Screenwriter Profile: Aaron Sorkin

The Writer:

Aaron Sorkin is a widely renowned screenwriter, television writer, and playwright. He’s the creative force behind such political classics as A Few Good Men, The American President, and The West Wing. He’s known for his crisp, stylized dialogue (and for his Sorkinisms). Aaron Sorkin is Hollywood elite. He’s been nominated for the Academy award for his adaption of Moneyball (with Steve Zaillian) and won the Oscar for The Social Network. He’s also won several Emmy awards for The West Wing.

Credits:

The Newsroom (TV series)

Moneyball (screenplay) – 2011

The Social Network (screenplay) – 2010

Charlie Wilson’s War (screenplay) – 2007

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (TV series) – 2006-2007

The West Wing (TV series) – 1999-2006

Sports Night (TV series) – 1998-2000

The American President (written by) – 1995
Malice (screenplay / story) – 1993

A Few Good Men (play / screenplay) – 1992

(Theater credits not listed.)

Quotes:

I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, “You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy, I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?” and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.

When I am setting out to do something, I don’t consider the state of the culture. I can’t possibly conceive of what the most people are going to like. Honest to God, I write something that I like, that I think my friends would like and that I think my father would like, and I keep my fingers crossed that enough other people are going to like it that I can earn a living.

I’ve made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work–right up until the moment they decimate your life. Try cocaine, and you’ll become addicted to it. Become addicted to cocaine, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one of the other. My big fear was that I wasn’t going to be able to write without it. There was no way I was going to be able to write without it. Last month I celebrated my eleven-year anniversary of not using coke. In that eleven years, I’ve written three television series, three movies, a Broadway play, won the Academy Award, and taught my daughter all the lyrics to “Pirates of Penzance.” I have good friends.

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