Salon Talks: Blair Brown and Josh Lucas

Uma Thurman’s Broadway co-stars discuss the Trump-inspired play “The Parisian Woman” from “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon.

How did a French play from the 1800s become the catalyst for one of the Trump era’s first pieces of resistance theater? “The Parisian Woman” may be a timeless take on Henry Becque's 1885 play “La Parisienne,” but two of its stars Josh Lucas and Tony Award Winner Blair Brown told Salon’s Alli Joseph on “Salon Talks” that they are continually discovering the depth and meaning in the modern-day version, currently on Broadway.

“(It’s) A drawing room comedy from the late 1800’s, which was back then quite common where French people would go in this Parisian theater and have a story told about the times that they lived in politically,” Lucas explained. “Beau took that concept and turned it on the face of Washington D.C., pre-Trump.”

The play went through several iterations in the writing process, drawing significant influence from the results of the 2016 election. “When Trump wins [it] becomes a completely different play, almost immediately,” Lucas said.

Theater has traditionally been a medium through which artists challenge political thought. According to Brown, “The Parisian Women” is outwardly political without taking any sides.

“There’s nobody that’s all together good and uncompromised characters. And there’s nobody that’s totally bad,” Brown said. “People are trying to find their kind of moral center or the meaning for their particular life, whatever it is. Even though you may disagree with everything else about them.”

Watch the full episode above to learn more about “The Parisian Woman,” acting alongside Thurman and the power theater has in challenging political discourse today, or at least opening minds.

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