Coming to TCA on the day President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff sacked Trump’s new White House communications director for telling the New Yorker‘s Washington correspondent that Trump’s White House chief strategist engages in autofellatio and other revelations, Martin Sheen was just doomed to take Trump questions.
He’d come to TCA to promote a second edition of PBS’s Anne of Green Gables, premiering on Thanksgiving night at 8 PM ET. But having played President Josiah Bartlet on NBC’s Practically Perfect White House series West Wing all those years, Sheen has a greater working knowledge of White House protocol than does the reality-TV star now in the office for realsies.
In that context, it did not sound entirely unreasonable when one TV critic told Sheen, “as former President of the United States, you set a high standard for the office,” adding, “I can’t let this go by without asking if you would like to say a few words about the current president.”
“We were doing so well without any mention of that dark force,” Sheen responded. “So let’s leave it right there where it belongs. I don’t want to give him any more air time than we have to.”
And yet, moments later, when asked about Anne of Green Gables filming in Ontario, Sheen said, “I’m always delighted.. so relieved to leave The Land of Lunatics.”
“For me, going into Canada, they know when I’m there how giddy I am, and love the country and the culture. Canada is still now very much like the culture I grew up with in Dayton, Ohio in the ’50s.”
Sheen said he’s too old to play POTUS now – he’s about six years older than Trump – when someone suggested it’s time for a West Wing reboot. “But I could certainly see a room for it, of course,” Sheen said. “It would be a lot of fun.”