For those that watch HBO's The Newsroom, you likely know actor Thomas Sadoski as Don Keefer, the executive producer of Right Now with Elliot Hirsch. What you may not know is that Sadoski, away from the cameras, is about as big of a Ravens fan as there is.
On the promotional circuit for his latest film, the romantic comedy Take Care, in which he stars alongside Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Talladega Nights), Sadoski took some time to talk with us about the Ravens, the NFL and working on his latest project.
Here's what he had to say:
Baltimore Beatdown: What was it like working with Leslie Bibb on Take Care and how enjoyable was making this movie for you?
Thomas Sadoski: The joy we had in making it translates on the screen. I'm really proud of the movie. For a super low-budget movie, for it to go to South by Southwest and do as well, get picked up and distributed, for people to be able to see it, that's a huge success story. For someone to want me to play the male lead in a romantic comedy, I thought that was great. I didn't expect it. I wanted to do as good as job as possible.
BB: What did you think of Take Care after reading the script and what was it like working on a movie with such a low budget, compared to maybe some of the higher-budget projects you've done in the past?
TS: I loved the script, I thought it was different than most romantic comedies. This isn't sort of your most boring romantic comedy. We're dealing with some real stuff. And we're doing it in a small space. We're not going to be running up and down in the streets of New York. We're going to be stuck in this apartment. In terms of what it's like to work on a smaller budget, I'm not someone that's used to working on the bigger budgets. I've had the opportunity to work on some but it's not something I'm used to. I don't need to get my own coffee. It's not about me, that's not how I came up. I don't want to get used to that sort of stuff. I would much rather work with a group of people who are doing it for the right reasons, that they love what they're doing and they're doing it for the love of the movie and project instead of the love of the paycheck. I found that with this group. That being said, it's nice working on The Newsroom, when you have a trailer to go back to and it's nice and that's appreciated. I don't take it for granted.
BB: What are your thoughts following Sunday's game against the Chargers, which ended with Philip Rivers putting the dagger in after going down the field and winning with a late touchdown?
TS: As a fan, that was a terrible pass interference call [on Anthony Levine]. But you can't hang the game on the officiating. There were plenty of opportunities for us to have won that game. It just didn't happen. It was a heartbreaker. I was really happy for Justin Forsett, I was really excited to see that guy break 1,000 yards. He's been a great success story of the whole NFL season. It's been awesome to have him on the team this year. I thought Joe [Flacco] played really well for a good chunk of time. Considering the amount of preparation we had, with two games in short order, I felt the offense played great. We got some work to do in the secondary, man. That's the big gaping hole right now. Of course, I share the disappointment everyone does in how that played out. It pissed me off to be honest with you. But at least the Steelers lost.
TS: It's tough to say, and it's one of the great things about the NFL. There's so much parity. It's the any given Sunday thing. Who thought the Dolphins would be a playoff contender this year? Who thought a 5-7 team would be leading a division and likely to make the playoffs? I'm curious to see how it plays out because I feel the Bengals are inconsistent. What you notice about teams that make deep playoff runs is the level of consistency, where they gel before the halfway point — you see indications that they gel and can be consistent. I don't see the Bengals being a consistent team, still. With four games left, the division is still up for grabs. It will be interesting to see how the Browns respond and if they'll start Johnny Manziel. His learning curve is going to have to be really steep, steeper than it would have been if he was starting in Game 1. In some ways it's unfair to that kid because that team is in a playoff hunt. Is he going to be Johnny Football or just a rookie quarterback? The Steelers are inconsistent but so are we. It's a matter of can we get hot at the right time? Offensively we've been consistent, the running game has been good. If we can hitch our wagon to that, and if our defense can get better, we have a shot. But I'd rather be in control of destiny instead of what we're in now.
BB: I read you're also a big Orioles fan, so I was wondering, when did you become a huge fan of Baltimore sports? And it also seems you're a huge fan of the NFL, so when did that begin?
TS: I grew up in Texas and spent most of my childhood in Texas, so football was something I grew up around a lot. I love the game. I've been a huge Ravens fan since I went to the first game at PSINet Stadium in 1999, and that was it. I was hooked. I was all in. I loved that team. That team was fantastic. Then the Super Bowl team the year after set the hook for me. My wife is from down there, my in-laws are from down there. The last 14 years, we've spent a lot of time down there. I love Baltimore. I love the teams, I'm a huge O's fan. It's one of those things, it felt like home the first time I went down there.
BB: What's your favorite Ravens memory?
TS: Oh man, what's my favorite Ravens memory? That's a good question. There are so many. Obviously the Super Bowl run in Ray [Lewis'] last year. It's so hard to pass that up as great memories for the franchise. But there have been so many over the years. I can remember specific plays, I can remember this catch Todd Heap made against the Steelers. I remember [actor] Josh Charles (Dead Poets Society, The Good Wife) and I went and saw the Ravens-Jets game that opened the season a couple years ago in New York. We loved every minute of that [a 10-9 Ravens victory]. It was such brutal game. Watching Chris McAlister return a 98-yard interception for a touchdown [in 2000] is my favorite memory though because that's around when it all started for me.
BB: As a fan of the Ravens, how do you take and process everything that happened this offseason with Ray Rice?
TS: Ultimately, it's most important to remember there's only one victim and that's Janay Rice. As fans, we're disappointed, we're hurt, disgusted and whatever feelings about how the organization, the NFL or Ray handled it. But the reality is, it's about a community coming together finding a way to learn from it and rally around the people who are victims of these situations. I think it started a really good discussion. Baltimore should respond and has the capacity to do so. It's an important discussion to have and it's something we should focus on. As terms of football fandom, it was disappointing to see how it played out. It was disappointing. It was a shame. But I deny nobody redemption. I believe in second chances. I believe you have to work for them. I'm not going to give you one, you have to earn one. I look forward to Ray working hard to earning that second shot. I'm willing to give it to him if he puts in the work. For me, though, now it's focusing on the issues raised and how we handle domestic violence in our society and how serious we really take it.
BB: If you had to pick two teams for the Super Bowl today, what two teams would they be?
TS: Personally, in terms of the AFC it's a crap-shoot. The Broncos are playing well but it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. At this moment, I don't think anybody can beat the Packers. The way they're playing right now is insane. For me, I was to pick right now, it's probably going to come down to the Broncos and the Packers. And in that game it's the Packers.
About Take Care: When a car crash leaves Frannie immobilized, she is brushed off by everyone she can count on. With nowhere else to turn, Frannie reluctantly calls her ex, Devon, for help. It isn't before long that old wounds emerge, and are made worse when Devon's crazy new girlfriend also shows up.
Take Care will be in select theaters and OnDemand on Friday, Dec. 5.