Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels: “We get a new play, basically, 90 pages every two weeks. And there is little to no rehearsal”

  • Pin It

jeff-daniels-newsroomActor Jeff Daniels has been making the rounds in promotion of his latest role in Aaron Sorkin’s new hit HBO series, The Newsroom, that just managed to rake in 2.1 million viewers in its debut. 

In a recent interview with Terry Gross of Fresh Air, Daniels does discuss his latest gig on the show as news anchor Will McAvoy, but what makes you truly appreciate the talents of Daniels, who is terrific at playing the jerk, is his real life attitude towards meeting the challenges of acting and his technique while performing.

During the Q & A session, Daniels talked about what it is like for him to deal with little time and hefty scripts.  “We get a new play, basically, 90 pages every two weeks. And there is little to no rehearsal, and that’s the difference. So as an actor, you can complain about that, or you can ask yourself, well, what do I have to do to get ready because we’re going to shoot it whether I’m ready or not on Tuesday, and it’s 13 pages.”  Adding, “We have to be able to own it.”

When asked about his techniques regarding memorizing the script, the Terms of Endearment performer shared, “I’ve got to just walk through it. I memorize it like a grocery list, bland. Alan Arkin taught me that. I did a TV thing with Alan, he directed it. He’d always been a hero of mine. And he said: Let’s do a reading, let’s read the script and just read it flat, like a grocery list, no choices, nothing. I don’t want anything, nothing, just read it as boringly and as blandly as possible.  And that’s one thing that helps me is I learn it blandly, vanilla, then I don’t try to act it too soon because you start to act it, and you kind of go away from what the next sentence is, what the next paragraph is. So get it down so it kind of can – it’s in there so you can then, as I call it, dance on top of it.  You’ve got to know it before you can dance on top of it and make it sound like it’s something falling out of this guy’s head instead of off of a page.”

Watch Jeff Daniels in a clip of The Newsroom below.  The series airs Sundays on HBO.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/watch-andy-serkis-talks-motion-c.jpg
Watch: Andy Serkis Talks Motion Capture, His Career and More
This week saw the release of the final film in The Lord of the Rings saga, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Out of the dozens of actors who appeared in the series, the one whose career was most defined by the six-film franchise is Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in the series […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/dan-stevens-summer-in-february.jpg
Dan Stevens Recalls When Shia LaBeouf Disrupted One of His Broadway Performances: “I wish I’d had a broadsword then”
Though Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is billed as the final movie in the fantasy series, it still incorporates some new blood into the mix alongside franchise favorites like Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. The most significant new addition is Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey, who plays Lancelot. Lancelot doesn’t realize that […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bradley-cooper-the-elephant-man.jpg
Bradley Cooper Takes A Grad School Dream To The Broadway Stage With, ‘The Elephant Man’
Bradley Cooper is proving to be an actor who wants a career defined by strong work. Instead of solely relying upon franchises like The Hangover, the Oscar nominee is mixing it up again between the big screen and the stage. Cooper is starring in The Elephant Man on Broadway this theatre season. It’s a role […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bob-balaban-a-delicate-balance.jpg
Bob Balaban on Being a Character Actor: “It’s what I do and who I am and I really enjoy it”
With Glenn Close and John Lithgow in the cast of Broadway’s A Delicate Balance, it’s okay if you didn’t notice that veteran actor Bob Balaban is also in the cast. Balaban, who is probably best known for his roles in Christopher Guest‘s mockumentaries and for his supporting roles in dozens of other films, has returned […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/michael-c-hall-hedwig.jpg
Michael C. Hall on His Broadway Life After ‘Dexter': “There was a desire to perform an exorcism”
When it was announced that Michael C. Hall was replacing Andrew Rannells in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, it was a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t that people thought Hall couldn’t pull off the role of a transgender rock star — he was previously on Broadway as the Master of Ceremonies in […]