Julie Taymor had harsh words for Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul with whom she worked on her 2002 film “Frida.”
“I think he should go to jail,” Taymor said at the Oct. 26 opening of her latest Broadway outing, “M. Butterfly.” Her famously unpleasant encounters with Weinstein over “Frida” made the papers back around the time movie was released.
“I had extraordinary experiences with him — not illegal ones, just brutal ones,” she explained. “But what I’ve read and what I’ve heard, that’s criminal. And there are many others, right up to the top, who I think have to be taken to task for that kind of behavior. He’s getting his just desserts. What can I say?”
Taymor (“The Lion King”) was there to celebrate the opening of her production of “M. Butterfly,” the 1988 David Henry Hwang play staged in a new revival with her signature visual flair. “David wrote 37 scene changes,” she said. “What I felt he wrote was a Chinese puzzle box. It’s like a fragment of a man’s brain that just keeps opening and opening and opening. This show is all handmade and hand-operated. Pure live theater. I do movies and TV, so when I do theater, I want to do what theater does.”
For the new production, Hwang revised his original script with new information that has since been unearthed about the true story that inspired the play. All that material came to light precisely because “M. Butterfly” made such a splash 30 years ago.
“Because the show was successful the first time around, there was a fair amount of attention paid to the actual people who inspired the play,” Hwang said. “Barbara Walters went to Paris to interview them, and there’s a book now, too — none of which existed when I first wrote it. There’s so much more information now!”