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  • ♪ ♪ ♪ >> Stephen: HEY, EVERYBODY.

  • WE'RE BACK WITH THE CREATOR AND CAST OF "THE WEST WING."

  • OBVIOUSLY, BEING ON THE SHOW CHANGED THE ARC OF ALL YOUR

  • CAREERS.

  • ALLISON, DO YOU REMEMBER AUDITIONING?

  • >> OH, YES, VERY WELL.

  • IT WAS MY FIRST FORAY INTO THE WORLD OF TELEVISION, AND I-- I--

  • I AUDITIONED WITH THE FIRST C.J.

  • PRESS BRIEFING, WHERE SHE HAD TO TELL THE PRESS THAT THE

  • PRESIDENT HAD RUN HIS BICYCLE INTO A TREE.

  • HISTORICALLY FUNNY.

  • THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT POSITION THAT C.J., PRESS

  • SECRETARY, HAVING TO DELIVER THIS KIND OF NEWS TO A PRESS

  • POOL AND NOT, YOU KNOW, LAUGH.

  • AND IT WAS A LOT OF FUN TO DO.

  • BUT I REMEMBER AUDITIONING FOR AARON AND TOMMY, AND I DID IT,

  • AND THEY WERE VERY-- THEY HAD POKER FACES.

  • I LEFT THERE AND THOUGHT, "WELL, THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

  • I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT PART."

  • SO I WAS VERY SURPRISED WHEN I GOT A CALL BACK AND DID THE SAME

  • SPEECH AGAIN, AND NOT A LOT OF DIRECTION AS I REMEMBER.

  • I JUST REMEMBER THINKING THAT I JUST HADN'T GOTTEN IT EACH TIME.

  • THEN WENT IN TO TEST FOR IT, WHICH IS ALWAYS A VERY

  • NERVE-RACKING EXPERIENCE.

  • IT WAS MY FIRST, AND YOU SIT THERE IN THE ROOM WITH ALL THE

  • OTHER ACTORS WHO ARE AUDITIONING FOR YOUR ROLE.

  • AND I SAW WHO I WAS UP AGAINST --

  • >> Stephen: WAIT A SECOND.

  • THE FIRST SHOW YOU TESTED FOR WAS "WEST WING"?

  • >> YES.

  • >> Stephen: AS SOMEONE WHO DID MANY PILOT SEASONS, YOU GO TO

  • HELL.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> I WAS VERY LUCKY.

  • I WAS NOT, YOU KNOW, THE NORMAL STORY.

  • IT WAS MY FIRST TIME.

  • AND I HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK.

  • AND I'M SO GRATEFUL.

  • I GOT THE PHONE CALL FROM AARON THAT I WAS JOINING THE TEAM.

  • I WAS OVER THE MOON.

  • AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK AARON IF THE REASON I GOT THIS PART

  • WAS BECAUSE OF "PRIMARY COLORS" MIKE NICHOLS.

  • I FEEL LIKE THAT WAS WHY I GOT THIS PART, ONE OF THE REASON S.

  • >> Stephen: AARON?

  • >> YES, IT IS.

  • I HAD SEEN ALLISON DO EXACTLY ONE THING, WHICH IS TRIP WHILE

  • CLIMBING UP A FLIGHT OF STAIRS WITH JOHN TRAVOLTA IN "PRIMARY

  • COLORS."

  • AND LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE, I FELL IN LOVE WITH HER IN THAT MOMENT.

  • SHE WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO COME IN AND READ.

  • I-- I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU HAD TO COME IN THREE TIMES.

  • YOU HAD IT AFTER YOU TRIPPED ON THE STAIRS.

  • YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO COME IN AT ALL.

  • MY LIFE CHANGED WHEN YOU DID IT.

  • >> AND THEN YOU GAVE ME ANOTHER FALL.

  • YOU GAVE ME ANOTHER FALL ON THE TREADMILL.

  • >> I GAVE YOU A FALL ON THE TREADMILL.

  • THAT'S RIGHT.

  • TURNED OUT THAT, UNSURPRISINGLY, THAT YOU WERE GREAT AT PHYSICAL

  • COMEDY.

  • ( LAUGHTER ).

  • >> BY THE WAY-- >> LISTEN, EVERYBODY ON THIS

  • SHOW SLIPS ON A BANANA PEEL AT SOME POINT OR THE OTHER.

  • BUT THEY DO IT WHILE THEY'RE REACHING HIGH, YOU KNOW.

  • >> Stephen: MARTIP, YOU HAVE THE GREATEST OPENING LINE OF ANY

  • CHARACTER IN ANY TELEVISION SERIES.

  • YOU COME IN DECLAIMING THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.

  • ( LAUGHS ) AS IF YOU WERE MOSES COMING DOWN

  • FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP YOURSELF.

