Jeff Daniels is here to tell you that reciting Aaron Sorkin dialogue — which often requires rancor, spitfire quickness, and a lot of physical exertion to handle properly — is as exhausting as it looks.
“I remember after any of the seasons of 'The Newsroom,' particularly the first season, it took a month — three weeks — where you just answered in one-word sentences. You're just done,” Daniels says, reflecting on his Emmy-winning work on the HBO series. “Your brain was going, 'We're going to check out for three weeks.' And it did.”
Now Daniels is costarring in another Sorkin-written jam, “Steve Jobs.” In the new biopic starring Michael Fassbender, Daniels plays John Sculley, Apple's CEO from 1983 to 1993. Sculley's paternal yet critical energy ends up revealing a lot about Jobs, whose angst can often seem monstrous.
In our interview, Daniels discusses his favorite and least favorite kinds of dialogue, the legendary actors he still thinks about, and why he's so good at arguing on the silver screen.