"Fine. I never should have called you Mr. Daisy. It was offensive on a number of levels, and I apologize unreservedly. Now PLEASE tell me where you buried the rotor arm."

GREEN BOOK

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. HOME OF VIGGO MORTENSEN

VIGGO MORTENSEN talks with his AGENT.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Well, yes, I'd be happy to accept, but... I'm a little bit confused. Why did they go with me?

(pause)

No, no, I'm not selling myself short at all. It's just that there are many fine Italian-American actors who could fill the role brilliantly. Off the top of my head, I can name four Sopranos cast members who look more like Tony Vallelonga.

(pause)

Oh. Yeah, I see why they wouldn't want to get involved.

(pause)

No, it's fine. Guaranteed awards bait, right? So who's going to play Don Shirley?

(pause)

They're going to put WHAT on Keanu's face?!

INT. MANY CAREFUL EXPLANATIONS LATER

VIGGO attends an INTERVIEW for a JOB working for famed composer MAHERSHALA ALI.

MAHERSHALA ALI

Mr. Mortensen, I am told you're rather good at violence. I generally oppose violence, but since my concert tour will take me through the Deep South, it may prove useful. If not, you will serve as my driver and valet, as well as my student of etiquette and correspondence. Your wages will be $100 a week, which today would be worth $837.44, or enough for less than a quarter of your New York City rent.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Well, dat sounds purdy good, but I don't like de idea of takin' eat-a-cat lessons.

MAHERSHALA ALI

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. You will be my student of etiquette, correspondence, AND how to say and do the right things while black people are listening.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Oh. Okay. I prob'ly need dose and don't even know it.

(grins at camera)

EXT. THE ROAD

VIGGO drives while MAHERSHALA sits silently.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

So I know yous guys have a problem wit sittin' in the back an' stuff, but dis ain't so bad, right?

(laughs)

MAHERSHALA ALI

(sighs)

Not funny.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Okay den. So a black, an Italian, and a Jew walk into a bar--

MAHERSHALA ALI

Not funny.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

...You, uh, wanna play I Spy?

MAHERSHALA ALI

No.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Well, we both like fried chicken, right? We can bond ovuh it or somethin'!

MAHERSHALA ALI

But I don't want fried chicken.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Whaddya mean, ya don't want fried chicken? I bet I could find some watuhmelon to go wit it--

MAHERSHALA ALI

How about I shove your gob full of herring? You're Danish, right? You must LOOOOVE herring. But I. DO. NOT. WANT. FRIED. CHICKEN.

JESS M.

Please stop saying "fried chicken."

(picks some up after the movie)

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Well, I'm gonna buy some KFC from back when it didn't taste like crispy fried shoe! And ya gonna eat it because if I need ta learn how to talk to black people, YOUS need ta learn how ta stop bein' so ungrateful an' uppity!

(grins at camera)

MAHERSHALA ALI

Maybe you're right. I'll eat one piece of chicken and stop trying to act white for a while.

(grins at camera)

(realizes this was a terrible, terrible mistake)

They go on to the CONCERT, where MAHERSHALA plays CLASSICAL COMPOSITIONS that really ought to get more AIRPLAY, I mean, seriously, KING FM, we can only take so much CARMEN.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Wow, you're really good. Can we talk about how ya got so good?

MAHERSHALA ALI

Maybe later.

EXT. KENTUCKY

VIGGO drives up to a COLORED-ONLY HOTEL.

MAHERSHALA ALI

I have to stay at this shitty hotel with other black people. You stay at the less-shitty hotel down the road with the white people. This is how America worked then, for real. That's why they started publishing the Green Book, so we wouldn't have to choose between being kicked out of a rest stop or carrying a bucket in the car.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Man, dat's awful. Good ting racism is ovuh, amirite?

(grins at camera)

MAHERSHALA ALI

Why, yes. A very good thing.

(grimaces at camera)

MAHERSHALA kills a bottle of SCOTCH and then goes to a BAR, where he is accosted by some REDNECKS. VIGGO arrives in the NICK OF TIME.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Hey! No one touches duh Magical Negro witout gettin' past DIS White Man's Burden!

REDNECKS

Oh, yeah? What 'er YOU gonna do about it, Yankee? I bet you don't even got a gun.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Yeah, I do.

REDNECKS

EEP!

(run away)

MAHERSHALA ALI

(drunk)

Thought I shaid no violensh. Frickin' Neanderthal.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

I know ya did. And I'm sorry I run on my baser instincts. But at least my intentions are good.

(grins at camera)

So, uh, ain't we gonna talk about ya implied drinkin' problem?

MAHERSHALA ALI

My wha?

EXT. THE REST OF THE DEEP SOUTH

VIGGO and MAHERSHALA arrive at TOM VIRTUE's MANSION.

TOM VIRTUE

Well, I am just THRILLED to have you perform for us, Mr. Ali. I've written up a few of our favorites that we'd like to have you play, if you can.

MAHERSHALA ALI

(reads list)

"You Light Up My Life"? "Don't Stop Believin'"? The theme from Friends?

