How Revenge Of The Nerds Landed Bradley Whitford His Role In The West Wing

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There’s not a lot worth remembering about “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise,” a sequel we’re guessing a big chunk of people have either forgotten existed or tried to block from their memories. It was a moderate success, bringing in just over triple its $10 million production budget, so audiences were happy enough with it, but it was… not well-received by the critics. Hardly surprising, all things considered. We’re not exactly talking about Oscar-bait here.

But believe it or not, the film had a lasting impact in at least one way — and we don’t mean the baffling number of additional sequels or the rumored reboot. No, we’re talking about the fact that, somehow, “Revenge of the Nerds II” influenced an all-time great TV series that couldn’t be further from the guys at Lambda Lambda Lambda getting into assorted debauchery on spring break: “The West Wing.”

How, exactly, did it make such a big impact? Well, without “Revenge of the Nerds II,” we might never have gotten to see Bradley Whitford play the role of Josh Lyman — which netted him three Emmy nominations, including a win for his stellar performance — a mere 14 years after playing the smarmy villain of a forgettable college sex romp.

From Paradise To The Oval Office

It turns out, Whitford owes his being cast in “The West Wing” to one of those nerds in paradise. At least in part, anyway. The connections he made on the set of that film would end up paying off down the road. Timothy Busfield, actor who played Poindexter in the “Revenge of the Nerds” franchise, would also later star in Aaron Sorkin’s presidential drama. Before that, however, he worked with Sorkin in his Broadway production of “A Few Good Men,” just a couple short years after “Revenge of the Nerds II” hit theaters.

As Whitford told Empire, it was because of his connection to Busfield, who has directed his fair share of television too, that he wound up landing the role of Josh Lyman:

“Early on in my career I got a part in ‘Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.’ If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have met Tim Busfield and if I hadn’t met Tim Busfield, I wouldn’t have met Aaron. So ‘Nerds II’ took me straight to the White House!”

If it seems like Josh Lyman is a character Whitford was born to play, well, there’s a reason for that: Sorkin wrote the role specifically for him. It wouldn’t be the last time that Whitford and Sorkin worked together, either, as Sorkin quickly put the actor in his short-lived series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Though, given that series was canceled after a single season, they’d probably both prefer we just think about their stellar work on “The West Wing.”

Read this next: 14 Awesome Comedies That Never Got Sequels

The post How Revenge Of The Nerds Landed Bradley Whitford His Role In The West Wing appeared first on /Film.

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