Television Characters Aaron Sorkin Based On Ex-Girlfriends

Television Characters Aaron Sorkin Based On Ex-Girlfriends
By Amanda Walgrove
  • Gossip columnist and former New York Post writer Mandy Stadtmiller just published an xo Jane piece entitled, I Inspired a ‘Bad’ Version Of Myself on Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom,’ revealing that after a date and some email correspondence with Oscar-winning screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, she ended up inspiring an evil, fictional version of herself on Sorkin’s new HBO show, The Newsroom.

    Following Sorkin’s statement back in May about how none of The Newsroom characters were based on real people, Stadtmiller provides screenshots of alleged emails in which Sorkin himself writes that the gossip columnist character of Nina Howard, played by Hope Davis on the HBO journalism drama, was created as “Bad Mandy” and “the opposite of you.”

    So we thought we’d take a look at some other female characters that Sorkin has based on flesh and blood relations.

    1. Sorkin’s ex-girlfriend, actress Kristin Chenoweth (GCB, Pushing Daisies, Broadway’s Wicked) inspired the character of Harriet Hayes, played by Sarah Paulson, on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

    Kristin told Time Magazine:

    It was difficult for me seeing the character doing things like not believing in gay rights when I so do. It’s weird to see fights played out on TV that we had, but it was also an honor. He asked me first. He said “I think you’re one of the most wonderfully complicated fantastic women, and I think there’s a character here. Can I loosely” — and that’s the key word, loosely — “base a character on you?” And I said sure.

    2. Another of Sorkin’s ex-girlfriends, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd inspired the character of Martha O’Dell, played by Christine Lahti, on Studio 60 and the Sunset Strip.

    3. Former ABC Entertainment President and friend of Sorkin’s, Jamie Tarses, inspired the character of Jordan McDeere, playing by Amanda Peet, on Studio 60.