THE WILD ONE. Thomas Sadoski has always been a strong presence on stage, and now he goes all out on film and television. DA MAN chats with the passionate learner
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With several Tony Awards under his belt, Thomas Sadoski could have rather complacently enjoyed smooth sailing on his Broadway career. However, he ventured off stage and dove headlong into TV series and films. His iconic portrayal as strict-yet-sympathetic TV producer Don Keefer in “The Newsroom” is nothing short of charismatic. Here, the Bethanian native gushes on his now-premiering work, blockbuster biography drama “Wild,” which has him paired up with award-winning Reese Witherspoon. Still there’s more to come as Sadoski never rests on his laurel and is always on the hunt for the best role there is.
DA MAN: Hi Thomas, tell us about your role in the biographical drama “Wild.”
Thomas Sadoski: I play Cheryl’s ex-husband, Paul. He is married to Cheryl at the time of her mother’s death and her subsequent descent into heroin addiction.
DA: The movie is based on a biographical novel. What do you think of the book and if the movie script does it justice?
TS: I think the book is one of the most powerful and beautiful memoirs I’ve ever read. Cheryl is an exquisite author and has such a clear and unflinching vision of her life and journey. I don’t know that you can ever put writing as profound as that onto a screen, but Nick Hornsby himself is an exquisite writer. He accomplished an extraordinary feat by translating that book into his script.
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“We all have our 1,100-mile journey. For some of us, it is addiction; for others, it is just getting out of bed in the morning, which is why Cheryl’s story is so beautiful and so moving”
DA: “Wild” deeply explores human conflict and relationships. How did you prepare for the role?
TS: I read and reread the book. Everything I needed to know was in there. And when the time to show up on set came, I had Jean-Marc’s great vision to help me going forward. Moreover, Reese [Witherspoon] is one of the best scene partners you could ask for.
DA: What was it like working with her?
TS: The best scene partner I could have hoped to have. She was fearless, alive and dedicated.
DA: So, what’s the biggest challenge you faced playing Paul?
TS: Ultimately, I wanted to be present and available for Reese and provide her with a sensation and a distinct memory of our scenes that she could carry with her out onto the trail. The scenes are not the easiest to live through emotionally but in comparison to what Reese was undertaking, my challenges don’t even warrant a mention.
DA: What about director Jean-Marc Vallée; did you enjoy working with him?
TS: I loved it. He’s a truly incredible director whom I learned a lot from. He was so passionate about preserving the integrity of Cheryl’s story, which I respected immensely.
DA: How do you think general audience can relate with “Wild”?
TS: We all have our 1,100-mile journey. For some of us, it is addiction; for others, it is just getting out of bed in the morning, which is why Cheryl’s story is so beautiful and so moving. It is a human story that we can all relate to on some level. How do you face real loss? Who are you in the final counting? As you grow and live and learn, what do you take with you and what can you leave behind? The movie answers all of these epic human questions.
DA: On a separate note, you act as Don Keefer in the TV series “The Newsroom.” What can we expect from the third and final season of the show?
TS: It is a big season. A lot of huge storylines get thrown at our gang, and we watch them struggle through them all.
“I love storytelling. I love the connection that it inspires in people and I love how people are challenged with parts of themselves through the experiences of other people”
DA: Don Keefer is pretty much seen as the show’s bad guy. Is it meant to be that way or is he just misunderstood?
TS: I’ve never seen Don as a bad guy. I am starting to understand why some people may have initially, but I don’t agree with that assessment at all. I think when we first meet him, he’s a good guy in a bad situation. I think he’s proven his goodness as time has gone on.
DA: How do you see Don Keefer evolving as a character throughout the series ?
TS: I think you see more and more of what makes Don ticked as time goes on, as his relationship with Will changes, as he grows accustomed to MacKenzie being in charge and as his relationship with Sloan evolves. All of those impact how he handles and presents himself.
DA: With a slate of performances on TV so far, what makes “The Newsroom” special to you?
TS: This group, including the cast, the crew, the directors, our writers and Aaron. For me it’s the people that I’ve met and got to work with, learn from, and now call friends.
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“I am not operating under the erroneous impression that I know what the hell I am doing. Therefore I work hard and am willing to learn”
DA: It seems that you’re a very versatile actor who has successfully crossed over from stage to TV to big-screen movies. What’s the secret?
TS: I am not operating under the erroneous impression that I know what the hell I am doing. Therefore I work hard and am willing to learn. And I love this acting thing with all of my heart.
DA: Who is your acting role model?
TS: I don’t think I have just one. I try to cast a wide net and find inspiration not only from other actors but from all sorts of other artists.
DA: What is it about acting that made you fall in love with it in the first place?
TS: I love storytelling. I love the connection that it inspires in people and I love how people are challenged and confronted with parts of themselves through the experiences of other people. It goes a great distance to remind us that we’re not alone. I love it completely. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
DA: What’s the latest interesting quote you’ve come across and why do you find it so interesting?
TS: “To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness, but life without meaning is the torture of restlessness and vague desire. It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid” by Edgar Lee Masters. If I have to explain to you why that quote is interesting, I give up.
Photography Jon Norris
Styling Eva Chafeh
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