Fresh out of Yale, actor Joshua Malina headed for the bright lights of Manhattan hoping to land roles on stage. AS luck would have it, he met aspiring playwright Aaron Sorkin and this serendipitous friendship has led to the actor's participation in nearly all of the writer's projects. When Sorkin's first play, the military courtroom drama "A Few Good Men" premiered on Broadway in 1989. Malina was in the cast and when Rob Reiner translated it to the screen in 1992, the actor was cast in the small role of an orderly. Additionally, he acted in the thriller "Malice" (1993) and reteamed with Reiner for "The American President" (1995), both penned by his pal Sorkin. So it seemed only natural when it came time to cast the role of Jeremy Goodwin, the book-smart, newly hired research assistant and associate producer in the comedy-drama "Sports Night" (ABC, 1998-2000), the actor would be hired. Malina brought a sweetness to the part, particularly as his character grew and developed, notably in an inter-office romance with assistant producer Natalie Hurley (played by Sabrina Lloyd).
Often bespectacled and projecting a slightly nebbishy air, Malina has been able to play a variety of ethnicities and religions. Early in his career, in addition to the Sorkin-scripted projects, he landed small roles in independent features (i.e., the receptionist in "Clockwatchers" 1997). Warren Beatty tapped him to portray a harried campaign worker in "Bulworth" (1998) before he landed his biggest film role to date, as co-star with Luck Wilson of the Sundance-screened comedy "Kill the Man" (1999). In 2002 Malina again reunited with Sorkin to play "The West Wing's" Will Bailey, a California campaign manager who lures Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) into taking a congressional seat won by a deceased candidate; Malina later stepped into Lowe's vacant slot on the acclaimed series and became a regular cast member when his character took a job as a presidential speech writer.