‘The Newsroom’ Exit Interview: Dev Patel Is a Handful, Sam Waterston Can’t Park

In the first of a new series, TheWrap talks to the fictional employees of Atlantis Cable News as they sign off for good

Last Updated: December 16, 2014 @ 12:44 PM

While the cast of Aaron Sorkin‘s HBO drama “The Newsroom” only had to play at being devout, oft-righteous journalists, that shouldn’t suggest their fictional workplace Atlantis Cable News wasn’t serious business.

In light of Sunday’s series finale, the TheWrap caught up with a few employees as they headed out of the building. Who ate chicken wings at 10 a.m.? Which cast member drives and parks like Mr. Magoo? Why can’t Dev Patel have nice things?

See those answers here in TheWrap’s inaugural “Exit Interview.”

Olivia Munn

Getty Images

TheWrap: Describe your workplace environment…
Olivia Munn: It’s fun going to work with your friends. When you’re really close with your co-stars and you love the script and project it never feels like work.

Was your Wi-Fi signal sufficient?
Yes thank god! When you’re on set there’s a lot of waiting around so I like to play trivia games online, so having Wi-Fi is a must.

What are your favorite and least favorite pieces of wardrobe worn on “The Newsroom”?
Least favorite was probably this purple dress I wore in Season 1 for the company New Year’s party. It was tight and more sexy than I felt Sloan would wear to a work party. My favorite is probably this white tank blouse that I wore in Episode 1, Season 2. It was clean, simple and chic.

Were your own expectations of the job met? How?
The show has allowed me to play a character I really believe in and the series gave me the opportunity to show what I was capable of and that has opened so many more doors for me and changed my life in a way that I am forever grateful.

What scene did Sloane never get to live that you wish she had?
I think the writing let me do everything I wanted to do with my character. Sloan is fiercely protective of the integrity of the news and if you want to fight her on that you’ll have to kill her because she’s not going to stop.

If the doors to ACN reopened, would you return and why?
Of course, I love this show.

Did you take any memorabilia or tokens from set?
You know you did, tell me. I took an antique stock ticker that was sitting on Sloan’s desk and I took her diploma from Duke as a gift to my boyfriend who helped me a lot with my lines this last season.

Alison Pill

Getty Images

TheWrap: Best job perk?
Alison Pill: The best job perk was Margarita City, our weekly post-work hang out. It’s a state of mind, not a physical place.

Maggie has had some serious hair evolution. What was the best stage of that? 
This season’s hair was my own, and New Maggie got to be a little cooler. At least, I hope so. I liked the wig. No matter what people say, I liked it.

What’s one thing you were asked to do, but couldn’t pull off?
I could not complete the task of ‘casual dismissive shrug’ in a scene this season. It had to be demonstrated and copied. It started out looking like a tic.

What costar was the biggest distraction?
Dev has the energy of seven people. While sometimes distracting, the shenanigans were always funny and always welcome.

What co-star do you wish you could’ve shared a scene with on “The Newsroom”?
I wish I had gotten to do a scene with Jane Fonda. I hope one day that gets to happen…

Thomas Sadoski

Getty Images

TheWrap: Was your parking space sufficient? 
Thomas Sadoski: No. I was often parked between Sam Waterston, who is a 74-year-old New Yorker and who parks accordingly and John Gallagher, Jr. who is a 30-year-old man and who parks like Sam. Basically, I performed my own little Cirque show most mornings.

Favorite craft service food item?
10 a.m. Buffalo Chicken Wings. Mid-morning snack of champions.

Do you prefer Don’s wardrobe before or after dating Sloane? Why?
Um, I guess after. I mean those were some nice shirts. But it didn’t have anything to do with Sloan. At least not to me or to our costume designer. Don didn’t do anything in reference to or because of another character.

Hypothetical: In a year, Don runs into Jerry Dantana late night at a bar. What happens?
See reference below:

Did you meet your own expectations of the job? If yes, how? If not, what would you do differently?
The great thing about not having expectations is that you can’t disappoint them: I learned a lot. I made friends that will last a lifetime. I got to work for HBO. I was part of a show that rattled a lot of cages and sparked a lot of discussion about things that matter. Nope, wouldn’t change a thing.

Adina Porter

Getty Images

TheWrap: Describe the workplace environment?
Adina Porter: On slower days, when I was only needed for coverage or reaction shots, the set of “The Newsroom” was better than therapy. Chris Chalk and I would debate life’s dilemmas … until Sam Waterston would chime in and set us both straight. On days when I had to deliver lines, it was nerve-racking and required more focus. Acting in a scene is easy. Monologues are fun. One-liners that must land perfectly in just the right nanosecond can be terrifying.

Did you personalize your set desk in anyway?
No, and I didn’t bring a tablet or book on set to kill time when I wasn’t in a shot. I’m either a “goody-goody” or very method. My nickname became “Adina Day-Lewis.”

Did you keep any tokens or memorabilia from set?
Yes, a sleek, modern cellphone stand. Although I still haven’t figured out how it works.

What scene do you wish you could’ve played on “Newsroom,” and with which costar?
I’ve imagined a scene based on the two worlds that “Kendra” straddles as a middle-class black woman. She would discuss the facts about Trayvon Martin during the run down meeting. Privately with MacKenzie [Emily Mortimer.] Kendra would share how she regularly “schools” her nephews on how to act when approached by the police.

What costar was the biggest distraction? Joking, tweeting, goofing, etc
Dev-that’s-why-we-can’t-have-any-nice-things-Patel. And he only goofed around, but no one ever tweeted from the set.

Riley Voelkel

Getty Images

Riley Voelkel

Were your own expectations of the job met?
Originally I was cast for only one episode. So when my role turned into the recurring Jenna Johnson I was thrilled. I got to work with the amazing Aaron Sorkin and the incredibly talented cast for three years. I learned so much being on set with them and am grateful for the relationships we made. My expectations were more than met.

Favorite craft services snack?
I loved the avocado and tomato salad that was always made fresh. The fresh baked chocolate-chip cookies were definitely a cast favorite as well.

Which costar was most distracting?
I’d have to say Dev Patel in the best way possible. He had so much energy on and off set and it always kept our energy up. He made us laugh and was a supportive castmate.

If you personally caused a news anchor’s viral meltdown as your character did, would you then go apply to work for him?
If I was as passionate as Jenna was about making a difference in the news world, and there was the opportunity to work for a news station like ACN, I’d have to say absolutely. I would definitely go for it! She agreed with what Will had to say and even though she was publicly humiliated, she wanted to stand by what she believed. She wanted to prove that she deserved to work in the newsroom with people who were just as passionate. I don’t think she was expecting to be hired, she just wanted to explain herself to Will and make it clear that she understood him.

Keep any tokens of memorabilia from set?
I kept a necklace that Jenna wore a lot and a few of her outfits. Also, on our last week of shooting, I took Polaroid pictures with cast and crew and will keep those as memorabilia.