  • WHEN YOU READ THAT, DID YOU KNOW, LIKE, "OKAY, I HAVE TO

  • TAKE THIS GIG?" >> ABSOLUTELY.

  • IT WAS THE MOST DISARMING, MOST EXTRAORDINARY ENTRANCE I COULD

  • IMAGINE BEING GIVEN.

  • AND I ACCEPTED IT WITHOUT HESITATION.

  • AND, MIND YOU, WHEN I AGREED TO DO THE SHOW, IT WAS ONLY TO

  • PERFORM IN FOUR OR FIVE EPISODES PER SEASON BECAUSE BARTLETT WAS

  • NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER.

  • HE WASN'T-- THE FOCUS WAS THE STAFF, THE WEST WING STAFF.

  • >> Stephen: THIS STAGED READING, THIS STAGED PLAY--

  • >> DON'T SAY IT LIKE THAT.

  • IT'S -- >> Stephen: HOW DO YOU

  • DESCRIBE IT AGAIN?

  • WHAT IS IT AGAIN?

  • I'M NOT GOING TO SAY "REUNION."

  • I WILL NOT SAY "REUNION" I PROMISE YOU.

  • >> IT'S A STAGED READING, BUT YOUR "READING" HAD SKEPTICISM IN

  • IT.

  • >> Stephen: I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A BETTER WORD FOR

  • "READING."

  • YOU'RE OFF BOOK SO IT'S NOT READING.

  • >> I KNOW THAT, I KNOW THAT.

  • >> Stephen: THE STAGED PLAY-- HOW ABOUT JUST A STAGING.

  • >> IT'S A BENEFIT FOR "WHEN WE ALL VOTE," AS YOU MENTIONED.

  • AND I DO WANT TO MENTION THEM AGAIN.

  • IT IS A NONPROFIT, NONPARTISAN ORGANIZATION THAT AIMS TO GET

  • OUT THE VOTE, THAT AIMS TO COMBAT VOTER SUPPRESSION, AND

  • WE-- WE HAVE-- WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS WE'RE AIMING AT A VERY

  • NARROW DEMOGRAPHIC.

  • WE WANT TO MOVE FANS OF "THE WEST WING" TO THE POLLS.

  • JUST -- >> Stephen: WHAT DO THEY DO

  • FOR YOU?

  • WHAT DOES "WHEN WE ALL VOTE" DO?

  • CAN YOU GO TO A WEB SITE AND GET THE INFORMATION YOU NEED?

  • >> YES.

  • YOU CAN GO TO WHENWEALLVOTE.ORG.

  • YOU CAN QUICKLY FIND OUT IF YOU'RE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE,

  • HOW TO REGISTER.

  • WHERE YOUR VOLG PLACE IS.

  • YOU CAN VOLUNTEER TO BECOME A POLL WORKER IF YOU'RE YOUNG AND

  • HEALTHY.

  • THAT'S SOMETHING WE NEED.

  • MOST POLL WORKERS ARE SENIOR CITIZENS WHO ARE NOT GOING TO BE

  • ABLE TO RISCH BEING POLL WORKERS THIS TIME AROUND.

  • SO ONE OF THE WAYS WE CAN FIGHT THOSE FIVE, SIX-HOUR LINES IS

  • FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO SHOW UP AND WORK AT THE POLLS.

  • AND I ALSO JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT A FEW OF US ARE

  • MISSING TODAY.

  • ROB LOWE, DULE HILL, JANEL MOLONEY.

  • THEY'RE IN THE SHOW.

  • SO IS -- >> Stephen: I HAVE A PICTURE

  • RIGHT HERE OF-- >> THERE YOU GO.

  • >> Stephen: MARTIN, BRADLEY, AND DULE.

  • DULE WITH THE P.P.E.

  • GOOD FOR HIM.

  • >> AND WE WERE-- WHEN WE WERE SHOOTING THIS, THE SAFETY PLACE

  • IN AMERICA WAS THE ORPHUM THEATER IN LOS ANGELES, THE

  • COVID PROTOCOLS WE WERE UNDER WERE STRICT AS COULD BE.

  • WE ALSO HEAR FROM DURING THE SHOW, MRS. OBAMA, PRESIDENT

  • CLINTON, LIN MANUEL MIRANDA, MARLEY MARTIN, DONNA MOSS.

  • >> Stephen: IN THE SHOW.

  • >> IT'S FUN.

  • IN THE ACT BREAKS, WHERE COMMERCIALS WOULD BE, IF YOU'RE

  • GETTING THE SENSE THAT IT'S NOT A REUNION, YOU'RE RIGHT.

  • >> Stephen: IT'S ON HBO MAX.

  • IF THE ORIGINAL SHOW HAD BEEN ON HBO ARE THERE THINGS YOU WOULD

  • LIKE TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH ON PREMIUM CABLE THAT

  • YOU COULDN'T GET AWAY WITH ON BROADCAST?

