Melanie McDermott / Flickr ...
Melanie McDermott / Flickr

Actor/activist George Clooney has clashed swords with Steve Bannon and Donald Trump before when he called Trump, “a Hollywood elitist” and Bannon “a failed director.”  Clooney recently spoke about the state of affairs in Washington while in Toronto for the International Film Festival. Entertainment:

“Hollywood is being quite well represented right now in the West Wing somehow,” Clooney added, citing Trump’s annual pay to the Screen Actors Guild and star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (as well as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s film production credits). “You know, they say I’m out of touch. You want to call me a Hollywood liberal? Come at me. I sold ladies shoes, I sold insurance door to door, I worked at an all-night liquor store, I cut tobacco for a living. I can change the fan belt on my car. I grew up in that world in Kentucky. I know every bit of that world, and I know my friends and what they believe. And I know this is not a moment in our history that we’ll look back and be proud of. So if I’m not standing on the side I believe to be right, I’d be ashamed.” […]

“I like picking fights. I like that Breitbart News wants to have my head. I’d be ashamed 10 years from now if those weaselly little putzes, whose voices are getting a lot higher every week as this presidency starts to look worse and worse weren’t still [after me],” Clooney said. “Steve Bannon is a failed f—ing screenwriter, and if you’ve ever read [his] screenplay, it’s unbelievable. Now, if he’d somehow managed miraculously to get that thing produced, he’d still be in Hollywood, still making movies and licking my ass to get me to do one of his stupid-ass screenplays.”

The screenplay to which Clooney refers is The Thing I Am, (co-written with Julia Jones) a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, “blending Shakespeare’s punchy verse with Los Angeles street talk for the dialogue,” said the New York Times. “His concept turns Shakespeare’s Romans and Volscians into Bloods and Crips, feuding on the South Central streets in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict as images of violence and looting loop on TV screens.”  Bannon and Shakespeare are quite a heady brew. Here’s a morsel:


Marcius, Marcius, you speak divinely cuz. Each word unweeds my heart, uproots our ancient envy. Shall I wrap my arms around you hotly, as I did in battle? Like with that bitch I married — (loading gun) when we first got it on. Now my heart’s dancing rapt, as when I lay bestride her threshold. Man, you are seducing me. We been down together many night — times in my dreams. And when I woke…

He pockets the loaded gun, rises, takes a beer, crosses to Coriolanus and hands it to him.

This is only one of many epics that Bannon penned. Another script being passed hand to hand in Hollywood since last year when Bannon came to notoriety is Andronicus, which is based on Titus Andronicus, (What’d the Bard ever do to you, man?) In Bannon’s version, Andronicus is the leader of an intergalactic army set to save the human race, when the mission goes awry and they all have to take human form. One of the beings, Attava, has “ectoplasmic sex” with an earthman named Aaron. The Telegraph:

Attava approaches. Her dressing gown gapes open, revealing her breasts. She opens the door. Aaron enters, closing it behind him.

AARON: I’m glad you called.

He grabs her. She leads him to the bed and pulls him down; laughing softly, she unwraps her gown.

ATTAVA: Everything is always so… physical with you.

AARON: Oh, yes…

He climbs onto her and their forms dissolve, blend and blur in an erotic scene of ectoplasmic sex.

Speaking to the Paris Review, co-writer Julia Jones said: “It’s really dreadful, the dialogue and such. It was mostly his vision and he was in agreement, and enthusiastic, about what was written.” Jones seems to have one oar in the water. 

Steve Bannon will be on CBS “60 Minutes” Sunday night, being interviewed by Charlie Rose. Hollywood, politics, and the melange thereof will be discussed.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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