'The West Wing' Cast Reunites for Justice for Vets PSA
The PSA will debut at a Tuesday event on the Warner Bros. lot with appearances by Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Mary McCormack and Dulé Hill.
The Friends cast (minus Matthew Perry) just teamed up to honor legendary helmer James Burrows, but they’re not the only iconic NBC cast that reunited recently.
The Emmy-winning crew from The West Wing gathered to support a special cause — filming a PSA to support Justice for Vets (justiceforvets.org) and its initiative on behalf of Veterans Treatment Court, a rehabilitative program for vets struggling with substance abuse and the court system.
Getting credit for spearheading the cast reunion is Melissa Fitzgerald, who starred on the show as White House staffer Carol Fitzpatrick (assistant to Allison Janney’s C.J. Cregg) before segueing to a post as senior director of Justice for Vets. The group will debut the PSA (directed by Brent Roske, whose credits include Courting Des Moines and Chasing the Hill) at a launch party and panel discussion on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank on March 8.
Expected at the event are castmembers Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Mary McCormack, Dulé Hill and Fitzgerald, along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald.
Fitzgerald, who has held her post with the organization since November 2013, tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that the treatment courts initiative honors veterans in “a very real way.” She continues, “We ask so much of men and women who have served in uniform for our country and when they come home, we need programs that work for them. All of our vets, including those who are struggling, are among our nations most valuable civic assets.”
Also prized? The bond the West Wing cast shares, Fitzgerald says. Though it has been 10 years since Aaron Sorkin’s political drama signed off, the ensemble remains close. “We all stay in touch and get together,” says Fitzgerald, who now lives in Washington, D.C. “We’ve all been a part of each other’s lives for a long time now and gone through a lot professionally and personally together.”
As for coordinating the schedules of the busy actors, Fitzgerald says that “everybody just made it work.” She praises the “support and the kindness of each and every member of the cast,” adding, “I was a small part of a magical time and a great show that really had and continues to have such an impact on people’s lives.”
Allison Janney and Melissa Fitzgerald attend the 19th Annual HRC National Dinner at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3, 2015. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/FilmMagic)