Monday, December 9, 2013

WGA party

Last night I attended the annual Writer's Guild Christmas party which, for the second year was at a toney and high end restaurant called Beso, of which at least one celebrity whose name is attached to it, that being Eva Langoria, the actress from nowhere who became big with a little TV show that caught attention.

And of course, that show was Desperate Housewives.

And I have to admit, I watched every season. I liked it, I liked the writing and the characters were all cast pretty well. I was never a fan of the "star", Teri Hatcher, for some reason going back to stories about her on the Lois and Clark series, based on the Superman comics.

There are a lot of stories about a lot of actors and their behavior, Kate Jackson of the 70's show Charley's Angels was next to Satan some might say. An actor friend who worked with her on a TV movie had a lot of stories.

I don't really know the ratio of tempermental actors, men to women, but the stories I've heard are usually about women. 

I had my own experience with a hard to work with actress on a feature I wrote and directed. She was hired at the last minute by my producer and I didn't even see her until she showed up on location. 

From the very beginning she was demanding and asking for things and saying things like "I can't do that". Not a great start.

As we began filming she quickly alienated almost everyone on the crew, from the makeup person to the rest of the crew. My job in a case like this was to be nice and understanding too her.


Because we had 15 days to shoot this movie and there was no chance of getting someone else as we were filming in the Rockies, far from any major city. I was determined to make it work.

Finally, over dinner one night, it came crashing down.

There were four of us, the actress, the cameraman, the soundman and me, having dinner in the most expensive restaurant in town, actually a 4-star legendary restaurant set high up in the mountains.

Cameraman was teasing actress and actress was getting mad, lifted up her glass of wine and suggested she was going to throw it at him - but she threw it at me!

I threw a glass of wine at her and things got rowdy and we got kicked out.

So we walked back to our motel and suddenly she ran at me, cursing. I had to subdue her, she landed in a snowbank, and kept getting up until I told her that it would really be easier to not keep trying to hit me...

She got up and ran back to the motel.

I figured the movie was over.

An hour later, she appeared at my door and... apologized. 

It was then I realized I was the only one she could throw the wine at. Why? Because I was the only one who would care. Everyone else hated her so I was the only "safe" target. I needed to finish the film and if it meant I had to be nice to her, I would do that, not for her nor me, but the movie.

She did quiet down a little and her performance actually got better, mostly because of playing opposite a real pro actor who helped her.

That's my bad actress story.

And back to the WGA party; it was the same faces, a lot of wives and husbands, I met two really pretty women, sisters, who were working on a sitcom pilot. In fact, I met several women who were "working on a sit-com pilot". Seems sit-com pilots are the words you use when you don't have a job. 

Sort of like me when I'm writing a new spec.

Or writing this screenplay I am now writing for the actor, which I mentioned a few blogs ago.

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