Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Crush: Beau Willimon

You can catch my weekly SMASH recap tomorrow, but on Valentine's Day, I'm going to give you a real live person to crush on-- direct from the world of theatre-- Mr. Beau Willimon. He's a little fancier these days, post- Oscar- nom, but I'll always see him as an in-the-trenches, street-vetted playwright. 

Beau first came onto my scene when my pal Johnny was starring in his play, Farragut North,  at the Atlantic. Did you see it? It was excellent. It went on to play LA, etc etc. 

Or perhaps you saw the film. Because THEN! George Clooney & Leonardo DiCaprio  took an interest. Worked with Beau and Grant Heslov to adapt the play into a little film called The Ides of March with the swoon-worthy Ryan Gosling. (Sorry you got upgraded, Johnny. You're still fab.) They even tweaked the script so that Clooney had a part-- the previously unseen candidate in an election rife with scandal. The previously suave (played by Chris Noth) campaign manager was triangulated against Clooney and Gosling and became a khaki and anorak'ed Philip Seymour Hoffman. That last tweak threw me for such a loop, I failed to recognize that it even was Farragut North for a minute there. 

Good ol' Beau and I have a lot in common. We've both lived many lives in a short time. Beau was a pool shark too! And is branching out into film & TV. He worked on about a million campaigns including Howard Dean's 2004 bid. Then there's his MFA from Columbia. Like me, he loves maps and walls.  Basically, Beau Willimon just always gets it right. He writes about politics. He loves Tennessee Williams. And he believes playwrights should stick together. What's not to love?

Come back to London, Beau, and we'll chat Tennessee

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