Excerpts from the NEW New Broadway Adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird Starring Naomi Campbell as Calpurnia

INT. FINCH KITCHEN. Morning. Calpurnia is at the sink, sultrily smoking a cigarette, wearing a French maid’s uniform by Jean Paul Gautier and fish net stocking. 

DILL – (Entering Kitchen to see Jem and Scout at table.) Good morning.

CALPURNIA – You better check your lipstick before you come talk to me.

DILL – But I’m not…..

CALPURNIA – You’re up mighty bright and early, you little bitch.

DILL – I’ve been up since four.

CALPURNIA – Next time you go buy a fucking wig, take me with you.  The one you’re wearing is atrocious.

DILL – But I’m not…

CALPURNIA – So you get up at four?

DILL – Oh, yes. My daddy was a railroad man until he got rich, and now he flies aeroplanes.  One of these days he’s just going to swoop down here at Maycomb and pick me up and take me for a ride.

CALPURNIA – That airplane story reminds me, I have to be at the airport in ten fucking minutes.


INT. KITCHEN – Atticus and Jem are eating breakfast. Calpurnia is serving them. Miss Maudie comes into the kitchen. 

MAUDIE – Good morning. I came over to see Jean Louise ready for her first day at school.

CALPURNIA – Maudie, you better check your lipstick before you come talk to me.  Turning upstairs.  Scout!

ATTICUS – What are you going to do with yourself all morning, Cal, with both the children in school?

CALPURNIA – (Stabbing out cigarette.)  I don’t know what I’m going to do all day. But if someone comes at me, you best bet I am coming back for them. [Scout enters. She has on a dress and feels very awkward in it.]

JEM – Look at Scout

CALPURNIA – You leave her alone, Jem.  Her dress is better than that Zara knockoff you’re wearing.

JEM – But I’m not wear….

CALPURNIA – You better check your lipstick before you even think of coming to talk to me.

JEM – But I’m not…

ATTICUS – Come on, Scout. Eat your breakfast.

MAUDIE – I think you dress is mighty becoming.

CALPURNIA – That dress is a Versace.  Did you even know Gianni Versace?  Because I did.

MAUDIE – No I didn’t…

CALPURNIA – Well then maybe you should leave and come back when you even look like something.

ATTICUS – Calpurnia, please.

CALPURNIA – Atticus, you better check your lipstick before you even think of coming to talk to me.  Does a sultry hair flip and eye ball roll.  Now, don’t go tugging at that dress, Scout. You want to have it all wrinkled before you even get to school?

SCOUT –  I still don’t see why I have to wear a darn old dress.

CALPURNIA – I love wearing couture.  But I don’t always wear underwear. When I’m in the heat, especially, I can’t wear it. Like, if I’m wearing a flower dress, why do I have to wear underwear?

MAUDIE – Scout, you’ll get used to it.

CALPURNIA – You know the first person who called me when Gianni Versace was shot?  Nelson Fucking Mandela.  That’s who.

JEM – I’m ready.

ATTICUS – Son, it’s a half hour before school starts. Now wait for your sister.

JEM – Hurry up, Scout.

SCOUT I’m ready.

JEM Come on.  Jem starts out, Scout follows him. Miss Maudie, Atticus and Calpurnia go as far as the screen door with them. Scout and Jem go out the screen door.

CALPURNIA – Well, there she goes. My Lord, Mr. Finch weren’t no more’n yesterday I was rocking Scout good night. Weren’t no more’n yesterday their mama was standin’ here with me watchin’ Jem leave for school his first time, an’ she said to me then, “Cal…”  She looks up at Atticus. She sees he is upset. She stops. They stand watching in silence before Calpurnia speaks again, I have to get to the airport in ten fucking minutes.


EXT. Finch Home.

ATTICUS –  I remember when my daddy gave me the gun, he told me: “Never point at anything in the house,: and that he’d rather I’d just shoot tin cans in the back yard. But he said sooner or later, he supposed, the temptation to go after birds would be too much and to shoot all the blue jays I wanted if I could hit them; but to remember, it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.

JEM – Why?

ATTICUS – Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don’t do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat people’s gardens, they don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. Anyway, that’s why I think it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. How did you like school, Scout?

SCOUT – Sitting with Walter Cunningham.  All right.

Calpurnia struts into the dining room with the syrup dish, looks at Walter, winks at him saucily.  

ATTICUS – Walter would like it, please, Cal.

Calpurnia takes the syrup dish to Walter Cunningham and he begins to pour it liberally all over his food. 

SCOUT – What in the Sam Hill are you doing, Walter? Atticus shakes his head at Scout to keep quiet. 

