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From MSNBC Research Assistant to The Newsroom Co-Star

Some people have all the luck.

Consider the fateful trajectory of Margaret Judson, who plays the part of producer Tess Westin on The Newsroom. As revisited in The Daily Herald by Dann Gire and Jamie Sotonoff, this University of Illinois broadcast journalism grad had no intentions of becoming an actress. But after working initially in New York as an NBC page, she transitioned within 30 Rock to the land of meant-to-be:

“I met Aaron [Sorkin] when I was working as a research assistant for (MSNBC’s) Keith Olbermann. He came into our newsroom to research for a pilot he was calling More As This Story Develops at the time.”

“I showed him around and answered all of his questions. When he started to write the pilot, he got back in touch and asked me to be a consultant. He sent me the first draft of the script and I absolutely fell in love with it. On a whim, I asked for an audition. He told me “no” and said that just because you work in a real newsroom doesn’t mean you can play it on TV. He’s such a stand-up guy, though, that once it came time to audition, he remembered that I had asked and offered for that to be how he would thank me for my help. So I went in for the audition … and the rest is history!”

Along the way, Judson also got into a dance-off with Kristen Wiig and hung out at SNL during one of the musical performances. Meanwhile, next month at the behest of one of her former journalism professors, she will be hosting the Mid-America Emmy Awards in St. Louis. Read the full Daily Herald interview here.

[Photo courtesy @MargaretJudson]

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