At the age of 57, Michigan native Jeff Daniels is portraying the character that people will forever associate him with.
"Will McAvoy is the gig of my life," said Daniels. "It's probably the best role I've ever had. Probably the best role I'll ever have once it's all said and done and I'm hoping I get to do it for many years.”
“The Newsroom,” an HBO series that debuted this summer, has taken the nation by storm. A fast paced, high-brow, politically-driven drama, “The Newsroom” depicts the frantic realities and dramas of a cable television newsroom, centering its plot on the personal and professional strengths and weaknesses of its main character, Will McAvoy, played by Daniels.
Aaron Sorkin’s latest television project resonates like none he’s spearheaded since the award-winning “The West Wing” aired its last original episode in 2006.
"We were shooting it and we knew that people were going to love it and people were going to hate it," said Daniels. "We're thrilled with both reactions, to be honest. We're part of a national discussion on things that are important.
"It's not just a TV series that you forget five minutes after you watch it. It matters, it's relevant and in the old days of talking around the water cooler on Monday morning, that's happening a lot. Man - that's all you can ask for in something you're doing on TV."
Daniels was in Allen Park Wednesday morning to watch the final Lions training camp practice open to the public.
"Being in my fifties, I love coming out and seeing large men sweat," said Daniels. "It's just a pleasure. Look how hard they're working. Look at all that sweat and they're younger and it's good for them, I think - as I stand over here in my fifties with my shades on.
"It's win-win. Once you get in your fifties you don't want to sweat anymore."
McAvoy, a highly volatile, opinionated and generally pompous anchorman, is a New York Jets fan, an affinity certainly not reflective of Daniels’ love of the Lions and all of Detroit’s professional teams.
“I told Aaron Sorkin early on that I wouldn't change a word and I didn't,” said Daniels. “Will McAvoy is a Jets fan. In a later episode he even dated one of the Jets cheerleaders. That's Will's choice, not mine."
Daniels has shown great depth and range throughout an acting career that’s spanned over 30 years. Though he was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 2005 for his portrayal of Bernard Berkman in the film “The Squid and The Whale,” many have always associated him with the shallow, yet colorful, character Harry Dunne from the 1994 film “Dumb and Dumber.”
The introduction of Will McAvoy to the small screen has undoubtedly changed that perception forever.
"To have Aaron Sorkin, one of the great writers, great story-tellers we got, tailoring a role for you is gold."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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