TOM VIRTUE

Why, yes. The Missus thought these would make our guests feel better about you dining at our table instead of eating from a trough out back.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Well, yous can take dose search results for "whitest songs ever" and ram--

MAHERSHALA ALI

(steadies him)

Arguing won't get us anywhere.

In the NEXT TOWN, two REDNECK COPS catch MAHERSHALA with ANOTHER GUY. VIGGO arrives.

REDNECK COPS #1 AND #2

Now, see here, boy, you can't come 'round here bein' black AND gay. We're hardworkin' officers of the law and we can only abuse you for one thing at a time.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

(flashes a $20)

Listen, guys, my ol' pal Mistah Jackson tinks we can settle dis.

REDNECK COPS #1 AND #2

Well, Mistah Jackson was NEVAH wrong!

They take the $20 and let MAHERSHALA go.

MAHERSHALA ALI

They humiliated me and you're BUYING THEM OFF?!

VIGGO MORTENSEN

(steadies him)

Arguin' won't get us nowhere.

In the NEXT TOWN, two more REDNECK COPS stop their car.

REDNECK COP #3

We can't have the black boy in town past sundown, so we're gonna have to take him with us.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

You mean... back into town? Besides, we're on duh highway. Dis ain't "in town." You Southerners don't make no sense.

REDNECK COP #3

Now don't you question our traditions. The South is all about two things: racism and football.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

DAT AIN'T FOOTBALL!!!

(punches him)

He and MAHERSHALA both get arrested.

MAHERSHALA ALI

Viggo, what did I tell you about arguing? We wouldn't be here if you had been more polite and deferential to the cops!

(grins at camera)

Now, listen, gentlemen, I'm sure we can--

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Hey! What did I tell YOU about arguin'? Just drop duh reasoned argument and do what ya need to do to get out of a jam!

(grins at camera)

MAHERSHALA ALI

Fine! I'll use my connections with rich white people to get out of here, but I'll feel really bad about it!

(grins at camera)

VIGGO MORTENSEN

And I'll argue wit YOU over dat because I don't have your class privilege, which is exactly duh same as white privilege!

(grins at camera)

They both fall silent.

MAHERSHALA ALI

I don't remember what our main point is.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Me neithuh. So, how's about we address duh multifaceted struggle of a black who's also a gay--

MAHERSHALA ALI

Let's not and say we did. I would rather discuss your inability to write a decent letter to your loving and supportive wife.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Sounds good, friend! Yup, you's my friend now, even doh you're a black. Ain't dat right?

MAHERSHALA ALI

(long, long sigh)

Yes.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

HEAR DAT?! I GOT A BLACK FRIEND!

He does a VICTORY DANCE while MAHERSHALA wonders where he wrote down AVA DUVERNAY and JORDAN PEELE's EMAIL ADDRESSES.

INT. ALABAMA

VIGGO and MAHERSHALA arrive at the LAST VENUE.

MAITRE D'

Oh, I am dreadfully sorry, Mr. Ali, but we're totally racist.

MAHERSHALA ALI

Fuck you.

ENTIRE DINING ROOM

(gasp!)

(clutch pearls!)

(faint into gross gelatin-based early 60s meals!)

MAHERSHALA ALI

Yeah, that's right. I'm standing up for myself now. You'd better get used to it because there's going to be a lot more of this in the next few years, when we start demanding equal rights in full force. And movies about that will DESERVE Best Picture.

(storms out)

VIGGO MORTENSEN

(follows him)

Dat was AWESOME! But my contract said I'd get no pay unless you played every gig. So next time you stand up for yaself, could ya make it more convenient fuh me?

MAHERSHALA ALI

(rubs temples)

You'll always have Moonlight. You'll always have Moonlight.

(gradually calms down)

I'm sorry, Viggo. Let me make it up to you by driving part of the way home so you don't miss Christmas dinner. You know, the thing the audience is supposed to worry about.

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Tanks, buddy! Ya know, you're really good at balancin' dignity and frustration. I bet ya get Best Supportin' Actor.

MAHERSHALA ALI

SUPPORTING actor?!?!?!?!?!?!

INT. VIGGO'S APARTMENT

VIGGO and his FAMILY enjoy the WARMTH and TOGETHERNESS that MAHERSHALA lacks, which is why he shows up.

ENTIRE DINING ROOM

(gasp!)

(clutch pearls!)

(faint into lasagna!)

VIGGO MORTENSEN

It's cool. He ain't here to steal our TV. Dis is duh black friend I was tellin' ya so much about.

LINDA CARDELLINI

Oh, Viggo, a black friend! Just what I suddenly realized I've always wanted!

FRANK VALLELONGA

Can I have a black friend too? My uncle had a black friend and it was the coolest!

VIGGO MORTENSEN

Hey, it's Christmas! We can ALL have a black friend!

MAHERSHALA manages to keep a SMILE on his face while the WHITE PEOPLE pass around their SHINY BLACK TOY.

END

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