03/17/2013 01:03 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2013

Lawrence O'Donnell: I 'Desperately' Miss Show Business, 'Don't Get' Cable News

In a surprisingly candid interview with Salon, Lawrence O'Donnell admitted that he "desperately" misses show business and said, "I don't know what I'm doing" when it comes to cable news.

The MSNBC host will make a cameo appearance in the new movie "Olympus Has Fallen," which opens March 22. Other news anchors — ranging from Rachel Maddow to Wolf Blitzer — have also popped up on the silver screen. When Salon's Daniel D'Addario asked O'Donnell why he agreed to the role, he said, "Because I miss show business so desperately that I will do anything short of pornography at this point to hang around sets and have fun."

Before arriving at MSNBC, O'Donnell was a writer and producer for "The West Wing." He has acted occasionally, and plays a recurring supporting character on the HBO series "Big Love."

He said in the interview that comparing working on movies and television to cable news is "tragic" for him. O'Donnell called the idea of going on television with an unrehearsed first draft, as he does weekday nights on MSNBC, "horrendous." "And so every show we do offends my artistic sensibilities in some ways," he explained.

"Luckily, the audience is apparently understanding, and they forgive much," he added.

When asked what advice he has for incoming primetime host Chris Hayes, O'Donnell also admitted to having "more shows cancelled on MSNBC than anyone in its history," and that he still doesn't "get" cable news, as opposed to primetime entertainment shows. Read the full interview over at Salon.



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