Aaron Sorkin revealed he suffered a stroke that potentially could have left him paralyzed.
The Oscar-winning “Social Network” screenwriter said in a Wednesday New York Times interview that the stroke occurred in November 2022 during the writing process for “Camelot,” his first Broadway musical adaptation.
“There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again and I was concerned in the short term that I wasn’t going to be able to continue writing ‘Camelot,'” Sorkin said. “Let me make this very, very clear. I’m fine. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I can’t work. I’m fine.”
Sorkin decided to come forward with his health scare in an effort to raise awareness for lifestyle habits. Sorkin noted the stroke was a result of high blood pressure, with his physician telling him “you’re supposed to be dead.” Symptoms of the stroke included him bumping into walls, spilling his orange juice, and being disoriented when walking.
Months after the middle-of-the-night stroke, the “West Wing” creator still cannot taste food and only “recently” has been able to sign his name. Sorkin shared that he slurred his words for approximately one month post-stroke.
“Mostly it was a loud wake-up call,” Sorkin said. “I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it’s not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong.”
A lifelong smoker since high school, Sorkin said that he has since quit cold turkey, works out daily, and takes “a lot of medicine.”
“You can hear the pills rattling around in me,” Sorkin said, adding that smoking had been “inextricable ” from his writing process and career. “It was just part of it, the way a pen was part of it,” he said. “[But] if it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful.”
Writing by hand is still difficult, however.
Sorkin isn’t the only Hollywood icon to be revealing a health diagnosis as of late. “Jurassic Park” actor Sam Neill opened up about receiving treatment for angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and now being cancer-free.