ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 3 - May/June

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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TALENT PATROL Thanks to Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, Chicago native Margaret Judson went from NBC page to HBO actress. award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, the man behind cult NBC drama The West Wing and box-office smash The Social Network. The Newsroom, Sorkin's return to television, explores the production of News Night, a fictional cable news show that boasts an ensemble cast including Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Sam Waterston. Judson plays Tess Westin, News Night's associate producer, which is anchored by Daniels's Will McAvoy. "She's in the trenches," Judson says of her character. "The newsroom staffers make everything work. They're the glue." Judson knows what she's talking about. While studying broadcast journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she was a reporter, morning-show host, and news director for campus radio station WPGU 107.1. After earning her degree in 2008, Judson moved to New York City to enter NBCUniversal's yearlong Page Paging SNL: Program, where she worked on a variety of "There's a big TV programs, including Saturday Night Live chunk of Chicago and the 2008 US presidential election. Eight in SNL, so it was months after she started in the Page Program, amazing to be part of the show." Judson was hired as a full-time research assisName game: "I had tant to Keith Olbermann and a production a million nicknames assistant for Countdown with Keith Olbermann —'Marge,' 'Maggie.' ("Keith has an awful reputation, and he I switched to knows it too, but I always enjoyed working for 'Margaret' when I him and felt he was fair," she attests). started as a page because I wanted It was there that she met Sorkin, who was a more grown-up conducting research for a pilot about the name." behind-the-scenes drama of TV news. "I ended up being the one who showed him the ropes and introduced him to people," says Judson. After Sorkin left, the two continued to exchange e-mails, and eventually he asked Judson to be a consultant for The Newsroom. But the exchange didn't stop there. "Once he sent me the pilot script he was working on, I absolutely fell in love," says Judson, who asked Sorkin to let her audition. Although the show creator first rejected Judson's request due to her inexperience, "He finally AN ARLINGTON HEIGHTS NATIVE RETURNS TO TELEVISION gave in," she says. IN AARON SORKIN'S THE NEWSROOM. BY MEG MATHIS She's now focused on acting, but Judson—who gets her own news fix through The New York Times, Meet the Press, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Huffington Post, argaret Judson has quite a busy summer agenda, including her best and The Week—hasn't lost her love of journalism. "Both [acting and jourfriend's wedding and a visit to her nephew in Madison. Oh, and nalism] are storytelling. Both are rooted in trying to find truth about society, people, interactions, and relationships," she says. To that end, then there's the second season premiere of The Newsroom on HBO. "It's really exciting," says Judson, an Arlington Heights native. "I really Judson considers The Newsroom an ideal overlap of two great passions. "I respect Aaron as a writer. He just does great work." She's referring to have my dream role right now." MA INSIGHT M 50 PHOTOGRAPHY BY JSQUARED margaret judson MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 050_MA_SP_TP_Judson_MayJune13.indd 50 4/16/13 11:00 AM

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