All about Eve Joseph L. Mankiewicz Lloyd Richards Character Analysis/Profile
All about Eve character analysis Lloyd Richards
Playwright Lloyd Richards writes plays for the infamous Margo Channing, and her acting abilities on stage have made his past plays big hits; making him ‘commercially the most successful playwright in America’ who, as informed in the opening scene, is genuinely ‘interested in art’ and not ‘making a buck’ like Max Fabian.
But his relationship Margo is tense at times. Lloyd detests the fact that although he writes the plays himself, ultimately it is Margo in the spotlight, and all credit for the success of the play seems to be due to her. He questions that ‘just when does an actress decide they’re her words she’s saying?’, as Margo often changes his script, retorting that she has to ‘rewrite…them…to keep the audience from leaving the theatre’.
This conflict between Margo and Lloyd is displayed time and time again, but it reaches its climax when Margo is late for a reading at an audition, and when she discovers that Eve read for Ms Caswell, she confronts Lloyd with her usual fiery attitude, except Lloyd’s patience with Margo had started to deteriorate as the film continued and at this point it had reached its decline. When we see Lloyd arrogantly compare Margo to the likes of an instrument, claiming that just as ‘the piano has not written the concerto’ Margo’s fame is accredited to his plays, the strain in their relationship is exposed to the audience. During this scene, Margo is standing on the stage, which emphasizes her authority, influence and fame in the theatre world as compared to Lloyd who is in the stands below her, which perhaps highlights his position as a playwright who works behind the scenes, and forces us to draw a comparison between their social standings in the eyes of the public.
Lloyd’s desire to have a youthful actress as a protagonist in his plays makes him forget his obligation towards Margo as a friend and colleague. He yearns to ‘write a play and have it realized completely’, and finally ‘not be compromised’. Although Karen dutifully reminds him that ‘all these years…Margo hasn’t exactly been a compromise’, as her acting had brought him much of his success, we see that he wants to cast Eve as he believes that she respects his plays enough to read them word for word and sees that she is much more compliant than Margo. When he decides to cast Eve as ‘Cora’, asserting that she ‘has got everything- a born actress’, we see that he is completely ignorant towards Karen’s insecurities of having ‘no talent to offer’ and being ‘of the theatre [only] by marriage’. We realise that he is also completely oblivious of Eve’s true nature and her ‘insatiable ambition’, which drives her to use and manipulate those around her. In fact, when her plans to seduce Bill fail and she turns to Lloyd, we are shown that he is totally ignorant towards Eve’s deception, as he is also one of the last people to find out about her manipulative nature.