"The Newsroom" (premieres Sun., July 24, 10 p.m. ET on HBO) boasts a huge ensemble cast -- everyone from Jane Fonda as boss lady Leona Lansing, Jeff Daniels as newsman Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as his producer MacKenzie McHale, to Alison Pill and John Gallagher Jr. playing two of their most eager young producers -- but there are two more characters coming later in the season that might surprise you.
I caught up with "The Newsroom" cast at the HBO drama's Los Angeles premiere and was surprised to see two very recognizable stars walking the red carpet. Having seen the first four episodes, and not seen a second of either one of their characters, I had to find out what exactly they had in store for us.
[Obviously, there are teases of what's to come on the show, so if you're a big spoiler-phobe, don't read on until you've seen the first few episodes.]
I watched the first four episodes, and you're nowhere to be seen. When do you first pop up, and what can you tell me about the character you're playing?
You'll see me in Episode 6 -- I play Jeff Daniels' shrink. I'm his new psychiatrist. There's a twist to the psychiatrist storyline, and the twist is that I'm his young psychiatrist, and he didn't expect someone like me.
Interesting. Does he choose to go to therapy, or was this mandated by his bosses?
He chose to go to me, but he didn't realize it was me. You'll see.
Daniels' character Will McAvoy is a tough nut to crack ...
I break him down. I break him down pretty good -- the sixth episode kind of meanders back and forth between the therapy session and what has occurred. So it's him sort of replaying what had just happened the week prior in his mind in therapy.
Is it all work-related? Or does some love stuff come up?
Some love stuff comes up.
And that's not the only surprise. Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews was also there -- "I am in 'The Newsroom.' Can you believe it? It's not 'Expendables,' it's not 'White Chicks,' it's not 'Longest Yard.' It's critically acclaimed! It's so cool," Crews said -- and the information he gave about his character was very intriguing as well.
What exactly are you doing on "The Newsroom," and when do we first meet your character?
Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, receives a death threat, so they have to hire a bodyguard for him because he's in imminent danger. I'm in Episodes 5-10. When I come in, my whole thing is like, "Hey man -- I don't work for you." Everyone else is scared of him. He's the big man. But I'm like, "I don't get paid by you, so I don't take any shit." But I hear all these things in his life, and I actually give him good advice -- I become like a life coach for him.
So Will McAvoy gets a therapist and a bodyguard/life coach? When I asked Jeff Daniels about what's coming up, mentioning that it seems like more drama than just what's in the newsroom, he laughed: "It ain't just reading a teleprompter, no."
"The Newsroom" premieres Sun., July 24, 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
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More from the "Newsroom" cast here: