Aaron Sorkin’s terrific in-depth interview with Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times, which has been published incrementally on the Times’ Arts Beat blog, had its final installment Thursday. Sorkin talks about how “the writer’s enemy is fatigue,” stresses the cliche of the cliffhanger, and the two on-air shows he’s “evangelical” about. Excerpts from the interview below.
“As a writer in Hollywood, there’s a well-worn myth that your enemy is the network or the studio or the producer or the director, that it’s a ‘Barton Fink’ experience. I haven’t had the ‘Barton Fink’ experience. A writer’s enemy is fatigue. When you’re tired, when you’re burnt out, you’re just not very interesting. And that’s what you have to fight against.”
“I’m about to write our season finale. And I don’t know what the expectation is for season finales. Are you supposed to write a cliffhanger? Are you not supposed to write a cliffhanger? Is that a cliché?”
“If anyone is a huge fan of the walk-and-talk, they’re going to be a little disappointed in this show. There’s less pedi-conferencing on this show than there was on “The West Wing.” And I’m liking that. I’m enjoying people standing still and talking a little bit more.”
“The Newsroom,” which airs on HBO on June 24, stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterston. Preternaturally tan Sorkin also discusses his upcoming Steve Jobs assignment with All Things Digital, below. “It’s a little like writing about the Beatles,” says Sorkin. “It’s a minefield of disappointment…It’s bound to happen…Think of it as a painting and not a photograph.”