Good drama, not news reporting, is his goal

For a guy selling politics to the American public, Aaron Sorkin is surprisingly modest about his own political savvy.

"I'm not particularly sophisticated when it comes to political issues," he says. "I read the same newspapers as everyone else and that's really as far as it goes." The rest, says the author of the play (and screenplay) "A Few Good Men," is dramatic writing, "and the things that I write need to respect the properties of dramatic writing."

The idea for the NBC drama "West Wing" came to him on the spur of the moment at a lunch his agent arranged for him with "ER" producer John Wells.

"As soon as I sat down," Mr. Sorkin says, he realized "he's expecting me to pitch him something." Having just finished the Michael Douglas-Annette Bening romantic film comedy "The American President," Sorkin says he was full of unused research and ideas from that project.

"What about the White House?" is what tumbled out of his mouth.

The Syracuse (N.Y.) University graduate says his lack of deep background in politics doesn't stop him from believing in basic American ideals.

"I was sitting at the White House with [then-presidential adviser] George Stephanopoulos," says Sorkin of his research for the film. "I had such a sense this was a real guy, and I had such a patriotic feeling. He's the same age as [I am]," he adds with a laugh.

This enthusiasm for the possibilities of government is a family legacy, Sorkin says. "I got the somewhat romantic notion that government can be good from my father," he explains.

While he keeps up with current events, he says he feels no responsibility to present news. "My job is to captivate the audience," he says. "I feel no responsibility to the literal truth."

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK