The London-native actress is learning ever more about America from working on creator-producer Aaron Sorkin‘s HBO drama. With the series launching its second season Sunday, July 14, she says such upcoming topics as antiterrorism strategies and the 2012 presidential election are increasing her knowledge and understanding of life in the United States.
Mortimer tells Zap2it she finds the Supreme Court — which made major news last week with its rulings on gay-rights issues — “particularly” interesting. “Those people can’t be voted out once they’re there, and it’s a wonderful system in a way, but there’s also room for questioning it.
“It’s unlike anything we’ve experienced at home [where the British Parliament can remove Supreme Court justices]. These are appointed judges who make extremely important decisions about things that affect all of us forever. There are definitely different interests that you really have to think about.”
“The Newsroom” also spends considerable time on its characters’ personal lives, a prime example being producer MacKenzie McHale’s (Mortimer) endlessly challenging connection to her ex-flame, Atlantis Cable News senior anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). “Mac” may appear very much in the know about the news swirling around her, but it’s not necessarily the same with the person playing her.
“I’m a citizen of America, but I didn’t grow up here, so I don’t feel completely familiar with all the workings of the culture,” allows Mortimer, a daughter of the late “Rumpole of the Bailey” writer Sir John Mortimer. “I was just so interested in this notion of the Supreme Court and, really, what it is … and the fact that those people are unimpeachable, pretty much.”
Linking that to what “The Newsroom” considers in part, Mortimer notes, “People have friends with influence, and those friends use that influence. To me, it’s fascinating to get more light thrown on that whole thing.”