Tony Kushner on Miller, Marilyn and ‘The Misfits’

The Library of America has included Finishing the Picture, Arthur Miller’s last play about filming The Misfits, in a new anthology, Collected Plays 1987-2004, edited by playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America.) It was previously published in England and France, but this is its first US publication. You can read my review of Finishing the Picture here.

Kushner has spoken to the Daily Beast about his work with Miller.

“The new volume of the Arthur Miller collection is the first U.S. publication of Finishing the Picture, which Miller wrote shortly before he died in 2005. What’s that play about?

It’s about Marilyn Monroe’s struggles with depression and drugs and various other interferences during the making of a film, and it’s about the collapse of his marriage to Monroe. It’s kind of a surprising thing. For a very long time, he was famously close-mouthed about his marriage to Monroe and her problems, and right at the end of his life he decided to write this play about it.

Is it sort of a biography of his Marilyn years?

I never actually asked him about it, but he was getting old and I think knew other people were going to write about his life and wanted to do his own dramatic account.”

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