The INXS flap: screenwriter responds
Tina Hutchence’s scathing criticism of how the miniseries INXS: Never Tear Us Apart portrayed her half-brother Michael and their family has puzzled screenwriter Justin Monjo.
Monjo, who co-wrote the Shine Australia drama with Dave Warner, hasn’t watched or read Tina’s interviews but insists the show is respectful of Michael and based on interviews with the surviving band members.
“I don’t know what she said but I don’t know how anyone would be upset,” Monjo told IF today. “We did not interview her or her brother Rhett. The story was about the band and they were not part of the journey of these six guys.
“It is a respectful story of who Michael was an artist, how good his music was, and what he did for the band. I think anyone who saw it would think he was a wonderful musician who died tragically. You just had to like him."
Tina, who lives in Los Angeles, gave numerous interviews to Australian media outlets in which she castigated the show as a soap opera and a complete fabrication of their family.
Monjo says the scenes depicting Hutchence’s family life lasted for three minutes and they showed that his parents fought and his mother had multiple marriages.
He listed the biggest challenge as compressing what happened to the band members over 20 years into four hours. Another challenge was working on a budget of $6.6 million, which meant the vast majority of the production was shot in Melbourne despite the narrative’s global scope.
“I wrote a lot more scenes which we could not fit onto the board,” he says, adding that some people who were a pivotal part of the INXS story, such as director Richard Lowenstein, had to be left out. Nonetheless he credits director Daina Reid with doing a “terrific job.”