"Q: Of your West Wing co-stars, who do you think has the messiest kitchen at home? And who has the most organized kitchen?
A: I think Allison Janney must have the messiest kitchen because she's probably never home and constantly working! She probably runs in, makes her meal and runs out. No offense, Allison! As for the most organized kitchen, I bet it belongs to Janel Moloney. She's just perfect in every way and always looks so put together, that I probably think her kitchen is, too."
From the Los Angeles Daily News:
" GETTING PERSONAL: Marlee Matlin is turning her attention to her literary pursuits, now that she's wrapped up her seven-year recurring stint as deaf lobbyist Joey Lucas on "The West Wing." The Oscar-winning actress has her second children's book set for an end-of- May release by Simon & Schuster, and a third one is in the works for next year.
The soon-due book is called "Nobody's Perfect," "and one theme is acceptance," says Matlin. "It's about the friendship between a deaf girl and another girl in school who seems practically perfect in every way, but the friendship is frustrating, and it turns out she is hiding a brother who is an autistic kid."
Matlin is being honored by AOL as its CEO of the year at a ceremony in New York on May 17, where she will be introduced by Felicity Huffman and give a keynote address.
That's CEO as in "Chief Everything Officer" - women and men who manage households and multiple other activities. As a mother of four, Girl Scout troop leader, activist, actress and writer, Matlin certainly fits the description. The Internet giant has also created a network special (at www.aol.com/ceo) to honor these kinds of CEOs. "
From the New York Post:
"It’s time for a transfer of power in the Oval Office—at least on TV—as the groundbreaking political drama The West Wing finally says goodbye after seven seasons on the air. But don’t feel too sorry for Allison Janney: Even though she’s out of a job, the towering actress took home four Emmys in a five years span for her portrayal of White House Press Secretary (and later Chief of Staff) Claudia Jean “C.J.” Craig [sic], got famous, delivered some of the most whip-smart dialogue in TV history, got engaged and, she tells Hollywood.com, had the time of her life.
Hollywood.com: You’re at the end of a pretty phenomenal run with The West Wing. What’s next for you?
Allison Janney: I think now, I take a breath. I very much want to get back to Broadway, I want to do theater, I want to do movies and I’d like to take a break though and find my passion again because this has been an exhausting thing doing this show. It’s been so wonderful but I’d like to visit my family and get to know them again. Maybe take care of my relationship, my personal life, my friends.
HW: Was this going to be the last season no matter what?
AJ: I think so. It was ready, and then John [Spencer] dying, I felt, I can’t go on. I don’t want to. He’s my buddy, John and Brad [Whitford] and Richard [Schiff] and I had a special relationship, the four of us. It’s tough. I hate to see it go because it’s been so glorious. We don’t like to think of it as canceled. We like to think of it as reaching its conclusion and going off the air. I think we all knew, that when they changed our time. Maybe it’s a good thing. I don’t know, I guess we started to feel like maybe this is the end, and then as I said, when John died we all just felt that we all didn’t want to go on anyway, so it feels right. We’re all ready to move on. It’s sad, but…
HW: What happened to the show, in your view? Why did it lose momentum?
AJ: It was reality TV, that really put a dent in us the first time we saw slips in our ratings—The Bachelor was the first thing that dug into our ratings. That and the transition from Aaron going, getting our feet there and finding our way again.
HW: What would your career have been like without The West Wing?
AJ: At the time I got West Wing I was doing American Beauty and Nurse Betty, both those movies at the same time. Who knows? I probably would have continued doing movies. I think it would have been fine, it just would have been different. Now this has propelled me into that other category of celebrity, whatever that means. Sometimes I think it hurts you, sometimes I think it helps you in terms of the next role. People tend to typecast you. But thankfully I’ve done enough different roles in the past.
HW: What want to swipe from set as souvenir?
AJ: The president has these beautiful glass paperweight bowls on his desk that have beautiful things in them, and I want one of those. I’ve got to get a lot of White House pens. I love CJ’s chair in her office. And also a lot of my wardrobe. I have beautiful clothes—Armani suits and Max Mara, Calvin Klein.
HW: Will they let you take what you want?
