW's cover as they plan a reunion special for HBO Max.
Watch more of their conversation in EW's Zoom-ed roundtable in the video above.
To register for the upcoming election and find other voting resources, visit When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring everyone is registered to vote.
For more on The West Wing cast reunion and EW's 30th anniversary, order the September issue of Entertainment Weekly now. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
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