Thomas Sadoski of HBO's THE NEWSROOM
September 20, 2013•13 min
Thomas Sadoski plays the role of Don Keefer on HBO’s original series, “The Newsroom.” After Don broke up with co-worker, Maggie, the team at ACN is facing a much bigger dilemma as they are trying to win back the trust of their audience after going on-air with a story that was edited and completely untrue. We got to talk with Sadoski about this season’s story arc:
“It’s been a tough year for those guys at ACN. It was really a creative and brave choice for Aaron (Sorkin) to set up this group of people in the first season to be on this Don Quixote-type quest to do the news, do it with integrity, and consequences be damned. There will be consequences along the way, but we’ll deal with it. In the second season, I’ve been comparing it to where Don Quixote hits the windmill and falls off his horse. Everybody looks like fools.”
This season, one the guest stars that was featured during the arc was Marcia Gay Harden as Rebecca. Sadoski briefly spoke about working opposite her:
“She was a blast. We had so much fun during the deposition scene in episode 7, I think it was, that Aaron threw us in a couple of scenes last week and in the season finale. I love Marcia. She is very intelligent and an incredible talent. It was a real joy to work and learn from her over the course of the few weeks I did work with her.”
Thomas had some incredible performances this season, but one that stood out was Don Keefer’s display of emotions during the news piece on Troy Davis. Thomas spoke about that and possible bits we could see in the upcoming third season:
“There’s a number of things we can look forward to in season three with some degree of question and care. Not only do we have the way the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case played out, but we also have the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place right after the election. We discussed while on set as these things were happening, our time jump this season would catch up to that. Aaron was very clear he wanted to end this season before Sandy Hook because he wanted to be very careful in regards to that story. He didn’t want to exploit it at all, and needed to think about whether or not it was worth saying.
The Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case falls into that category as well, because they are such heightened issues with such consequence. The last thing in the world you want to do is to be seen exploiting something for the case of a TV show. With Mr. Davis’ case, we were able to have a worthwhile discussion of the struggles that a news gathering organization goes through when dealing with a situation like that. You want to advocate for somebody, but you are bound by these rules and ethics where you can’t really reach out. It was interesting and important to discuss Mr. Davis’ case because, frankly, it didn’t get a lot of coverage.
Considering what had happened, the absolute FARCE and COMPLETE farcical treatment of justice down there in that case…the lack of coverage on it compared to the overwhelming coverage that was put on Kim and Kanye’s baby, it was worth bringing up again and saying, ‘This had happened.’ Here it is, 2012 (in the story), and this is still happening to members of our society. There are people of a certain race and creed that is still being railroaded. There is not equal justice for all. It was worth bringing up again and saying, ‘We have this character who is struggling and helps tell out story in terms of what journalism and the battles we go through,’ but it was also worth it to say, ‘These are the stories we COULD be reporting on…but we’re not.’ As there was so much coverage of the Zimmerman trial, and there was much coverage of Sandy Hook, I’ll be very curious to see if we will touch them at all in season three.”
We talked more in the podcast about Don’s recent flirtations with Sloane Sabbath in the newsroom, and how will ACN be able to bounce back after their latest developments.