‘Network’ (Max): “I just want you to love me, Diana”

NETWORK by Paddy Chayefsky

From: Movie

Type: Dramatic

Character: Max Schumacher is a "craggy, lumbering, roughhewn" news executive.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's | 60's

Summary: Max breaks down and let's Diana finally know how he feels.

More: Read the Screenplay | Watch the Film

Click here to download the monologue

MAX: (exploding off the chair) I’m tired of this hysteria about Howard Beale! (raging around the room) And I’m tired of finding you on the goddamned phone every time I turn around! I’m tired of being an accessory in your life! And I’m tired of pretending to write this dumb book about my maverick days in those great early years of television! Every executive fired from a network in the last twenty years has written this dumb book about the great early days of television! Nobody wants another dumb book about the great goddamned early days of television!

After six months of living with you, I’m turning into one of your scripts. But this isn’t a script, Diana. There’s some real actual life going on here. I went to visit my wife today because she’s in a state of depression, so depressed my daughter flew in from Seattle to be with her. And I feel lousy about that. I feel lousy about the pain I’ve caused my wife and kids. I feel guilty and conscience-stricken and all those things you think sentimental but which my generation called simple human decency. And I miss my home because I’m beginning to get scared s—less. It’s all suddenly closer to the end than to the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me, with definable features. You’ve got a man going through primal doubts, Diana, and you’ve got to cope with it. Because I’m not some guy discussing male menopause on the Barbara Walters show. I’m the man you presumably love. I live right here. I’m part of your life. I’m real. You can’t switch to another channel.

I just want you to love me, Diana. I just want you to love me, primal doubts and all. You understand that, don’t you?

*For the version that was done in the Broadway play starring Bryan Cranston, click here.

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