Stagecraft Podcast: Beau Willimon on How Trump Changed ‘The Parisian Woman’ (Listen)

Beau Willimon podcast
George Chinsee

Trump has changed a lot of things in this country — and one of those things is “The Parisian Woman,” the Broadway play that stars Uma Thurman.

According to Beau Willimon, the playwright who is also the creator of “House of Cards” and the upcoming Hulu series “The First,” his latest play was already on its way to Broadway when the real world threw him a curveball. “The train was full steam ahead and then Trump got elected,” Willimon recalls in the latest episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast.

With the play set in contemporary D.C., Willimon decided they couldn’t put “Parisian Woman” onstage without acknowledging the “radically different landscape that we have as a result of this man being elected,” he says, opting to make what he calls “some very substantial revisions.”

He talks about what those revisions entailed in the podcast, in which he also addresses his penchant for writing about politics. “I don’t just write about politics,” he points out. “I’ve written 14 plays, in fact, and only two of them exist overtly in a political world. It just so happens that the things I’m a little bit known for take place in a political world. So either it’s just arbitrarily my luck that those are the pieces of work that have broken through — or when I don’t write about politics, it’s not as good,” he adds with a laugh.

Still, as he sees it, politics are everywhere. “I actually think all writing is political,” he says. “I think ‘My Fair Lady’ is one of the most political plays ever written. It’s also got some great tunes.”