AJ: I don’t know if they’re gonna know about it! They’ll probably let me have some things.
HW: Has doing this show made you political?
AJ: I’m definitely more aware. I’m not like Brad, on that level. He’s pretty involved. I am interested, but I don’t know if I can give up my life and go out and…Martin [Sheen] gives so much.
HW: When they changed your position on the show, how did things change for you?
AJ: It was more difficult. I didn’t have as much fun because of the responsibility. As press secretary it seemed that there were more chances for her to mess up and have fun. And as Chief of Staff she had to be in charge and delegate. I kept telling the writers, ‘I want her humor to come through more.’ I didn’t want her to just become the authoritative delegator. What’s so interesting is that our lives after West Wing are meshing. Every scene is sort of coping with that question.
HW: Where would you like to see CJ end up?
AJ: Where do you go after Chief of Staff? Maybe she’d work for another president some day. I think she’ll get married, have a dog. I think she wants to be the woman behind the curtain. I don’t think she wants to run for office. She could head a corporation. She’s very smart. There’s no end to what CJ could do.
HW: You had less romantic luck on the show than some of the others.
AJ: All of CJ’s lovers tend to spontaneously combust. I always thought Richard Schiff and I always had something going. I would have liked that. And there were a couple of guest stars I wouldn’t have minded. I loved my storyline with Mark Harmon. I loved that.
HW: They had to make set elements like the Oval Office desk and chair bigger on Commander in Chief for Geena Davis because of her height. Did they ever do it for you, or just tell you to duck down?
AJ: No. We have a lot of tall Secret Service men, and Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits are all tall. It never was an issue. Our costume designer always put me in heels, and sometimes I’d end up in fuzzy slippers anyway. I’d say, ‘can you see my feet?’ If they can’t I wear fuzzy slippers. It’s been hard being tall, but…
HW: Being so statuesque hasn’t seemed to hinder you.
AJ: It hasn’t yet, thank God.
HW: We love when you have scenes with tiny Kristin Chenoweth.
AJ: I wish we had more scenes together. Brad wrote that episode where I said, “Are we from the same species?”
HW: Was it harder being tall when you were younger?
AJ: I think so, I never had a date till I was in college because I was taller—at least that’s what I think it was.
HW: Did you always sit in the back of the class?
AJ: Yes, the back. And at the apex in the group pictures. Now I love it. It’s a commitment, though, because I love to wear heels, too. So I’m always impossibly tall.
HW: Do you have trouble finding shoes?
AJ: Not any more. A lot of people have size 11.
HW: Would you do another series?
AJ: Yeah I would, probably not another hour drama, at least right away. I want to see my family. I want to have a life a little bit. But it’s been the best job of my life so far. I can’t imagine doing another hour drama right away. I’ve always been interested in half hour comedy. Those were my roots before anything else, comedy. So if it comes along I definitely wouldn’t turn it down.
HW: Any projects on the horizon
AJ: Yes I do have some things, some plays. Nothing I’ve committed to yet, because I don’t want to commit to anything. I want to have a month at least to sit and relax and start thinking about it.
HW: And after a year of engagement, will you finally squeeze a wedding into your schedule?
AJ: I know. We’re not married yet and I think we’re finally going to do it. It’s been so difficult to plan it. It will be so nice to finally get married and take care of my man and take care if my dog and my mom and dad. "
From New York Vue magazine (from a poster at J/D Talk)
"'Wing'-ing it to 'Studio 60'
During the final week and a half of production on The West Wing'-the series finale airs next Sunday--Bradley Whitford was also shooting the pilot for Aaron Sorkin's 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.' "I felt like I was at a funeral and a birth at once. It was schizo. I had one day where I was shooting a 'West Wing' episode in the morning, then doing 'Studio 60,' then coming back and doing 'West Wing,' jumping into bed with Donna," he says referring to his character, Josh Lyman's love, played by Janel Moloney.At least Josh and Donna finally got together. Whitford says, " I was joking that it would have been funny if Josh suddenly had become this satisfied Buddha in the final episodes. All that anxiety --gone. This is the most emotionally constipated guy ont he planet. Seven years of sexual tension! I'm sure he took a big nap after that. I'm sure she wanted to talk, but he went right out," says the actor. In 'Studio 60,' Whitford plays a producer-director whose position is not unlike that of 'Saturday Night Live' godfather Lorne Michaels. So Whitford may be going from Josh, a character "as exhausted and caffeinated as I am in real life," to another such frazzled individual. Says the actor, "That's my wheelhouse.""
