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Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Epic ending to News
As The Newsroom comes to a close with Season 3, actor Thomas Sadoski tells Aref Omar about his unforgettable experience
POLITICAL drama series The Newsroom is keeping T V addicts on their toes with more exciting episodes.
For its third and final season, the News Night team is facing two explosive situations — the looming possibility of a hostile takeover of the network, and leaked classified government documents that unleash a legal fire storm that threatens to topple more than one professional career.
Set against the backdrop of the Boston Marathon bombing, The Newsroom kicked off the six-episode season with a highly charged look at the core issue of maintaining journalistic integrity in the era of 24-hour news cycles, while crowd-sourcing and citizen journalism result in the dissemination of misinformation.
Thomas Sadoski, who plays the cable network ACN executive producer Don Keefer, admits that it was a sad moment filming the last episode but was happy that it ended on a great note.
“We’re all satisfied about the way we were leaving these characters and the story — a lot of pride in a job well done,” says the 38-year-old American during a phone interview from Los Angeles.
The cast was in New York at the time and Sadoski revealed that there were lots of hugging and toasting for the TV series, created and written by Aaron Sorkin (creator of the multiple Emmy-winning The West Wing, who also won an Oscar for writing The Social Network).
Sadoski has worked steadily in theatre scene since 1998, before he took on the role of the notorious Don when The Newsroom premiered in 2012.
When asked if he had some input into Don’s highly entertaining lines and prickly zingers, Sadoski says that one doesn’t tell Aaron how to write witty dialogue.
He adds: “There are only two instances where I gave small suggestions, where he sort of graciously heard me out and agreed when I was able to make good and rational arguments.“But it’s very rare for anybody to say anything other than thank you,” he says with a laugh.
While Don was initially a really hated character, he has since become a more likable one.
Was he surprised at the public vitriol? “Yes, I was very surprised.
I don’t see him any different today than when I first played him but over the course of a few seasons, audiences got to know the Don that Aaron and I have known since the beginning,” says Sadoski.
The Tony award-nominated actor explains that it’s nice that people have grown to like Don more.
“I’ve done my job in creating a three-dimensional character that Aaron wrote,” he adds.
The third season of The Newsroom also sees the development of Don’s relationship with fellow colleague, Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn).
Sadoski talks more about the Golden Globe-nominated HBO Original drama series: What do you miss the most from working on The Newsroom? I miss the people most.
HBO is a truly wonderful company to work with and it was a great opportunity to work with extraordinary talents.
Every day I felt like I was back in school, getting my postgraduate degree in acting.
I learnt from everybody and I felt incredibly blessed and grateful for it.
What have you learnt from working on a series about the media? I learnt to have a great deal of respect for journalists and journalism.
Now I have a really healthy scepticism about news stories — don’t just trust one source, get all the info from both sides and consider what sources the info is coming from.
Sea son 3 a lso dea ls w it h leaked classified government documents.
What’s the message behind that? I guess it’s very prevalent in American society right now and explores the tipping point between government oversight and a need for security, and the violation of privacy and citizens’ rights.
It’s not our job to provide the answers but to ask the questions.
What can you say about Don and Sloan’s relationship? It’s a high functioning but healthy relationship that starts with mutual respect and friendship.
It’s going to be lots of fun for people to watch it play out.
Aaron’s really good at writing romantic comedy and it was fun to shoot.
And working with Olivia Munn? She’s a very good friend and a really funny person.
We had to really focus on our scenes so as not to laugh.
If people are enjoying that relationship onscreen it’s because we were having a good time together shooting the scenes.
What’s your opinion on social media usage? Social media can be a useful tool but I’m not the kind of person that needs to let everyone know what I’m doing at every hour in the day.
I tend to use it as a tool to raise awareness about things I’m passionate about.
Sam Waterston (Charlie Skinner in The Newsroom) and I have been working closely with Refugees International, so I try to dedicate a lot of my feed to the things they do.
Any preference for working in theatre, TV or film? I worked on a few films and enjoyed it.
I’m a theatre actor at the core and I miss the immediacy of telling people a story live.
But I love being an actor so I consider whatever comes my way.
I don’t want to limit myself to one specific medium, story or character, I want to continue to learn and grow.
What can you tell us about the final episode? Let’s just say there’s a beautiful moment about a bow tie.
If I had to describe it in one word, it’d be “epic”.
Thomas Sadoski (left) with the cast of The Newsroom.