Aaron Sorkin: I'm incapable of writing something that is too smart for anybody
Aaron Sorkin is well aware that his style of writing with witty dialogue and snapping lines might be a little daunting for some audiences, but he says he'll never be able to write material that most people wouldn't be capable of understanding.
"I'm 100 percent incapable of writing something that is too smart for anybody," Sorkin told OnTheRedCarpet.com correspondent Tony Cabrera at the Los Angeles premiere of his new HBO series "The Newsroom" on June 20. "All of my teachers in high school can back me up on that."
"The Newsroom," which premieres on June 24, stars Jeff Daniels as news anchor Will McAvoy. The newsman is usually content to keep his opinions to himself on-camera, but after a spontaneous political outburst, he is put on an "enforced vacation."
When McAvoy returns from the professional fallout to his evening cable show "News Night," he finds that most of his staff has jumped ship for another show and he is forced to work with new team members hired during his absence.
Sorkin said he and the producers knew they wanted Jeff Daniels to play the lead role early on.
"I've been a fan of Jeff's for 25 years since I saw him in a production of a Lanford Wilson play. The last thing I saw him in was "God of Carnage" on Broadway," Sorkin explained. "One of our executive producers, Scott Rudin, was the producer of that. He put the idea of Jeff in my ear. We had a meeting, we became brothers right away and that was that."
"I wanted Jeff to play the part and I can't imagine anyone else playing it," Sorkin added. "We did a screening this past Monday night in New York for a theater full of news people and the actual anchors told Jeff that he could get in the chair on Monday. That he's ready."
Sorkin earned an Oscar for penning the script for "The Social Network" and multiple Emmy Awards for writing and executive producing "The West Wing." In addition, Sorkin is known for films like "A Few Good Men," "Sports Night" and "Moneyball."
"Listen, we're not doing the news, we're doing a show about people who are doing the news," Sorkin told us. "He [Daniels] seems extremely authentic and sits with a lot of gravitas when he's at that desk."
The series also stars Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston of Law & Order fame, "Slumdog Millionaire" star Dev Patel, "In Treatment" actress Alison Pill, John Gallagher of the Broadway hit show "Spring Awakening" and Olivia Munn.
Sorkin hit the red carpet premiere for the show with Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte in "Sex and the City." The actress and Sorkin kissed in front of photographers.
"The Newsroom" premieres at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, June 24 on HBO. Watch a trailer for the series below.
Reporting by Tony Cabrera, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).