Monday, August 22, 2011

Addison DeWitt

Addison DeWitt

Addison DeWitt: Nice camouflage stunt, my dear Sebastian. Making them all think you’ve been tragically lobotomized—when actually you’ve only been playing dumb.

Sebastian Venable: I had to do it, Addison dearest. Violet had turned into the most awful shrew. I couldn’t use her to lure all the cute young jailbait anymore—I’d switched over to Elizabeth Taylor. Venice was looking up—Taromina was simply fabulous!

Addison DeWitt: You should be utterly, completely ashamed of yourself, my dear Sebastian. But then, that’s why I find you so enchantingly À rebours and decadent I suppose.

Sebastian Venable: I can’t help myself…

Addison DeWitt: Here you are. You look eighteen. You looked eighteen twenty years ago, you’ll look eighteen twenty years from now. I simply hate you.

Sebastian Venable: It’s the Venice youth I crave—and the cute Taromina ones. If nothing else, it’s their gawking eyes and innocence... It flows like waves of love pouring over the footlights into my very soul.

Addison DeWitt: Ah yes, that’s what disturbed poor Violet so. You were getting too much of the good stuff…and she was left forlorn and loveless.

Sebastian Venable: What can I say? Young jailbait needs to be wooed—and Elizabeth Taylor did it so well. She’d get the upper half and I’d get the…

Addison DeWitt: Shame on you Sebastian. Poor Waldo Lydecker is simply distraught losing you—he was right in the middle of a magnum opus about you and your prodigious proclivities for young Orphée-esque “talking heads.”

Sebastian Venable: Yes, my dear. Especially for the sullen, pouty, moody Dargelos uncut ones…

Addison DeWitt: You’re just impossible, Sebastian.

Sebastian Venable: Funny business, being a poet. The young things you drop along the way—as you ascend the Orphée ladder higher and higher. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being human. That's one career all poets have in common, whether we like it or not: being a demimonde . Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing's any good unless you can look up just before bed or waking up in the morning—and there he is. Without that, you're not a poet. You're something with an Olympus provincial office or a book full of old clippings, but you're not a poet. Slow curtain, the end.

Addison DeWitt: Surely though, Sebastian, youth and poetry aren’t everything?

Sebastian Venable: It’s such an unbelievable story—with the bloodhounds snapping at my rear end.

Addison DeWitt: Is it possible, even conceivable, that you've confused me with that gang of backward youth you play tricks on, that you have the same contempt for me as you have for them?

Sebastian Venable: I'm sure you mean something by that, DeWitt, but I don't know what?

Addison DeWitt: Look closely, Sebastian. It's time you did. I am Addison DeWitt. I am nobody's fool, least of all yours.

Sebastian Venable: I never intended you to be.

Addison DeWitt: Yes you did, and you still do.

Sebastian Venable: I still don't know what you're getting at, but right now I want to take my nap. It's important...

Addison DeWitt: It's important right now that we talk, killer to killer.

Sebastian Venable: Queen to queen?

Addison DeWitt: Not with me, you're no queen. You're stepping way up in class.

Sebastian Venable: Addison, will you please say what you have to say, plainly and distinctly, and then get out, so I can take my nap?

Addison DeWitt: Very well - plainly and distinctly - though I consider it unnecessary because you know as well as I do what I'm going to say: You can’t be chicken forever, sooner or later you’ve got to grow up.

Sebastian Venable: What do you mean by that?

Addison DeWitt: Your days of Venetian cruising are over, my dear.

Sebastian Venable: What does that have to do with it?

Addison DeWitt: Everything, because after tonight, you will belong to me.

Sebastian Venable: Belong? To you? I can't believe my ears!

Addison DeWitt: What a dull cliché.

Sebastian Venable: Belong to you - why, that sounds medieval, something out of some str8t melodrama!

Addison DeWitt: So does the history of the world for the past twenty years. I don't enjoy putting it as bluntly as this. Frankly, I'd hoped that somehow you would have known, that you would have taken it for granted that you and I...

Sebastian Venable: Taken it for granted that you and I... [laughs]

Addison DeWitt: [slaps him] Now, remember, as long as you live, never to laugh at me – laugh at anything or anyone else, but never at me.

Sebastian Venable: Get out!

Addison DeWitt: You're too short for that gesture. Besides, it went out with Norma Desmond…

Sebastian Venable: [faints]

Addison DeWitt: Well done! I can see your career rise in the east like the sun.

Sebastian Venable: [faints again]

Addison DeWitt: You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent!

Sebastian Venable: I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.

Addison DeWitt: How about calling it a night?

Sebastian Venable: And you, pose as a critic? A situation pregnant with possibilities and all you can think of is everybody go to sleep.

Addison DeWitt: [voiceover] Sebastian Venable is a star of the theater. He made his first stage appearance at the age of four as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. He played the fairy and entered, quite unexpectedly, stark naked. He’s been a star ever since. Sebastian is a great star, a true star. He never was or will be anything less or anything else.

Sebastian Venable: I detest cheap sentiment.

Addison DeWitt: Too bad, we're gonna miss the third act. They're gonna play it offstage.

Sebastian Venable: Shall we get married in New York City?

Addison DeWitt: That I should want you at all suddenly strikes me as the height of improbability. But that in itself is probably the reason: You're an improbable person, Sebastian, and so am I. We have that in common. Also our contempt for humanity and inability to love and be loved, insatiable ambition, and talent. We deserve each other.

Sebastian Venable: Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?

Addison DeWitt: My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theater.

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