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2008 GQ Interview with Aaron Sorkin

I mentioned an Aaron Sorkin interview in the comments of one of caitrin's posts, and I was finally able to locate it.  It's from a 2008 GQ.com Q&A.  Aaron talks quite a bit about his anger while writing Studio 60 and the guilt he felt when the show failed.  You can read the full article here at GQ.com.


Why didn't Studio 60 work?
I made too many mistakes. I would give anything to go back and get another bite of that apple. Basically, to use a sports analogy, you can have the best team in football playing the worst team in football. But if the best team in football throws four interceptions, they’re not going to win.

That sounds a little arrogant.
I’m helped by a staff of people who have great ideas, but the scripts aren’t written by committee. I was too angry when I wrote Studio 60. The show became like the cover of Abbey Road. Everybody was trying to figure out who this character was in real life or what that incident was trying to be. But the anger—it was a post-9/11 anger. We were going through a time when the television networks were so sensitive toward appearing patriotic. And patriotism was just being questioned all over the place. It just seemed like the wheels had come off our national culture.

Do you feel guilty about Studio 60's failure?
I felt like I had let so many people down—from Warner Bros. and NBC to the cast and crew. You live and die with these things. It is a feeling that you can’t look these people in the eye anymore. Someone like Matt Perry.

Does it bother you that Tina Fey is still taking shots at you on 30 Rock?
I shook hands with her once. I know she’s had some fun at my expense, and that’s what she does for a living. If I’m going to take shots at whoever I want on my show, she gets to take shots at whoever she wants on her show. I have nothing but admiration for Tina Fey.

ETA:  As we go through the series, I'll try to find other articles related to both the show and the individual episodes. Hopefully this will aid the discussions.  Y/N?



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, interesting! I'm all for article discussions.

I thought the discussion of his father was interesting, because on all his shows, he definitely writes a lot more about fathers than mothers. (My mother, who is watching West Wing for the first time, was complaining about this the other day.)

And I love the Obama quote!

Oh, and in her book, Kristin Chenoweth quotes him as saying similar things about being too angry when he wrote the show and feeling guilty about it afterward.
Jul. 8th, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
I noticed the thing about fathers when watching SN and WW, too. At first I thought it was because he's male and therefore identifies with the father/son perspective, but based on what he said it's more than that. His father obviously had a huge influence on him.

I enjoyed what he said about The Farnsworth Invention and the Broadway stagehands strike. I had ordered tickets for the play like two days before the strike started and I remember checking the all the theater-related news sites every single day and praying that they'd reach a deal before my trip.

I haven't read Kristin's book, but several people I know have said good things about it. Do you recommend it? It's on my extremely long list of books to read between the time I leave my job (the end of this week!) and start law school (August 24th, when I probably won't have much time to read for pleasure anymore).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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