Some interesting things happened at the Candleford Inn when Martin Sheen was a guest there during the location
filming of "20 Hours in America", the premiere episode for the fourth season of The West Wing...
Contributed by Howard Moss, proprietor of the Candleford Inn
Due to weather related delays in filming, the shoots originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday got pushed back.
As a result, the couple from Pittsburgh who were both big Martin Sheen fans and had roles as paid extras - he as a press photographer
and she as a White House staffer - extended their stay with us to continue the filming.
By the way, as all this schedule change was coming together, I knew that these guests would be thrilled that Martin Sheen
was also staying at our place, but I couldn't tell them that. Out of respect for his privacy, I did not tell anyone
that Martin Sheen was staying with us until after he left. And yes, that was difficult as we were so excited at the
honor of hosting him. But we want our guests to have a pleasant stay, and in this case, that meant not getting mobbed
by fans while trying to relax.
The schedule change all came together rather quickly Sunday afternoon, as the filming progressed and the producers determined
what they needed to carry over to Monday. This gal who was our guest had a bit of flexibility to her work schedule,
but needed to let her office assistant know not to expect her. So, Monday morning, as we were preparing to eat
breakfast, she was going to use our phone to call her office.
However, Martin suggested that he could make the call. So she dials and hands the phone to Martin. He immediately
straightens up in the chair and adjusts his voice, shifting seamlessly into the role of Josiah Bartlett. He asks if
he is speaking to the assistant and then explains that it is The President -- President Josiah
Bartlett -- and explains that her boss is needed for official government duty that day and won't be back in the office until
Tuesday. He expands on this a bit in very serious tone, and then says, out of the blue to this woman... "You are a Democrat,
aren't you?" It was great!
He was so friendly and gracious. But what particularly sets Martin Sheen apart from many actors is his humility.
He was so low-key. He had time for everybody and really just wanted to be treated as any other person. It was
fun to chat with him over meals and sitting on our porch that evening. When he was leaving, he started to climb onto
the van which was taking him back down to the Pittsburgh Airport and got back off, came over to me, and gave me a hug!
It really felt like we had become friends in the short time he stayed with us. That is what makes being a Bed &
Breakfast Innkeeper so much fun... we meet so many different people and get to know them. People arrive at our B&B
as guests but leave as friends!