Jeff Daniels Almost Quit Acting, Attacked Sorkin To Land Role

Jeff Daniels is enjoying the popularity that comes with being part of a hit television show in HBO’s “The Newsroom,” despite almost quitting attacking altogether. Despite the fact that he almost abandoned his craft, once he decided he did want the role he wanted it bad — bad enough to assault the show’s creator. reports a story told by Daniels on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” that the actor had a dinner meeting with Aaron Sorkin, creator of “The Newsroom” and other hit shows such as “The West Wing,” to show Sorkin he could play an angry character.

“I had to have a meeting with him (Sorkin) at a hotel here in New York to convince him that I could be angry and I tried, you know, raising my voice, being rude to the waiter and I tried all these different things and I could tell he wasn’t buying it,” Daniels said.

Then things got interesting.

“So at some point, I just said, ‘Aaron’ and I reached across and I placed my hand on his head… I”m gonna do this to Jimmy and it’s not going to hurt. I promise. And I took Aaron’s head and I slammed it down into the table and he bounced back up and then I had the role!”

Daniels has starred in such projects as “Dumb and Dumber” and “Terms of Endearment,” but eventually grew tired of the industry. In an interview with CBS News, Daniels said he got bored.

“I was just tired of it, just bored with it. You play ‘Squid and the Whale,’ which is a great movie about a kind of dysfunctional father and that’s what you get offered, except it’s five scenes and then you’re in a movie with some 28-year-old who is making $10 million and can’t find his mark,” he told CBS. “So, you know, I’m going, ‘I don’t need to be doing this anymore.’ And then Aaron Sorkin and HBO come along and you’re going, ‘No, I should still.'”