From the Deseret News:
"There's a week back in 1999 that stands out in the memories of husband and wife Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek. Both were making a living as actors, but they hadn't achieved break-out success. And they were the parents of a 1-year-old.
We always remember a week in May when the phone rang one day and it was NBC saying 'West Wing' had gotten picked up," Kaczmarek said. "And the next day Fox called and said 'Malcolm' had gotten picked up. And the next day the doctor called and told me I was pregnant again.
Seven years of starring in TV series wasn't something they were anticipating. Kaczmarek had appeared in dozens of series and movies, but "I was also suffering the indignities of an actress in my early 40s during pilot season." And she was "very happy not acting and taking care of my baby."
But she loved the "Malcolm" pilot script, even though she never for a moment thought it would get on the air.
"I thought it was just so good that it wouldn't get picked up," Kaczmarek said. "My husband was doing the pilot for 'The West Wing,' and we were renovating a house. . . . And he kept saying, 'Are you sure you want to work?' And I said, 'It'll never go. And if it does, I'll be the mom on a kids show and I'll work one day a week.' "
Whitford, meanwhile, couldn't resist the offer to join "The West Wing." "It is a miracle to make a living as an actor. It's a miracle to make a living in a non-humiliating way as an actor," he said. "And it is an incredible miracle to have a situation like this." The odds against one actor landing a role on a TV series that runs seven years are astronomical. The odds against two actors married to each other doing it at the same time are incalculable. "These television shows, they're like alchemy," Whitford said. "It's like a miracle when it works." As "Malcolm" and "West Wing" draw to an end, "Our lives are certainly going to change again," Whitford said. And, for the moment, slow down quite a bit.
Whitford and the rest of the "West Wing" cast also lost their friend and fellow cast member, John Spencer, who died suddenly in December. "It's very hard," Whitford said. "We spend many, many, many hours together. We've all gone through this identity crisis together of being in public and just spent so much time together. It's — it's very hard to understand how somebody just goes away.
Whitford and Kaczmarek aren't thinking about retiring from acting, but they can pick and choose their roles. They haven't spent the past seven years living an opulent Hollywood lifestyle — they don't have to take roles for the paycheck. "I've paid for the house. I drive a Honda hybrid. I don't live big. I'm not a shopper or a jewelry person," Kaczmarek said. "Brad and I, we've saved, we've paid off mortgages, we've paid . . . for the kids' college and it's a great luxury to be able to just sit and think about what you really want to do. And to just read the newspaper for hours and hours and not worry about too much."
In the meantime, the big question at the Whitford-Kaczmarek house is — which show to watch and which to TiVo on Sunday? "We've been leaning toward watching 'Malcolm' and TiVo-ing 'The West Wing,' but then someone said when you TiVo it, you get to watch it over and over again," Kaczmarek said. "You can't be TiVo-ing them both at the same time." "Jane, you need to upgrade your TiVo," interjected "Malcolm" creator/executive producer Linwood Boomer. "They totally have ones that can tape two shows at one time." "You're kidding!" Kaczmarek said with genuine surprise in her voice. "I have one. It's fantastic," Boomer said. "It will save your marriage.""
From The Hub:
"At 9 p.m. Sunday, both of her family's shows will end. She stars in "Malcolm" and her husband, Bradley Whitford, is in "West Wing."
They plan to watch one, tape the other, then sort of sleep in.
"Monday mornings were always the really, really early day," Kaczmarek said. "Sometimes, the day would start with waking up at 5 o'clock, to be at work at 5:30.""
TV Squad's Bob Sassone had a lengthy interview with Bradley Whitford:
"BS:....so how was it filming the final episode of The West Wing?
