Buddy's friendship with a teacher (Cliff DeYoung) gives rise to rumors; Annie uses questionable tactics to get Willie to let her interview him for her school paper.
Written by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman; produced by Edward Zwick; directed by Marshall Herskovitz.
Cliff DeYoung: Alex Canfield.
Cindy Grover: Linda Robertson.
Richard McKenzie: Mr. McKinley.
Louise Foley: Audrey Pfeiffer.
Lenora May: Janie Sims.
Alex: You're too easy on Shakespeare, Buddy. Buddy: I happen to like Titus Andronicus. Alex: It's his worst play! Buddy: What do you know? Alex: Heh, well, just a little more than you do. Buddy: If you did, you wouldn't be eating that for breakfast. Alex: What's the matter with this breakfast? I've got cheese on the danish and milk in my coffee -- this is one of my healthier meals. Buddy: So you'll die before you're 30. Alex: You want half? Buddy: I thought you'd never ask. What about... A Winter's Tale? Alex: Oh, Buddy... Boy, when you like somebody, you really like 'em. Buddy: So what's wrong with that? Alex: Well, you can be too reverent. I mean, no-one is beyond reproach, not even Shakespeare.
Annie: I have to do an interview for the school newspaper, and I'd like it to be on you. Willie: Oh, well, I'm flattered, Annie -- but I've got nothing produced, and therefore nothing to talk about. Annie: We could discuss your formative years... Willie: Annie, if I don't get back to work, I'll have nothing but formative years. Annie: Maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself. After all, you're only 23. Willie: Here, Annie, look at this article. Theodore Kent. He's only 20, and he's having his first play produced by Leonard Dietrich on Broadway. Annie: I'm sure Kent doesn't write as well as you do. Willie: No, he's probably just got contacts. Annie: How can you tell -- from his squint? Willie: No, Annie, I wasn't talking about lenses. Contacts. Show-business connections. Annie: Oh yeah, of course. [thinks for a moment] Kent doesn't look half as talented as you. And that's a horrible picture of Uncle Lenny. Willie: Uncle Lenny? Annie: Oh, well, he's not my real uncle. Just a close friend of my parents. Willie: Annie, are you telling me you know Leonard Dietrich, the producer? Annie: He's much nicer than the critics paint him. I always tell him, "Lenny, you just don't smile enough." Willie: Why is it you never mentioned this before? Annie: I didn't want to flaunt my... [bats eyelashes] contacts.
Annie: "Portrait of a playwright: an in-depth interview with William Lawrence." [pause] Willie: Go ahead, ask me a question. Annie: Now that I've finally got you, I don't know what to ask you! Willie: Well, now, just relax, Annie. You can ask me anything. Annie: Well, we might as well start with the obvious question. Willie: Fine. Annie: In this age of electronic media, do you think that the theater still has an effective voice -- and if so, which issues should it be addressing itself to?
Kate: I spoke to your friend. Buddy: My friend? He's not my friend. He never was, and he never will be. Kate: He'll never be your teacher again, either. He's resigning. Buddy: Good! Kate: Part of it's too bad. He's a wonderful teacher. Buddy: A wonderful teacher? How can you say that after what he's done? Kate: He did wrong, and he's paying for it. But, somehow, I can't forget what he did right, for you. It's been a long time since I've seen you that excited about learning; he deserves the credit for that. Buddy: He deserves nothing. He's a terrible person, Mother. I trusted him, I believed in him. I thought he was so... Kate: ... perfect? You won't forgive him for being less. Buddy: Much less. He let me down. Kate: I'm not excusing what he did. But to be self-righteous and unforgiving... They're not virtues, either. Buddy: I don't know why he came here. Kate: Because, crummy as he felt, he knew you were hurting, too. And he wanted to tell you he won't be at the auction tomorrow. Buddy: That's fine. I don't care. I don't care if I ever see him again. Kate: I do. Buddy: Why? Kate: A good person can do a bad thing. Until you recognize that... you're in for a lot of disappointments.
Buddy: Alex, I'm sorry about what happened yesterday. I guess I kinda handled it badly. Alex: Hey, you don't have to apologize to me for handling things badly. That seems to be my specialty. Buddy: Don't say that. Alex: No, it's true. Look, I'm -- I'm sorry that I messed everything up. And I'm sorry that I couldn't be what you wanted me to be. Buddy: It's OK. Alex: No, it's not OK. See, teachers wait a lifetime for a student like you to come along. You see, I wanted to teach you things that you couldn't learn from anyone else. [smirks bitterly] And I guess I did just that. Buddy: You leaving right away? Alex: Yeah. Buddy: You ever gonna teach again? Alex: Yeah, maybe. If another school system will have me. Buddy: If you need a recommendation... Alex: Thanks, Buddy. Buddy: So you made a mistake. Nobody's perfect. Not even Shakespeare.