SCHIFF: Aaron wrote me a very lovely email saying that Toby is one of his favorite characters he's ever written, and he talked about our relationship building that character. He said, "I've heard what's happening to your character [Toby was fired and faced years in prison during season seven but ultimately was pardoned] and I'm so sorry." And that's how I felt: very sorry that they had chose to do what they did. They didn't tell me in advance like Aaron and Tommy would have. Clearly they didn't want to tell me because they were scared of my reaction to it. I would have talked them out of it because it was not in line with the six years of work that I built with that character. I was very, very hurt by it.
RICHARD SCHIFF (TOBY ZIEGLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR): I ran into [Eugene Levy] at a party years later and he told me, "I was sure I was going to get it because I put my ear to the door when you auditioned and I couldn't hear anything."
WHITFORD: I remember I had a check written for $3,000 to the guy who was editing the In Memoriam reel at the SAG Awards because I thought "How great, let's kill Josh." But the guy chickened out. So when I wrote my second script, Josh had to say several times on national TV, "I'm a terrible actor. I can't act."
When I'm given the ammo to kill in the room, I'm all about it....
And here's what would've been the worst thing: to stay on The West Wing only to have Aaron leave like he did...
I turned it on once [after I had left] and saw a flashback to when John Spencer [Leo] was a young man wading through a rice paddy in Vietnam. I thought, "You know, I don't think I'm really going to watch much more of this."
Bartlet: When you walk out of here, there'll be people out there, perhaps a great many, who'll think of you as a hero. I just don't for a moment want you thinking I'll be one of them.
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