BW: It was tremendously disorienting and sad. Because doing a TV show, especially a one hour drama that had the big-ass aspirations of this show, it's like being in a cult. The hours are insane ...
BS: The other cast members must be like other members of the cult.
BW: Yes, and the crew. It"s all a big cult, and you know everthing about everyone and everyone's been revealed to everybody and it's got all the nourishment and horror of family.
BW: Yeah, and actually it's interesting to me because on one hand, I remember reading the pilot, and what you often think in Hollywood is that it will never go. So on one hand it's a miracle it went seven years. On the other hand, I feel it's been underreported that this show went seven years, it had a cultural impact, it made a lot of people a lot of money, and we did it without really having a lead-in. So the emotional trauma of a show ending, and I hesitate using that word because it"s not like we had leukemia. It's just a big show ended.
BS: Yeah, I was going to ask you ... I can't imagine having to go back to work that first episode after he passed away, because Leo McGarry is the most beloved character, and I would assume he was the heart and soul of the show off-camera as well.
BW: Yeah, he was the connection. Him and Martin [Sheen]. Unfortunately in television there aren't many central middle-aged characters (whispers) -- I'm hoping to change that -- but he was a meticulously prepared professional. Nobody was more comfortable with the joy of knowing that for how long he had been an actor, how fortunate it was to be on a show with a bunch of great theater actors, saying words that weren't humiliating. He knew it was a miracle, and he appreciated it every day. It was very, very hard. I'd known him since Presumed Innocent.
BS: That's right, you were both in that.
BW: Yeah. It was very ... the awareness part of it was, you know, shooting scenes of running to the hospital, and finding out he was dead. Which is something I did in life. And I did it with a stinkin' camera in my face. I was a pallbearer at his funeral ...
BS: And then you had to film that.
BW: Yeah, in some ways ... ultimately I think they handled it very well. John Wells is a really unsung hero in all of this, because I think he really found his voice with the show, and it was a tough way he came in.
BS: Did the writers struggle with how to write John's death into the show ...
BW: Yes, very much.
BS: ... because they had to write it for the show but also make it part of the election storyline.
BW: Yeah, and also you didn"t want to do that tacky, "hey, gee, actor's death, there may be ratings here." So they struggled with it a lot and thought about it a lot and checked in with us and were sensitive to us when it came to shooting it, and made sure we had our ... Chris Misiano, one of our great executive producers, was directing it, and we're all going through it ... it was very strange. In one hour television the hours are so relentless that life blurs with ... you're spending more time acting than you are living. Which is always great for your mental health.
BS: Now, I think I speak for all West Wing fans when I say we were really happy to see Rob Lowe come back. It's one of those times where, you find out the show is ending, and you say "wouldn't it be great to have Rob Lowe come back, as a bookend" ...
BS: ... and you think it's never going to happen because you want it to happen so much.
BW: Yeah, yeah, when he came back it was fun. God, I remember when he left, and I walked into his trailer and I said, are you sure you want to do this? (laughs)
BS: So that was good having him back?
BW: Yeah, things snapped right back.
BS: Now, are fans going to like the way the Josh/Donna storyline plays out?
BW: It depends on the fan.
BS: (laughs) That's true.
BW: It certainly made sense to me. I always say that the difference between me and Josh is that if I'm really in love with someone, I have sex with them before seven years go by.
BW: Yes. It was disorienting. It was sad. We couldn't imagine the show without [Aaron Sorkin], and we couldn't imagine the show without Tommy [Schlamme]. I think it's a testament to the world they created that it lived beyond them.
BS: Yeah, it was strong enough to survive even after the creative forces left.
BW: Yeah, and by the way, everyone talks about that Aaron left. The miracle is that he was there that long. I have never, nobody has ever seen anyone work that hard. In the last couple of years I've gotten to write a couple ... and I felt this ... when I sat down to write it it was fucking hard. (laughs)
BS: And he was doing it every week.
BW: I mean, seriously, try it. It hurts!
BS: People think that writing is mentally hard, but it's physically hard too.
BW: It absolutely is. And as someone who has spent their life getting nervous and creatively scared, writing was a whole new level of mind fuck.
