50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes That He Actually Said

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Which are your favorite Aaron Sorkin quotes?

Aaron Sorkin is an American playwright, screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director who has received many awards in the international film industry, including Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Primetime Emmy Awards.

He’s most famously known for writing NBC’s TV series ‘The West Wing’, and ‘The Social Network’ from which he won his first Oscar.

Sorkin made his debut for screenwriting when he successfully wrote the movie ‘A Few Good Men’ and was sold for six million figures to the renowned producer ‘David Brown’ in 1988. While his first feature as a film director was in 2017 for the Academy Award nominee ‘The Molly’s Game’.

Here’s a collection of the best Aaron Sorkin quotes:


50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes That He Actually Said

1. “Any time you get two people in a room who disagree about anything, the time of day, there is a scene to be written. That’s what I look for.” – Aaron Sorkin

2. “Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character.” – Aaron Sorkin

3. “The stuff that I write doesn’t work very well as background music. You have to watch it from beginning to end and pay attention as if you were watching a play.” – Aaron Sorkin

4. “An artist’s job is to captivate… if we stumble into truth, we got lucky.” – Aaron Sorkin

5. “A hero would die for his country, but he’d much rather live for it.” – Aaron Sorkin

6. “Writers are opposite of athletes, they get better with age” – Aaron Sorkin

7. “If you feel that strongly about something, you have an obligation to try and change my mind.” – Aaron Sorkin

8. “When I write something, I want the best director to direct it. And that’s not going to be me.” – Aaron Sorkin

9. “I love writing, but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, ‘You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, Giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy: I’m a white piece of paper. You wanna dance with me?’ and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.” – Aaron Sorkin


10th of 50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes

10. “The real problem with all drugs is that they work. Fantastically. They’re great, right up until the moment they kill you.” – Aaron Sorkin


11. “And a wheat thin the size of Lake Tahoe.” – Aaron Sorkin

12. “Well, I must tell you I write the scripts very close to the bone. So I’m writing episode seven now and couldn’t tell you what happens in episode eight.” – Aaron Sorkin

13. “I grew up in the theatre. It’s where I got my start. Writing a television drama with theatrical dialogue about the theatre is beyond perfection.” – Aaron Sorkin

14. “Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.” – Aaron Sorkin

15. “Certainly, last year we did an episode about the census and sampling versus a direct statistic. You just said the word ‘census,’ and people fall asleep.” – Aaron Sorkin

16. “Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them.” – Aaron Sorkin

17. “Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep can play with the boys but there just aren’t that many tour-de-force roles out there for women,” – Aaron Sorkin

18. “A news organization has a much different responsibility. I might not be telling you the whole story. I might not be telling you a story in a manner that is properly sophisticated.” – Aaron Sorkin

19. “Honestly, I don’t try to guess at what most people want. I don’t think I’d guess right, and I just think that that’s not a good recipe for storytelling. I try to write what I like, what I think my friends would like.” – Aaron Sorkin


20th of 50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes

20. “Music is what mathematics does on a Saturday night.” – Aaron Sorkin


21. “Never argue with a drunk or a fool.” – Aaron Sorkin

22. “Film doesn’t have to worry. Movies are awesome. There’s no war going on, theaters aren’t going to lose.” – Aaron Sorkin

23. “Government should be a place where people can come together, and no one gets left behind. No one…gets left behind. An instrument of good.” – Aaron Sorkin

24. “I don’t believe there are two sides to every argument. I think the facts are the center. And watching the news abandon the facts in favor of ‘fairness’ is what’s troubling to me.” – Aaron Sorkin

25. “We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.” – Aaron Sorkin

26. “But HBO is less interested in how many people are watching than in how much the people who are watching are liking the show. They didn’t set up their business model to make writers happy. It’s just a nice unintended consequence.” – Aaron Sorkin

27. “Elite is not a bad word, it’s an aspirational one” – Aaron Sorkin

28. “When you’re writing a movie or a play and writing isn’t going well, which is for me the normal condition – it’s an exceptional day when suddenly I’ve got something and it’s going well – you can call the studio or the producer or whoever is waiting for it and say, “I know I said I was going to have it in by the end of the summer.” – Aaron Sorkin

29. “You’re going to fall down, but the world doesn’t care how many times you fall down, as long as it’s one fewer than the numbers of times you get back up.” – Aaron Sorkin


30th of 50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes

30. “If you can socialize from the privacy of your desk at night in a dark room, you can be a smoother, cooler, funnier, sexy, more everything person than you actually are in real life.” – Aaron Sorkin


31. “Decisions are made by those who show up.” – Aaron Sorkin

32. “You can only write, Somebody wants something, something else is in their way of getting it.” – Aaron Sorkin

33. “I would love for people to think that I am as quick, clever, smart and heroic as the characters that I write, but those characters are characters.” – Aaron Sorkin

34. “If you close your eyes you can imagine the hackers sitting in a room, combing through the documents to find the ones that will draw the most blood. And in a room next door are American journalists doing the same thing. As demented and criminal as it is, at least the hackers are doing it for a cause. The press is doing it for a nickel.” – Aaron Sorkin

35. “If I get an idea for a series that I really like, I’m sure I won’t be able to resist coming back and doing it.” – Aaron Sorkin

36. “Perhaps something like Facebook couldn’t have been invented by somebody who goes out five nights a week and has a ton of friends and makes friends really easily.” – Aaron Sorkin

37. “I don’t want to analyze myself or anything, but I think, in fact I know this to be true, that I enter the world through what I write. I grew up believing, and continue to believe, that I am a screw-up, that growing up with my family and friends, I had nothing to offer in any conversation. But when I started writing, suddenly there was something that I brought to the party that was at a high-enough level.” – Aaron Sorkin

38. “My resting pulse as a writer is writing idealistically and romantically; aspirationally. My taste lies in quixotic heroes.” – Aaron Sorkin

39. “Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. . . . Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense.” –Sam Seaborne, West Wing” – Aaron Sorkin


40th of 50 Aaron Sorkin Quotes

40. “It seems to me that more and more we’ve come to expect less and less from each other, and I think that should change.” – Aaron Sorkin


41. “We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now none of this is the fault of 20-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world I don’t know what the f^&k you’re talking about.” – Aaron Sorkin

42. “Trying to guess what the (mass) audience wants and then trying to satisfy that is usually a bad recipe for getting something good.” – Aaron Sorkin

43. “Rule of storytelling: When a character is shoved against a wall, shove them against a wall harder.” – Aaron Sorkin

44. “It’s nice that HBO is in business with the audience and not with the advertisers. There’s a difference.” – Aaron Sorkin

45. “There are television critics, movie critics, and theater critics too who I like and who I follow, and I get genuinely bummed when they don’t like something that I’ve written because I usually agree with them.” – Aaron Sorkin

46. “Socializing on the internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.” – Aaron Sorkin

47. “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.” – Aaron Sorkin

48. “You know, one of the things I like about this world, or at least I like about the way we’re presenting this world, is these issues are terribly complicated – not nearly as black and white as we’re led to believe.” – Aaron Sorkin

49. “A friend is somebody who says the same things to your face that they would say if you’re not in the room.” – Aaron Sorkin

50. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” – Aaron Sorkin



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Aaron Sorkin! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Aaron Sorkin quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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