"It was a great experience for me," he told UPI in a recent phone interview. "I thought I was going to just go in for two years to kind of help out. I didn't think that this whole environment was going to up my game as an actor and it really did. ... I felt very challenged and I felt it made me a better actor. It was a really wonderful experience."
The former "NYPD Blue" and "LA Law" star said he is pleased the final season of "The West Wing" reinvigorated the show and gave the audience a rare inside look at the U.S. election process.
"But I'm a little miffed and disappointed about the way it was handled with regards to the network," he said. "The show was kind of left to drift. They moved the nights without really doing any kind of publicity."
Smits can be heard Monday night on IFC narrating "Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas" ("I'm Boricua, Just So You Know,") Rosie Perez's documentary about Puerto Rican history.
Swim Week Miami Beach 2014 [PHOTOS]