  • WERE THERE-- WERE THERE WORDS YOU'D LIKE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE

  • WRITTEN, PUT IN THE CHARACTERS' MOUTHS?

  • WAS THERE NUDITY YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SHARE

  • WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?

  • SOME BARTLETT BUTT, WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN-- MARTIN, WOULD YOU

  • HAVE GONE-- MARTIN, WOULD YOU HAVE GONE FULL FRONTAL IF THE--

  • IF THE PLOT CALLED FOR IT, IF IT WAS IN KEEPING WITH THE

  • CHARACTER'S INTENTION?

  • >> HE DOESN'T NEED THAT MUCH TO GO FULL FRONTAL.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> Stephen: LET THE MAN

  • ANSWER.

  • >> I WAS 59 WHEN I STARTED, SO I DON'T THINK THAT I WOULD HAVE

  • HAD ANYTHING THAT ANYBODY WOULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN.

  • >> Stephen: I BEG TO DIFFER.

  • >> THAT HURTS.

  • THAT REALLY HURTS.

  • >> Stephen: I BEG TO DIFFER.

  • AS A 56-YEAR-OLD I HOPE IT DOESN'T ALL GO AWAY IN THE NEXT

  • THREE YEARS.

  • ADMITTEDLY, THERE'S SOME OF IT I CAN'T SEE ANYMORE.

  • OKAY.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) OKAY, WE HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE CLIP

  • RIGHT NOW.

  • I'VE BEEN TOLD WE HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE CLIP FROM THE SPECIAL.

  • AND I KNOW YOU'RE WORKING REALLY HARD TO GET IT TO US, AARON, BUT

  • WE DON'T ACTUALLY-- "A," WE DON'T REALLY HAVE IT, NOR DO WE

  • OR YOU KNOW WHAT THE CLIP WILL BE.

  • SO LET'S JUST RUN THE CLIP RIGHT NOW, AND WHEN WE COME OUT OF IT,

  • WE'VE ALL REALLY ENJOYED IT, AND WE'LL SAY A FEW VAGUE BUT REALLY

  • INFORMATIVE THINGS ABOUT THE CLIP.

  • OOB.

  • >> SO YOU THINK THE STRIKE AGAINST ME IS NOBODY LIKES THE

  • SMARTEST KID IN THE CLASS.

  • >> I DON'T KNOW, SIR.

  • BEING THE SMARTEST KID IN THE CLASS IS A PRETTY GOOD PITCH.

  • IT'S NOT A STRIKE UNLESS YOU WATCH IT AS IT SAILS BY.

  • >> I DON'T DO THAT.

  • AND I'M NOT A SNOB.

  • >> I DON'T BELIEVE YOU ARE.

  • >> THE GUY'S A GOOD NEIGHBOR.

  • HE PUTS IN A DAY.

  • IF EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE HE SMILES.

  • IF EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE HE THINKS OF SOMEONE ELSE AND IF HE

  • FIND HIS WAY TO TOLERANCE AND COMPASSION HE'S MY BROTHER.

  • WHAT I CAN'T STOMACH IS PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE

  • THAT THE EDUCATE READ SOFT AND PRIVILEGED AND OUT TO MAKE THEM

  • FEEL LIKE THEY'RE LESS THAN.

  • HE MAY BE EDUCATED BUT I'M PLAIN-SPOKEN JUST LIKE YOU.

  • WHEN WE KNOW EDUCATION CAN BE THE SILVER BULLET FOR CRIME,

  • UNEMPLOYMENT, POVERTY, DRUGS, HATRED.

  • >> WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO CONVINCE?

  • >> I'M JUST SAYING I DON'T WATCH THE PITCH GO BY.

  • ( SIGHS ).

  • >> CHECK.

  • >> Stephen: AMAZING.

  • AMAZING.

  • ( APPLAUSE ) >> WOW.

  • >> Stephen: IT'S LIKE-- IT'S-- IT'S LIKE YOU'RE THERE.

  • IT'S LIKE-- IT'S LIKE-- ( LAUGHTER )

  • IT'S LIKE, I MEAN, I'VE GOT GOOSE FLESH.

  • I'VE GOT GOOSE FLESH.

  • >> ME, TOO.

  • >> I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT WAS LIKE.

  • IT-- IT-- IT TOOK THESE GUYS A MATTER OF SECONDS TO GET RIGHT

  • BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE 20 YEARS AGO DURING THE SHOW.

  • IT TOOK NO WARM-UP TIME AT ALL.

  • THEY WERE RIGHT IN THE GROOVE.

  • >> Stephen: WE HAVE TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK.

  • WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH MORE MARTIN SHEEN, AARON SORKIN,

  • BRADLEY WHITFORD, ALLISON JANNEY, AND RICHARD SCHIFF.

♪ ♪ ♪ >> Stephen: HEY, EVERYBODY.

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