Aaron Sorkin Reveals He Had a Stroke
Filmmaker Aaron Sorkin has revealed that he recently suffered a serious stroke. While speaking to The NY Times about the Broadway revival of Camelot, which he rewrote for its new run, Sorkin opened up about landing in the hospital just months before rehearsals were set to begin. "There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again," he said of the frightening situation, revealing that he was "supposed to be dead" from the debilitating stroke.
"I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it's not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong," he shared, also adding that he has since stopped smoking and is on a new diet and a new exercise regimen. Sorkin then added, "If it'll get one person to stop smoking, then it'll be helpful," and explained that he is "fine" now. "I wouldn't want anyone to think I can't work," he concluded.
Notably, Sorkin's work on Camelot came after Being the Ricardos — the last film he wrote ad directed — back in 2021. The award-winning film starred Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, and "takes place over the course of a week" during the production of the couple's classic sitcom, I Love Lucy. It focuses on Ball and Arnaz encountering multiple crises "that could jeopardize their careers and marriage," including an investigation into Ball by the House of Un-American Activities Committee for alleged ties to Communism. The couple also had to navigate through a controversial cover story on Arnaz, titled "Desi's Wild Night Out," which was featured in the tabloid magazine Confidential.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Sorkin said of the film, "The only thing better than a story people don't know is a story that people think they know but they're wrong."
Elaborating, Sorkin explained, "The producer Todd Black spent over a year having meetings with me to tell me stories about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that I'd never heard. For instance, that Lucy was accused of being a Communist. There were plenty of points of friction, and that's what I look for when I want to tell a story. I had this structural idea that appealed to me. I like claustrophobic spaces; I like claustrophobic segments of time. So I thought if I could tell the story during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience taping — and tell it mostly on that soundstage, that there might be something good there. So I tried writing it."