Little sweetheart, I was looking for something to watch on Netflix tonight and I came across a movie I remember seeing once in the cinema but I don’t think since. It’s kind of remarkable.
It’s called “The American President” and it’s a feature film written by Aaron Sorkin before he’d created The West Wing. Indeed, it was sometime after this film that he was asked in a meeting with NBC if he had an idea for a series and, just kind of bluffing off the top of his head, he pitched West Wing, describing it as focusing on the White House staff - like the movie, he told them, but with the secondary cast brought forward. He didn’t actually have a script or anything like it. He had to go off and write the pilot immediately but, obviously, it worked.
Anyway, back to this movie, you can really see so much of the West Wing in it - the “walk and talks”, the iterations of the characters we’ll later see - Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, Communications Director. And the cast itself - Martin Sheen instead of President is his Leo (the best friend and chief advisor), Anna Deavere Smith instead of being NSA Director is CJ (the hyper-articulate female Press Secretary), and a whole lot of other future West Wingers, Ron Canada and Joshua Malina (Will Bailey) for instance, turn up in the film, too.
I was only 8 minutes in when I called your mom to say she had to see it.
You brought the series to me, little sweetheart. Your mom told me how proud you were to have done so. And it’s been something special for me to share with you and your folks.
This was such a nice surprise tonight, little sweetheart. I could feel near you me.
With all my love forever.