Citizens of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch

Citizens of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch

[music] –Atticus is a country lawyer –Who handles land disputes, service agreements and foreclosures. Occasionally, he writes a
will. Trying to raise two kids by himself. –Suddenly, a murder case is put in his lap. –The judge comes over one day and says, There’s a trial for a colored man named
Tom Robinson that if he doesn’t get better representation, he’s going to end
up in prison for 18 years. –Tom Robinson, a black man living in Maycomb, is accused
of raping a white women. –If you don’t come in and handle this because you’re
actually qualified, you have some brains in your head, the guy’s gonna go away. And he’s completely innocent. –I like heroes who don’t wear capes, and
that’s who Atticus is. –Atticus believes in things like being respectful, doing
the right thing, apologizing when you’re wrong, being
honest, telling the truth. He really believes that there is goodness in
everyone. Aaron has taken the position with Atticus that that belief gets
challenged in this play. –In the novel, Atticus is Atticus from the beginning to
the end. Atticus doesn’t change. In the play, he
wrestles with the questions he becomes Atticus by the end of the play. — Atticus is a lot like my dad. I would call him when I was in college and go, Yeah, I
took this test and you know friend of mine gave me the notes. And, you know, but I got a B on it, so it was you know, I got it you know so that. But there’s not
really a class I care about. Half an hour later, he’d call me back. He’d go, You know
that’s not the right way to do it. The right way to do it is to study and get a
B because your earned it. I grew up with an Atticus. –There was never even a conversation about casting another actor. It was, it
was Jeff Daniels from the very first phone call. What makes Jeff great as
Atticus, first and foremost, is simply his skills as an actor. He has ungodly skills.
The moment he walks on stage. He just puts the audience in his pocket and doesn’t let
them go until the curtain call. –The thing that surprised me the most is how relevant this is today. You look at what’s going on in America. The divide in
this country, and a lot of the things that Atticus has to deal with in the
play, America has to deal with this afternoon. Near the end of the closing
argument, Atticus turns to the jury, which is actually staged so I turn to the audience. And the audience becomes the jury. And I go, We have to heal this wound or we will never stop bleeding. It’s a pretty good Sorkin line. [music]


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    I saw the version of to kill a mockingbird staged in the Barbican and loved it – would be intrigued to see Jeff Daniels in the role of Atticus

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    Sam Souyave-Murphy

    I wish I were in New York so that I could see it.
    Also, Aaron Sorkin misspoke. It wasn’t a murder case.

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