CALPURNIA – Scout, you better check your lipstick before you come talk to me.


CALPURNIA – You march in that kitchen. I want to talk to you.

Scout eyes her suspiciously, sees she is in no mood to be trifled with, and goes out to the kitchen. 

CALPURNIA – Bitch, I make a ton of money.  And I am worth every goddamn cent.  But there’s some folks who don’t eat like us and wear Zara knock offs, but you ain’t called on to contradict them at the table. Only I can do that. That boy’s yo’ comp’ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth, you let him, you hear? An’ if you can’t act fit to eat at the table, you can just set here an’ eat in the kitchen.


INT.  Maycomb Courthouse

Atticus turns away from the jury. Calpurnia comes the courtroom, struts down the middle aisle towards Atticus.  She makes a sultry face at Judge Taylor, does a hair flip, pivots, stamps out her cigarette on the courthouse floor, and walks back down the aisle.  She stops and then makes her way down the middle aisle again.

JUDGE – Yes, Calpurnia?

CALPURNIA – Judge, you better check your lipstick before you come talk to me.  Dismisses him with a solitary but well-orchestrated hair flip.

JUDGE – But you’re the one who’s coming… Calpurnia throws her Blackberry at Judge and he is immediately chastened.  Of course.

CALPURNIA – You are not on my level and you never will be.  Now I’m just going to pass this note on to Mr. Finch. It hasn’t got anything to do with this bullshit trial.  This trial seems like hell.  But if it were hell, I’d be wearing that knockoff Zara robe you’re wearing.  Judge Taylor nods and Atticus takes the note. He reads it. 

ATTICUS –  Judge, Calpurnia says my children have been missing since noon. Could –

JUDGE – I know where they are, Atticus. They’re right up yonder in the colored balcony.

ATTICUS – Jem and Scout, come down from there.

JEM – We’ve won, haven’t we?

ATTICUS – I’ve no idea. You’ve been here all afternoon? Go home with Calpurnia and get your supper — and stay home.

JEM-  Aw, Atticus, let us come back. Please let us hear the verdict. Please, sir.

ATTICUS – Well, you’ve heard it all, so you might as well hear the rest. Tell you what: you all can come back when you’ve eaten your supper. But I expect it’ll be over before you get back.

JEM – You think they’ll acquit him that fast?

CALPURNIA – Turning to the jury.  You all better check your lipstick before you even come talk to me.


EVENING.  INT. Finch Home.

Calpurnia – Here’s Scout.

SCOUT – I’m all right, Cal.

CALPURNIA – This is what happens when you wear a knockoff Zara ham.

ATTICUS – Heck? Atticus Finch. Someone’s been after my children. Jem’s hurt. Between here and the schoolhouse.  Run out here, please, and see if he’s still around. Thanks, Heck.

SCOUT – Atticus, is Jem dead?

ATTICUS – No, Scout. Look after her, Cal.

CALPURNIA – Are you sure you’re all right?

SCOUT – Sure. Cal, is Jem dead?

CALPURNIA – No, he’s unconscious. What the fuck happened?

SCOUT – I swear, I don’t know.

CALPURNIA – Put these on, honey. She hands Scout some Dolce & Gabbana trousers and a sequined Gucci blouse.

ATTICUS – Come in, Heck. Did you find anything?

HECK Mr. Finch, I’ll tell you what I found. I found a little girl’s dress. It’s out there in my car. That your dress, Scout?

SCOUT – Yes, sir. If it’s pink.

CALPURNIA – It’s a pink Versace, Sheriff Tate.  You and I are not equals.

HECK – Bob Ewell’s lyin’ on the ground under that tree down yonder with a kitchen knife stuck up under his ribs. He’s dead, Mr. Finch.

CALPURNIA – Are you fucking sure?

HECK – You think you can tell us what happened, Miss Scout?

SCOUT – All of a sudden, somethin’ grabbed me and mashed my costume an’ I ducked and then Mr. Ewell, I reckon, grabbed him again and Jem hollered an’ then somebody grabbed me, Mr. Ewell, I guess, and somebody grabbed him and then I heard somebody pantin’ and coughin’…

HECK – Who was it?

SCOUT Why, there he is, Mr. Tate. He can tell you his name…

SCOUT Hey, Boo…

ATTICUS – Mr. Arthur, honey. Jean Louise, this is Mr. Arthur Radley. I believe he already know you.

CALPURNIA – Boo, you better check your lipstick before you even come talk to me.  She cackles gloriously and says, Come along, Mr. Arthur, you sexy bitch. I need to be at the airport in ten fucking minutes.