Just before 10:30pm last night, while we were texting back and forth during Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC, Duana messaged me a link, prefaced with “I’m sending you something you’re going to hate me for”. It was Aaron Sorkin’s Reddit AMA. Sorkin has a gift. He can induce rage. The kind that keeps you up half the night.
Anyway, there was, as expected, a lot of snark from some of the commenters. Again, this is Aaron Sorkin. But there was a LOT of love for The West Wing. I have a LOT of love for The West Wing. One of my favourite episodes of The West Wing is from Season 4. God, I lived for Season 4. It’s the first episode (a two-parter) of the season (fun fact: Amy Adams was in it), called 20 Hours In America. Toby, Josh, and Donna are separated from the rest of the team. Sam has to staff the President. All kinds of sh-t is happening and the worst of it is that two bombs have gone off at a university swim meet. President Barlet has to give a speech that night.
Remember that speech? “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.” It’s a line Sorkin took from Tom Hanks’s Oscar acceptance speech for Philadelphia. Earlier in the episode, Sam observes that “good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright".
Anyway, the speech ends with the President declaring that “this is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars”. It’s poignant, it’s powerful, people are moved. Then Bruno asks Sam, who was responsible for the speech, when he wrote the last part. Sam tells him he wrote it in the car. Bruno side-eyes Sam, “Freak”.
The ultimate compliment, obviously. And, I imagine, what every speechwriter, or any writer, wants to hear. I wanted to be Sam so bad. I wanted to be part of that team so bad. Even though it was a TV show, I wanted to believe that that’s what the work was like – bouncing baseballs off the wall to come up with ideas, walking up and down the halls talking about lunch and legislation, being stressed all the time and never sleeping, and making it look like so much fun.
So, of course, of course when Jon Favreau, the sort of real life Sam Seaborn (how Sorkin sees himself when he closes his eyes or maybe not even when he closes his eyes) wrote about What Goes Into A Great Convention Speech yesterday, I was all over it.
Did you know that Joshua Malina, recruited by Rob Lowe’s Sam Seaborn, does a weekly podcast called The West Wing Weekly? I’ve not listened yet because I need to nerd out on homework first and watch each episode before listening. Am thinking of starting this weekend. Let me know if you’ve started already and your thoughts.
Yours in gossip,
Yesterday the Toronto International Film Festival announced the first slate of films that will screen during the festival, from September 8-18. This is only the first wave of titles, and TIFF 2016 is already a doozy. I don’t even know where to begin sorting out the schedule. I guess with the opening night film which is The Magnificent Seven remake starring Denzel Washington Full Story
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Nova! Happy Birthday! And thank you for taking me everywhere! Since I’m older though, let me say this: there is no “aaarrrgghhhh” about your age. Good food, good books, good sunscreen, and good gossip – you’re going to be great! By request, here are Oscar Isaac, Brandon Flowers, Jon Hamm, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Full Story
At the bottom, yes please to that idea for a new Tumblr (Dlisted)
Gwen and Mickey (Just Jared)
You can own Prince William’s old car (Cele|bitchy)
Is this tired? (TooFab)
Kate Beckinsale’s white jumpsuit (Popoholic)
Robert Downey Jr. helps promote a Sorkin master class. Not sure why. What am I missing here? Is it because they are repped by the same PR company? Hope Sorkin covers the first rule of walk-and-talks in his @MasterClass: watch where you’re going! #AaronSorkin #TheWestWing (Take a peek at masterclass.com/as) Full Story
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Here’s a fun surprise—a movie that was not really on my radar, Star Trek Beyond, turned out to be the most fun and well-made summer action movie since Captain America: Civil War. In 2009, JJ Abrams rebooted Star Trek, but his heavily Star Wars-influenced take on the material displeased classic Trek fans (they’ve asked not to be called Trekkies anymore). Full Story
AKM-GSI, MONEY$HOT-$HAWN/ Splash News
Araya Diaz/ Albert L. Ortega/ Phillip Faraone/ Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images
Something else that came out of Comic-Con this year is the first trailer for Sherlock series four. This could be the last go round for Sherlock, as both Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch have healthy movie careers that keep them busy—Cumberbatch went to work on series four just days after wrapping Doctor Strange. Full Story