Jeff Daniels says The Newsroom opening monologue saved his career

‘That was the speech that I’ve been waiting 35 years to do,’ actor said

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 20 October 2021 11:11
A-Level A grades fall

Jeff Daniels has claimed that his opening monologue in The Newsroom saved his career.

During a career retrospective with GQ, the 66-year-old actor said that the political drama series – about the inner workings of a nightly news show – was a “flat-out chance to get into television in a big way, with Aaron Sorkin.”

Showing appreciation for Sorkin – who created the series – Daniels revealed that he loved his writing.

Describing his monologue, Daniels said: “In Newsroom I got to do that famous speech, uh, infamous to some, that America is not the greatest country in the world.”

The three-minute speech saw Daniels’ character describing the shortcomings of the US.

Daniels also revealed that the speech wasn’t in the pilot initially, and had two weeks to learn it.

Jeff Daniels Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters

“That was the speech that I’ve been waiting 35 years to do,” he said. “And you gotta hit a home run with it.”

The actor further revealed that it was shot on day three of an 18-day shoot for the pilot, and the speech saved the show, and Daniels’ career.

“I worked my ass off on it,” he said. “First take, I hit it out of the park. I know that because Aaron walked over to me after take one and he goes, ‘OK, you’re pitching a no-hitter. I’m not going to talk to you.’ And he walked away. That was great. Then I knew I had a role. I pretty much — with Aaron’s help — saved my career.”

The Newsroom premiered on HBO in 2012, and ran for three season with total of 25 episodes.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments