(Virgin lookalike on left)
The telephone stuck its electric finger in my ear.
After a three more rings my machine went, `I'm sorry Forrest is not in right now. If you BLEEEEP' and the machine broadcast her famous voice in the dark.
"Forrest pick up, you asshole. Come on, you gotta be there. Whattareyou, in the bathroom? You should get a phone in the bathroom, Forrest. Saves time."
Reluctantly I rolled over and picked up the phone. "Who is this?" I said. My old joke.
"This is your Star, dummo. Calling a future star. What's it like in London?"
`Heavy darkness. Raining. Cold.' I stretched to look at the clock glowing on the nightstand. `The way it usually is in December at two in the morning.'
`How soon can you be here?'
`We've been through all that.'
`We haven't been through anything. Anyway, I'm not calling for me. I'm calling for a friend, Mel Tietjens. You heard of Mel Tietjens?'
`Not the Mel Tietjens."
|Mel Tietjens lookalike|
`I can't come to LA. I have commitments here.' Which was true. In two weeks I was due to be the guest speaker for the South London Hozuki dealers annual Christmas lunch. That loomed large on my calendar.
"Not for me, dummo. For you. Listen to me. I got you a part."
"A part what?" I said. I am not at my best in the small hours.
"WAKE UP Forrest. I mean it's all set, but you gotta meet Mel and you gotta meet my agent. Have you met David? You'd know if you did.
Anyway the film's called JUICE, starring Sam Miles. PLUS she’s directing. Can you believe it, Samantha Miles is directing? PLUS she's starring with Sean Finlay. Sean is hotter than Tom Cruise now. Listen, the screening's Sunday.'
(Samantha Miles lookalike, right.)
`Sunday is tomorrow.'
`Right tomorrow. No big deal just the first dailies but it's the only time there's a chance to meet Mel and Sam maybe before they start shooting again. Sean I don't know if Sean is going to be there, but David definitely. David talked to your agent, what's his name, Ed Victor. Victor is all for it. Isn't that great? Aren't you really glad to hear from me?"
"It's a treat to hear from you Virgin." I turned on the light. "How are you?"
"You have somebody there, in bed? I AM THE GREATEST BONK OF ALL TIME. ASK FORREST. HE KNOWS! There, did she hear that?"
"She's in Paris, Virgin.' Or Rome. Or The Seychelles. The cards had stopped coming. `Are you in it?"
"Nah, not me. Just my money. David George, don't tell me you haven't heard of David George.' There was a pause.
"You must have heard of him. David put that whole buyout deal for like two billion with Hozuki and Olympic Films. So this is his first package with the New Olympic studio. I'll tell you about it when you get here. Anyway, David is my agent and as a favour he let me in for a piece of the gross on JUICE so I have a little pull. And when they lost their driver, there's a lot of driving, I suggested you because you're comfortable driving 200 miles an hour and they want to meet you which is as good as ok."
(David George lookalke, right)
"I'm not comfortable at 200 miles an hour unless I'm on an airplane, Virgin. What do you mean a part? I can't do it, but as long as you woke me up you might as well tell me about it."
"Hey, wait a minute here. Don't bullshit me, Forrest. I checked it out. It is cold, miserable, wet and dark in London and the sun is shining a zillion watts here. We're talking a single light source eighty million miles away shining down on you in Southern California giving you a deep tan as a background for your white teeth as in big wide smile. You are in a rut Forrest and you are too stubborn to recognize it. Tell me this. Where else can you re-invent yourself overnight except in the movies?'
`I don't want to re-invent myself, Virgin.'
`You don't have to. There's people here who can do it for you. Come on. A couple of weeks, Forrest. Billing. Ok, not top, but there, on the sheet. A lot of money. But forget the money. This could be a breakthrough for you.'
`Virgin . . .' I said trying to get a word in.
`Listen to me. Will you just listen? I mean I know I told you, but I know you could be a star. Like a tiger I fought for you. You could be major, Forrest; a major, major star. Yes. OK, it's not a featured part, but it is a part. You'll be great."
"I appreciate your confidence, Virg, but I don't think they could afford me. I'm looking for six million."
"Well good luck. I don't think they are gonna go six million. You buying a house?"
"I'm looking for sponsorship for Formula One and it is a full time, boring, tedious and repetitious job. I appreciate the offer, Virgin, but I can't afford the time.'
"Hey, Forrest, wait a minute. Slow down. This is a 75 million dollar production. Plus the promotion is budgeted 35 million. Guaranteed distribution in 127 countries. Plus video sales AND rentals. And a tie-in with a major international automotive introduction from Hozuki with the world's first practical electric car. Hey, maybe we could work a deal, something like you appear in the movie and they put JUICE on the side of your car for the International Distributors. How's that sound? You get your sponsorship, they get international exposure. Let me do this, Forrest.
|The real Ed Victor|