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Jeremy Pope Stars as Jean-Michel Basquiat on Broadway, Coming Soon to Big Screen

First-time Golden Globe 2023 nominee Jeremy Pope may currently be seen on Broadway starring as the legendary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in “The Collaboration.”

This role is Pope’s triumphant return to stage since he made history in 2019 as a two-time Tony nominee in the same season when he was nominated for his performances in both “Choir Boy” by Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, and “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Time of The Temptations,” written by Dominique Morisseau.

“The Collaboration” is written by Anthony McCarten, the writer who brought us the Golden Globe-winning Bohemian Rhapsody and The Two Popes, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Screenplay for McCarten.

Set in 1984, the story of “The Collaboration” centers on mega-star artist Andy Warhol, whose star has begun to dim by the 1980s, and then-newcomer Jean-Michel Basquiat, a young street artist on the rise in the New York art scene, as they begin their quiet collaboration on a modern art exhibition in Manhattan. Poignantly, “The Collaboration” takes place just a few years before the unexpected deaths of Warhol (who passed away in 1987) and Basquiat (1988).


Coming to New York’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre via Manhattan Theatre Group, “The Collaboration” held its world premiere on the stage of the Young Vic theater in London in 2022. The Broadway production reunites the major creative team from London, led by director and Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Golden Globe nominee Paul Bettany stars as the art world icon Andy Warhol. The star of The Avengers, WandaVision, and A Very British Scandal has been performing in London’s West End since 1993: “The Collaboration” is his Broadway debut.

Krysta Rodriguez, who embodied Liza Minnelli in the Golden Globe-nominated TV series Halston (Netflix), plays Basquiat’s former lover, Maya, and Eric Jensen plays Swiss art dealer Bruno Bischofberger.

“We were really trying to look outside of the art – and the commercialization of art – to understand these two humans in their souls,” says Pope in his interview to Playbill. “We are in debt so much to Warhol and to Basquiat for how much they gave when they were with us. Where we are talking about the commercialization, the surface, and the celebrity of Warhol. Or Basquiat and hip-hop culture, graffiti and spoken word – so much of what we see has evolved from the foundation these two artists contributed to their community.”

“It is about two men with seemingly no common ground finding common ground,” says Bettany. “Their art really clashes – their idea of what art is for really clashes, and what art should be really clashes.”

McCarten finds the way to make the two opposites co-exist in each other’s universe. Their relationship, that begins as a formal collaboration, turns into a deep friendship that provides creative support to both. It was Basquiat who inspired Warhol to return to painting after his years of screen-printing.


“The Collaboration” is the second installment of what McCarten calls “The Worship Trilogy,” three meditations on society’s obsession with religion, art, and money. The first part of the trilogy was the Golden Globe-nominated film The Two Popes, adapted from McCarten’s play “The Pope” and starring Golden Globe winner Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI and Golden Globe nominee Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis.

The final instalment will be Wednesday at Warren’s, Friday at Bill’s, the upcoming scripted adaptation of McCarten’s non-fiction book of the same name, about the meetings between Warren Buffett and Bill Gates that resulted in The Giving Pledge, a campaign encouraging extraordinarily wealthy people to give their fortunes to philanthropic causes.

Good news for movie-goers is that McCarten and Kwei-Armah have teamed up again on the film adaptation of “The Collaboration,” with Pope and Bettany returning as Basquiat and Warhol, Melissa Barbera playing Maya, and Golden Globe nominee Daniel Brühl playing Bischofberger