BS: Now, I don't think I've ever been more excited about a show coming on than Studio 60.
BW: Oh really?
BS: Oh, yeah.
BW: Now tell me what you know about it.
BS: I actually read the pilot script, an early pilot script ...
BW: Where did you get that?!
BS: (laughs) It's going around online actually. I think it"s a realy early draft. I think the title was still Studio 7?
BS: And I think a couple of character names are different. I don't know how they got it, but it seems real enough to me, the way that it's written seems like something Aaron Sorkin would write. It seems great, and the cast ...
BW: Yeah, the cast is great, and I just heard they're very happy with it.
BS: So, you've filmed the pilot?
BW: Just the pilot. Technically we don't know if we've been picked up.
BS: Now I thought I heard that NBC had picked up 13?
BW: You know, probably. I think we'd all be surprised if it didn"t, given Aaron and Tommy's pedigree.
BS: That's wild. It's funny, if you stay in your business as long as you have, you work with people that you worked with years ago. Let me give you an example. This might blow your mind. I was The Equalizer. And you're in it. And in the very same episode, Ed O'Neill (Baker, West Wing) is in it.I don't know if you had any scenes with him.
BW: Can I tell you something? Ed O'Neill is on our show, and he's a really good actor.
BS: So what are you working on now (besides Studio 60)?
BW: I'm doing some light writing ...
BS: Light writing. You mean like poetry? Haikus?
BW: (laughs) I'm pursuing my haiku dream.
BW: John Wells let me write a couple of West Wings, which was an incredible gift. I loved it once I got past the brain injury part of it, and so I'm working on a couple of things that are far from fruition, but what I want to pursue.
BS: It's weird, you and your wife (Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle) both have shows ending.
BW: Yeah, we're actuallly opposite each other. These shows got picked up the same week, and the finales are in the same time slot opposite each other.
BS: The same day, May 14?
BW: Very bizarre.
BS: Don't tell her, but I'll be watching yours.
BW: Thank you.
BS: That's why God made TiVo.
BW: Exactly. And that's why I'll be in the poolhouse. (laughs)"
Bradley Whitford contributed this to the newest print edition of TV Guide (transcript by a Josh/Donna Talk poster):
"BRADLEY WHITFORD: On Leaving West Wing and Getting the Girl
The memorizing was endless. Our first season we were shooting in Washington DC, and my character, Josh Lyman, had a huge speech. I have to walk when I memorize, so I went outside and started pacing back and forth, saying the lines out loud. It was a speech railing against moronic Republican congressmen.
Suddenly a guy comes running around the corner with his gun drawn,screaming at me - "What's your name?! What's your name?!" I drop the pages, throw my hands up in the air and start yelling back at him. "Don't shoot! I'm Brad Whitford. I'm an actor. There's no reason to kill me!"
It turns out I had been pacing back and forth in front of the FBI National Headquarters. It's always fun trying to convince a guy who's pointing a gun at you that you're on a television show that he's never seen.
There was a lot of laughter on the set. Martin Sheen forgetting people's names. Richard Schiff laughing so hard it actually shut down production. Allison Janney acting so beautifully in her big furry slippers. Josh Malina,who played Will Bailey, thinking practical jokes were funny. You'd go to get in your car at 2am and the door handle would be slathered with Vaseline. I'd get it open and it's filled with trash. If he saw me reading a book, he would tear out the last couple of pages when I wasn't looking. I would like to take this opportunity to say that Josh Malina is a talentless, unemployed fool.
There were difficult times as well. It was a nightmare for us all to lose our beloved brother John Spencer, who died of a heart attack in December. And it was strange to film Leo's funeral so soon after being at John's.
I think Josh Lyman is going out on a good note. He got to see his man elected president and he got his girl. Finally. Man, we stretched that thing out to the snapping point. I was beginning to wonder about this guy. By the way, the difference between Josh and me is that I didn't wait seven years to have sex with someone I'm in love with. Josh and Donna both end up working in the White House, and I believe they are going to be together for a long, long time.
