Margaret Judson is a series regular on HBO’s hit new show The Newsroom. Margaret was hand picked by Aaron Sorkin to switch from cable news to playing Tess Westin on The Newsroom. Margaret Judson is a hot up and coming actress who is making her professional acting debut in this series. Photo Credit: Theo & Juliet
Q: BELLA’s tagline is Beauty as defined by you. Can you share with our readers how you define beauty?
Q: I know you started out in broadcast journalism, what made you decide to transition into acting?
While I was working in the news division at NBC in New York, Aaron Sorkin came in to do research on a new pilot he was thinking of writing. I was in charge of him the day he visited, which was awesome because he’s a great guy and also I’m a big fan of his work.
He sent me the first draft of the pilot I fell in love with it. Despite never having acted before, something made me ask him if I could audition.
Aaron was very honest in his response and basically told me that that’s now how it works –just because you work in a newsroom doesn’t mean you can play someone who works in a newsroom on TV. Ultimately, he gave in and said that since I’d been a big help to him, he would let me come in for an audition.
What I’I have discovered is that broadcast journalism and acting aren’t too far off from each other. Both have a performance element. They both, in their best forms, are rooted in truth (finding and telling it). Both are focused on story telling and human analysis.
They’re very different in the day-to-day, but a lot of the core principles overlap quite a bit.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your role as Tess on HBO’s Newsroom?
Tess Westin is an Associate Producer on News Night.
As a newsroom staffer, she’s pretty low on the totem pole, but as I learned at NBC and I think Aaron knows and appreciates, those are the people who are the glue of the whole production they put on each day.
I love Tess because she has a great sense of humor and she’s a hard worker. I hope we’ll learn more about her in the second season!
Q: What is your favorite part of playing this character? How are you similar and different?
The job I had at NBC definitely overlaps a lot with what Tess does on News Night since she’s an Associate Producer and her responsibilities are rooted in research.
I love to play her because she’s good at her job. One thing I read on twitter that I loved was that Tess is “everyone’s girl Friday.” She doesn’t like drama, she’s there to do the news and be as helpful as possible, all while firing off a one-liner here and there.
Q: What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
A cleansing balm saved my life. It’s a face wash that’s oil based instead of water-based so it locks in the moisture. Also, likes dissolve likes so it’s great for a deep clean.
My skin broke out horribly when I moved to California and it took me a year to figure it out how it wanted to be hydrated.
Q: Do you have a specific beauty trend or go-to item you’re looking forward to for the fall and winter months?
I love fashion in the cooler months because I love layering. My birthday is in the fall, so my whole life I’ve had the best clothes then! I’m really excited that hunter green is trendy right now because it’s my favorite color.
Q: Are you involved in any organizations or charities that you would like the BELLA readers to know more about?
I’m volunteering with Operation Gratitude right now. They’re an organization dedicated to offering help to American soldiers and veterans in a variety of ways like letter writing and donation drives.
My favorite activity to do through Operation Gratitude is the ‘care package assembly’. It’s a really good way to be involved with giving back to those who’ve dedicated their lives to this country.
A lot of times the people I meet volunteering have a connection to somebody overseas and it’s always interesting, grounding and inspiring to hear their stories.
I am also interested in organizations that focus on soldiers coming home, suffering from PTSD.