‘Being the Ricardos’ Director Aaron Sorkin Showers 8-10 Times per Day to Beat Writer’s Block

Screenwriting isn’t a skill every moviegoer pays attention to, but the style of an Aaron Sorkin movie script is easy to notice for even the most casual watcher. His talent for the craft is undeniable, even if the intensity of his dialogue and ideology can thrill some and irritate others. Even after being celebrated for his work writing for the screen and stage, the Being the Ricardos director is still susceptible to writer’s block like everyone else. Over the years, he has developed a surprising antidote for the times when he can’t find the right words. 

Aaron Sorkin’s quick-witted screenplays teeter on the edge between exhilarating and exhausting

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Amazon Studios’ “Being The Ricardos” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Sorkin was raised to love the theater. Growing up in the New York suburb of Scarsdale, his parents took him to see shows throughout his entire childhood. He originally wanted to be an actor but began writing in the 1980s. Among his famous early works is A Few Good Men, which he then turned into a screenplay for the film version. 

He quickly developed a reputation as a controlling but beloved writer of intelligent characters who speak as quickly as possible. When Sorkin and David Fincher were editing the screenplay for The Social Networkthey read the entire script to a stopwatch to nail the timing for each scene. (According to this Reddit thread, the movie features two and half spoken words per second.) The finished product earned Sorkin an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2010. He’s since received nominations for the same award three more times for Moneyball, Molly’s Game, and The Trial of the Chicago 7Sorkin’s also been the foremost creative force for three TV shows: The West WingSports Night, and The Newsroom

Sorkin’s writing doesn’t always lead to greatness. Critics look down on some of his work, especially his two most recent movies (Chicago 7 and Being the Ricardos), both of which he happened to direct. Some found his tone overbearing and a poor match for the subject matter. 

He has a strange workaround for writer’s block

You don’t write as much as Sorkin has without running into some difficulties along the way. When he comes up against a bout of writer’s block, he looks to an unexpected remedy to clear his mind. 

“I take six to eight showers a day. I’m not a germaphobe. It’s not like that,” said Sorkin told Bloomberg in 2014. “I find them incredibly refreshing, and when writing isn’t going well, it’s a do-over… I will shower, change into new clothes and start again.” His commitment to cleaning himself as a means of finding creativity is such that Sorkin installed a shower unit in his office so that he can refresh himself whenever he needs to. (Maybe walking to the bathroom interrupts his process too much?)

What is Sorkin’s next project?

Following Being the Ricardos, Sorkin turned his attention back to his first great love. He is reportedly working on returning to the Broadway stages, where he made his name. He and theatre director Bartlett Sher and rumored to be working on a reimagined version of Camelot slated to be ready before the end of the year. 

Given his cache, it’s probably only a matter of time before Sorkin has another script on the horizon. But his status as a legend of his craft is well set at this point. And his efforts have been well compensated. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sorkin has a net worth of $90 million. 

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