It broke my heart to say goodbye to the show. It was surreal at the end. We had gone through so much together. Martin was very emotional and that was hard. It hit me when I watched Jimmy take the oath of office. And most of all, I knew I was going to miss these people, my dear friends on the cast and crew who were the most important part of this wonderful experience."
From Broadcasting & Cable :
How did the shooting of the finale go?
I think it’s very hard emotionally when shows like this end, but some of that has been put into perspective by the death of John [Spencer, who played politico Leo McGarry on West Wing]. So the end of a show feels pretty puny. But the last thing we shot was Martin [Sheen] walking out of the West Wing, and everyone gathered when it was shot; it was pretty emotional.
It was also a nice moment for Martin because the way our characters are supposed to feel about Bartlett [Sheen’s presidential character] is the way we feel about Martin.
What sticks out about the show as it reaches its conclusion in the next couple of weeks? One of the most underreported parts about the show is, we got a great full run and [we had] cultural impact, and a lot of people made a lot of money, and we never once had a lead-in. I can tell you that, if we had been following Friends for five years, it would have been different. We had a full run with it, even in this era of procedural crime dramas and reality programming with people eating slugs, but it had a certain commercial power that was underrated.it now. Plus, the network made it clear when it moved us to Sunday night that the show was not going to be a priority."
Did you want to see another season?
There were areas I would have been interested in going into, but it did make sense to end it now. Plus, the network made it clear when it moved us to Sunday night that the show was not going to be a priority.
"Shooting the final episode of "The West Wing" was "heartbreaking," admits Bradley Whitford, who has spent the last seven years playing Josh Lyman on the revered NBC series, which will make its final bow May 14. "Working on this show, it's very familial — a crushing level of intimacy, of everyone knowing what everyone else has gone through. People have become parents, toddlers have become teenagers. And then it's the end. I've never experienced anything comparable." He reports that the final shot, the final day, had Martin Sheen, as President Bartlet, "walking through the West Wing and people applauding, feeling sad. Martin is a hugely beloved guy. We never had to act what our characters felt about Bartlet because we felt that way about Martin." Still, adds Whitford, the death of co-star John Spencer last year "gave everyone more perspective than we would normally have had. It makes the end of a TV show feel pretty puny." Whitford says he was hoping he'd have time to "shake my Etch-a-Sketch" before jumping back into the series game, but when "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin had a role for him in his "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" pilot, it was too good to pass up. The probable NBC fall series goes into the backstage world of a sketch comedy show, with Whitford as a director with a drug-ridden past. Also in the cast are Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, Steven Weber and Tim Busfield. Besides — Whitford, who is wed to Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle" fame, with whom he has three children, adds, "Our kids are in school 15 minutes away from the studio. I'm one of the very few actors who knows he isn't going to leave town.""
Scott Foster, a former production assistant for "The West Wing" posted at WWSpoilers:
"Well, tomorrow, Monday, marks the last full week of filming for our
beloved show. Friday, March 31, will be the last filming day for "The
West Wing" crew.
This date was given to me when I worked on the DC filming at the
beginning of the month. So, unless the schedule has changed, the
lights will go out sometime Friday night/Saturday morning.
It was a fun ride, glad I had the opportunity to be a small part of
such a great show.
"West Wing" -- DC 2003-2006"
Defamer posted an observation from the last days of "West Wing" filming:
"Motorist Learns The Consequences Of Protesting The Fake President Courtesy of an operative watching some action unfold over by the Burbank studios, Sign #12,574 That People In This Town Take Themselves Far Too Seriously:my window today... So a guy going the other direction in a Mustang honks his horn and flips off the crew as they are going by... One of the real Burbank cops peels off and chases him down. Now there are 4 cop cars and about 10 cops going through his car while he is handcuffed sitting on the ground over by Chadney's parking lot.. Fun outside my window at someone else's expense... It doesn't get any better than this.motorcade can result in real trouble? Of course, we all live together in this wonderful land of make believe and must entertain the possibility this is staged for the show. So if you happen to be looking out your window and think you see the guy getting roughed up, don't worry, those are probably just prop billy clubs made of rubber bouncing harmlessly off his kneecaps"
"By the way, Lily just wrapped production on her work on The West Wing; her episode will appear very soon on NBC."