Tony Kushner, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter best known for the AIDS-era epic “Angels in America,” is writing a new play about Donald Trump.
“It feels very soon,” Kushner told The Daily Beast in an interview posted Wednesday, adding that he began work on the project before the 45th president took the Oval Office.
“He’s the kind of person, as a writer, I tend to avoid as I think he is borderline psychotic,” said Kushner, who earned Oscar nominations for his fact-based screenplays for Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” and “Lincoln.”
“I definitely think that incoherence lends itself well to drama, but he really is very boring,” he added. “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.”
Kushner indicated that the play will be set two years before the election, focusing on the man himself rather than the presidential campaign or the scandals and drama that have marked his first months in office.
Kushner stressed that the project is in the early stages of development but the longtime advocate for progressive causes is clearly no fan of the president.
“The nightmare is in high gear,” he said. “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.”
A starry revival of Kushner’s “Angels in America” is current playing at the National Theatre in London. Many have noted that Sen. Joseph McCarthy counsel and future Trump family lawyer Roy Cohn is a pivotal character (played by Nathan Lane in the new production).
“The part of Roy’s legacy that we see most visibly with Trump is the art of The Big Lie,” Kushner said. “I don’t know when Trump lies — about the size of his inauguration crowd, winning the popular vote — if he is aware of it… I didn’t have the sense with Roy that he lost sight of where the divide between fantasy and reality lay, which Trump does I think.”