Bradley Whitford interview-- "Current" magazine

  • Avatar of reillychica

    reillychica

    [1]Nov 16, 2006
    • member since: 12/13/05
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    Here is an interview I stumbled across in a magazine called Current, which apparently is a branch of Newsweek especially for college kids. Just thought some might like to read it. To make things easier for me, I'll type the questions in bold and his responses in normal text.
    I don't know how copyright laws work exactly, but this article was titled "Bradley Whitford Sounds Off" by Brenna McGee. It appeared in the Winter 2006 edition of Current magazine.

    How is your new project going? What's life like on "Studio 60?"
    It's good. It's a very satisfying creative situation. Like all one-hour shows it's a death march, just in terms of hours. Yesterday was 17 hours. All this experience has made me realize that if I ever teach acting I will hold class at 4 am because I'll get only the serious people and they will learn to act when they're completely exhausted.
    Coming off "The West Wing," and with big names like Aaron Sorkin and Matthew Perry attached to it, Studio 60 had huge buzz before you even began filming the pilot. Did that change how you worked?
    Honestly, I would always prefer low expectations. I'm like President Bush-- I function better with low expectations. But it doesn't change anything. It doesn't change how you approach the work. You just try to make the next moment work. It can add to the hours and then it adds to the impatient perceptions about the show. I worry that it doesn't give the audience time to get to know what we are doing without thinking, "I thought they were going to be huge."
    How did you first get involved with Aaron Sorkin?
    There was a girl in my class at Juilliard named Melissa Gallagher and her sister Megan Gallagher went out with Aaron. Megan was a very sweet, dear friend of mine and I was doing this horrible off-off-Broadway play and they were replacing the prosecutor in "A Few Good Men" and she told Aaron that she thought he would like my acting. So I auditioned and got hired for that and I understudied the lead and Aaron, amazingly, fought for me to be the lead and then I played it for like nine months. And generally the third replacement in a Broadway show is the realm of, no offense to me, fading television actors. And then we were in touch; he wanted me to do Sports Night, I was doing something else and thank God for that, because then, when "West Wing" came along, I was ready. And available.
    Any idea when Joshua Malina is going to make his signature appearance on this latest Aaron Sorkin project?
    Josh is one of the funniest people. I would love it if he showed up. But as I told him, when he shows up it means the show goes off the air.
    Is he a curse?
    I have this history of sort of attacking him in the press. Let me think of a good one. I really went after him in TV Guide. I said that he is one of the worst actors that ever lived and that he's so unemployed he can't read. Here, say this: I wasn't aware that Joshua Malina was still pursuing the acting thing. Just say that. Hopefully he'll find that. He's constantly scouring the internet for news about himself. He goes to these chat rooms where people eviscerate him and he relishes it.
    Where do you keep your Emmy that you won for Best Supporting actor on "The West Wing" in 2001?
    It is behind me, on a shelf, behind a signed girls' softball ball and next to, and I swear to God, my dead dog's testicles, which I saved because my wife asked me to.
    How did you and your wife (Jane Kaczmarek of TV's Malcolm in the Middle) meet?
    We met in New York. I was doing a play at Lincoln Center. I was doing "Measure for Measure" with Kate Burton, who was her roommate at Yale School of Drama. I didn't want to go out with an actress and she didn't want to go out with an actor, which is a good policy. But we met, and we were both from Wisconsin, so we kind of hooked up on that.
    Who's funnier?
    She's pretty funny. I'd say it's a draw. There's a reason we can't act together- we just look at each other and just burst out laughing.
    What do you think of her new show?
    It's good. But I don't like to watch. I saw maybe a third of "The West Wing." I really get creeped out. I can look at season one of "The West Wing" now, but there's a lot of stuff that I've done that I don't want to see. For me acting isn't a good spectator sport. It's like touch football- it's a participant thing.
    You majored in English and wrote a couple of WW episodes. Do you have an interest in being on the other side of the camera?
    I have a strong interest in writing and that was what I was going to do when "West Wing" ended. It's something I'm working on now. I loved writing those scripts, so it's definitely something I'm interested in.
    In TV, movies, plays?
    I would hope that the kind of story would dictate the medium. It's interesting to me how "The Sopranos" is better than any mob movie. "West Wing" was hopefully as good as any political movie. Television, for all of its cultural bankruptcy, does have these sorts of places where you can do good stuff. And the thing about TV is that Aaron has an idea and in 3 weeks it's on TV. Writing a film is such a soul-sucking process. My family is full of writers.
    Do you have any advice for college students about life, careers, anything?
    My biggest advice is no matter what it is you want to do, want to do it more than you want to be the profession. In other words, want to act more than you want to be an actor. Want to write more than you want to be a writer. Want to govern more than you want to be a politician. Just don't be a requirement-fulfilling butt (I changed that)-kisser. Really find something you love to do because that will sustain you. The goal will not sustain you; the doing it will.
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  • Avatar of osustudent06

    osustudent06

    [2]Nov 16, 2006
    • member since: 11/07/05
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    Great interview. Thanks for posting it.
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  • Avatar of carolinacrump

    carolinacrump

    [3]Nov 17, 2006
    • member since: 11/17/06
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    I enjoyed the Bradley Whitford interview.  Thanks for sharing it.  By the way, here's a little insight into Bradley Whitford's sense of humor.

    - - On a recent tour of the Warner Brothers lot our guide pointed out Mr. Whitford's vehicle.  It was parked along with a number of very fancy "rides" belonging to others in the Studio 60 cast.  But Mr. Whitford's car was a modest Honda sedan  - with a bumper sticker that said:  Jesus rode a donkey!

    (This was in another post about Studio 60, but it seemed appropriate to include it here.)

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  • Avatar of cookaberry

    cookaberry

    [4]Nov 18, 2006
    • member since: 06/05/05
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    carolinacrump wrote:

    I enjoyed the Bradley Whitford interview.  Thanks for sharing it.  By the way, here's a little insight into Bradley Whitford's sense of humor.

    - - On a recent tour of the Warner Brothers lot our guide pointed out Mr. Whitford's vehicle.  It was parked along with a number of very fancy "rides" belonging to others in the Studio 60 cast.  But Mr. Whitford's car was a modest Honda sedan  - with a bumper sticker that said:  Jesus rode a donkey!

    (This was in another post about Studio 60, but it seemed appropriate to include it here.)



    That is so funny!

    I really love his thing that was like, act more than you want to be an actor... I think that's really cool.
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  • Avatar of Diogo22

    Diogo22

    [5]Nov 18, 2006
    • member since: 06/09/05
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    hey cookaberry, welcome to this forum. I thought I was gonna have to go to the west wing to see you, but, it seems you finally came down here. "that was awfully nice of you"
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