Sunday, November 06, 2011

Jon Robin Baitz Talks About His New Play, David Mamet, More - The Daily Beast:


What I think that has happened to Mr. Mamet is that he is an artist and a contrarian, and I think that somehow, living under the shade of the Southern California palm tree engendered a kind of contempt in him for himself. And a decompensation occurred, which resulted in his putting on the suit of The Conservative. He’s always despised hypocrisy, and I think he’s in a kind of war with the hypocrisy within his community and within himself. Look, it’s not unlike when Bob Dylan became a born-again Christian. It’s the trajectory of someone searching for truth. The fact that his ideas at the moment are riddled with contempt and that he’s in bed with people who would quite happily see him dead is just another iteration of believing that you have answers when there aren’t any, really. I’m not really interested in David as an ideologue. I’m interested in his poetry as a playwright and his sense of humor. That’s the real Mamet to me. The real Mamet is an actor who became a writer and had a real sense of the criminal and the sleight of hand in American life. I think that sometimes writers feel sort of small, and he’s always suffered from a preponderance of testosterone. And I think being a liberal or a progressive can make a particular kind of Chicago guy, which David is, feel kind of small. So I think that he’s just in the middle of a breakdown.