Saturday, December 02, 2006

You Must Remember This

Yesterday I did extra work on a film (thankless, unimportant work also known as "background" or "moving furniture, which is more like it) called "
Accidental Husband" in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. Boring. The magic of filmmaking is gone for me, has been gone for a long time. There's no glamour, just long days. There's no star quality anymore, I never get starstruck. Old Hollywood is dead.

(extras herding onto the set: moooo!)

This w
ould be another long day of waiting; drudgery, as usual, so I brought my manuscript (YOU CAN RUN) to finish editing. The downstairs holding area was crammed with extras: old women reapplying makeup, others chatting inanely on, as they do, about whether the lunch will be catered or "walk away" and gee, we hope to get a pay bump for the rain outside, even though we're inside.

I couldn't concentrate, had to get away, so I wandered with my manuscript, through a maze of camera playback equipment, cords and production assistants to find a couch at the other end of the basement. There sat an older woman, an actress, sides in her lap. "Mind if I sit here?" I said, holding my bags. "Sure, you can sit here." She had an accent, and by the time I sat down beside her, I couldn't speak.

The woman beside me was
Isabella Rosellini, daughter of legendary Ingrid Bergman, and she looks just like her mother. Old Hollywood is not dead. The dynasty lives on in Isabella Rosselini's classic face. Suddenly I couldn't read my manuscript, couldn't speak, couldn't eat the fat sandwich I had just made from craft services. I just sat, actually starstruck, staring forward, as Isabella calmly muttered, rehearsing her lines for the next scene.

I dared glance left and there she was, in the flesh. I was sitting beside Ilsa at Rick's Cafe, in Casablanca. And as time goes by, that's as good as Hollywood gets, for a person like me.

2 comments: said...

Jesse, I love your blog and loved your article in Out Magazine dec 06. Your witty, funny, and put your feelings out there. Who cares if your a fem. You have personality and are in better shape than probably 75% of the guys from your class in high school. Doesn't hurt that your fucking cute.

The Average Joe said...

:-o isa-fucking-rosellini! love!... there is a funny anecdote she tells of her mother and the incomparable and my personal fav Ms. Garbo.

When Ingrid came to Hollywood she sent a letter to Garbo saying she would love a Swedish evening with her filled with Swedish music and meatballs. . A year goes by and nothing. Ingrid right before leaving town for a shoot, gets a letter from Garbo saying she would love to meet soon. Ingrid ofcourse cant make it.

Later Ingrid told that story to a mutual friend and the friend said "you dont think she knew you were going out of town"

Ah miss Garbo.