While liberal Hollywood may promulgate wishes that Trump isn’t in office, he certainly serves as an eternal source of material for them.
President Trump will be the featured character in yet another play, this one written by “Angels in America” playwright Tony Kushner. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Kushner elaborated on the applicability of Trump’s character to the big stage. While he does concede that making a play around Trump just a year into his term “feels very soon,” Kushner notes that the dramatic possibilities were too enticing:
“It certainly feels like folly that I, or anyone else, has a definitive understanding or comprehensive understanding of what going on. I have my guesses, like everyone else has, but it will take some time and a lot will depend on how it is resolved. I don’t feel like I have to get something done while he’s still in office. I gambled with Angels, which is set in the Reagan era but which I felt would be historically significant 30, 40, 50 years later, because something really fundamental had shifted under Reagan. The same thing is true with Trump.”
The playwright feels Trump has qualities that lend themselves to a compelling story, but perhaps not to being a good president:
“He’s the kind of person, as a writer, I tend to avoid as I think he is borderline psychotic. I definitely think that incoherence lends itself well to drama, but he really is very boring. It’s terrifying because he has all the power, but without the mental faculties he ought to have. I think he is seriously mentally ill, and the fact that he is in the White House is very frightening.”
He then gave a sense of what traits he feels Trump possesses and compared and contrasted them with his previous interpretation of Reagan:
“He may do things that do not surprise us. We can imagine the worst he can do — mishandle things so much that we end up in a nuclear war. We know that he will never reveal a depth of humanity because he’s been around for decades and there has never been a sign of it. … He just runs round and round in his grim little well saying the same things over and over again. Occasionally, he will write or say something funny like ‘Covfefe,’ but the last five months have been astonishingly one-note and flat. He is precisely the kind of person who you would not want to be stuck next to at a party. You can’t get away from how grotesque he is. Reagan was really disgusting, too, but not as venal.”
Kushner feels Trump expresses the kind of immorality seen in some of show business’s most famed characters but is terrified by what that means for him as president:
“The main problem is how our country can give such power to a madman and crazy person, how a country commits political suicide — and I don’t think analogies to Hitler are misplaced in that regard. … For 40 years, the Republican Party has said that government is evil and greed is good, that history is of no interest, and [has] courted white supremacy. The result of the election was the expression of what they want, and it showed a majority of white evangelicals did not care about the behavior of a president that doesn’t seem that Christian. Donald Trump is the antithesis of everything Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount.”
A London National Theater remake of “Angels in America” starring Andrew Garfield screens in theaters this week and next week on Thursday.
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