10 Things You May Not Have Known About The West Wing
It's been a decade since The West Wing aired its finale, but fans are still rabid for the show - and the cast still LOVES it! Here are some 'behind the scenes' stories about the show that you may not have known.
Once while the show was filming in Georgetown at about three o'clock in the morning, an irate lady reportedly came out in a bathrobe with a bunch of guys. She said: 'What the hell's going on? I have an early morning at the State Department. And, by the way, you people don't even have a Secretary of State on your show. And I think you should have one and it should be a woman.' The woman was Madeleine Albright. [IMDb]
Rags to TV Riches
Dule Hill was about a month away from being broke and quitting his pursuit of acting before he got the role of Charlie. [Huffington Post]
We're Walking, We're Walking, We're Walking...
The longest “walk and talk” the show ever did was three minutes long and involved close to 500 extras. (Season One's 'Five Votes Down') [BuzzFeed]
Brother Against Brother
Many fans have noted that after season four (Aaron Sorkin's last on the show) that the characters seemed to turn on each other. Dule Hill agreed: "Hill similarly felt there was a loss when Sorkin and Schlamme left, saying Season 5 was the “roughest year.” He felt as if in the first four seasons, the show was written to pit the characters against the world — a “romantic” and “Camelot experience” — while the later seasons were “us versus each other.” He told HuffPost he felt Season 6 was strong, but in general there was “a lot of infighting at that point” between the characters after Sorkin and Slamme’s departure. “Less teamwork. We still got the job done, but it was less reaching for these lofty goals.” " [Huffington Post]
Tale of Two Secretaries
When President Bartlet's longtime secretary and friend Mrs. Landingham (played by Kathryn Joosten) died, her character was replaced by a new secretary, Deborah Fiderer (Lily Tomlin). Joosten's next long-term, recurring role on a television show was on Desperate Housewives (2004); when the producers introduced a sister for Joosten's character, they cast Lily Tomlin in the role. [IMDb]
All in the (Sorkin) Family
17 actors from Aaron Sorkin's first show "Sports Night" appear in "The West Wing", including Joshua Malina, Janel Moloney, Felicity Huffman, Ted McGinley, Lisa Edelstein, John de Lancie, Allen Garfield, and Clark Gregg.
Just Keep Swimming
The decorations in C.J.’s goldfish bowl changed frequently, and were usually sly references to the plot of the episode. [BuzzFeed]
Peggy Olson Beat Winnie Cooper
"The Wonder Years" Danica McKellar lost out to "Mad Man" Elisabeth Moss for the role of Zoey Bartlet. No worries though, Danica eventually joined the cast (in a guest role) in season 4. [EW]
If You Build It...
The Oval Office set originally designed by Michael J. Taylor, was constructed for Dave (1993) and then subsequently used for The American President (1995), which was also written by Aaron Sorkin and included Martin Sheen, Joshua Malina and Anna Deavere Smith in its cast. [IMDb] Also - according to US Magazine, much of the furniture in the Oval Office on "Scandal" were from the West Wing set.
NBC were originally weary of producing a dialogue-heavy series about American politics, and so they suggested to creator and writer Aaron Sorkin that he liven up the plot. One of their suggestions was for Josh Lyman to become an action hero, and even had him rescuing Cuban refugees who were stranded at sea. The idea was soon thrown in the bin when new network executives took over. [TheListLove]
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