Thesp to play campaign manager/speechwriter
“Sports Night” alum Joshua Malina is reuniting with scribe Aaron Sorkin, joining the cast of “The West Wing” as a series regular.
Malina has had a recurring role on the Peacock drama this year, appearing in a handful of episodes. He plays Will Bailey, a campaign manager who ends up taking a job as a speechwriter in the White House.
“Josh won the part fair and square in a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament,” Sorkin said. “He bluffed me off a low straight. If Jeff Zucker hadn’t pulled trips in the last hand, Josh would’ve been president of NBC.”
Sorkin said other “West Wing” cast members have been supportive of Malina’s addition to the ensemble.
“John Spencer just walked over to me on a break from shooting a scene with him and said, ‘We’re firing on all cylinders,’ ” the scribe said. “And during rehearsal, the light may have been funny, but we thought we saw Richard Schiff smile.”
For his part, Malina said working with Sorkin once more “couldn’t be better.”
“This is essentially my dream job,” thesp told Daily Variety. “If I had to pick a role on TV to play, having Aaron create one for me is the ultimate. I’m reveling in the fact that something that looked great (as an idea) actually came to pass.”
In addition to playing Jeremy Goodwin on Sorkin’s critically hailed but short-lived “Sports Night,” Malina appeared in both the legit production and feature adaptation of Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men” as well as the scribe’s feature “The American President.” Other small-screen credits include “From the Earth to the Moon,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Tracey Takes On.”
On the feature side, Malina will next be seen in helmer Bruno Barreto’s “A View From the Top,” which stars Gwyneth Paltrow.
Thesp is repped by David Rose of Innovative Artists.