Psycomic - 11.10.01
Sheaks (she who is in charge of casting) comes to the hotel in the morning and shows Scooter and I tape of actresses who I'm not familiar with. Jen elects to sit in, as she feels it sounds fun. After an hour, she changes her tune. Watching tape of actors and actresses can be pretty painful if you have no vested interest in who gets cast.
Most actors have what's called a "reel", a tape of what they feel are the shining moments of their career; a greatest hits affair, as it were. The actors and actresses who've hit it big don't rely on reels because they rightly assume people must know who they are by now. For example, Heather Graham needs no reel; after her stints as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights, and as the spy who shags Austin Powers in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, most cats on both sides of the movie screen know who she is.
Heather Graham is who Dimension would like us to cast opposite Jay in VA 5. I don't have any objections to this (I've been a fan of hers since Drugstore Cowboy), but I'd like to meet her before offering the role. For all I know, Heather hates the flicks we've done, and has sworn to never work with us. The last thing I want to do is offer a non-fan a major role in one of our flicks, and have that actor or actress gather their friends in a drunken, derisive reading of the script, during which people are cackling and offering up such bon mots as "Run, Jay and Stupid Bob! Run!" and "Wow - I thought Chasing Amy was misguided..." (Shit - it's not far from what we're doing with the reels we're watching, adding Mystery Science Theater-like comments to the proceedings, cat-calling and whatnot. What can I say? We're bitchy little bitches, and it makes the reels a little more tolerable to sit through.) So Sheaks sets about trying to find out if Heather even knows we exist (which I think she does; she auditioned for Mallrats many years back; another reason she may not like us), and if she does, Sheaks promises to lock down a date and time for us to meet-and-greet. No reel is necessary in this instance.
Ever Caradine, however, is a sparkling new talent who hasn't had a breakout role yet, so we need to check out her reel. Yes, she'd been a recurring character on the now-canceled Veronica's Closet, and she played the sister on the ill-fated Conrad Bloom, but if you're a guy who doesn't watch much TV beyond The X-Files, The Simpsons, and sundry other shows that start with "The", you have no idea who she is.
Ever Caradine is the discovery of the day. She's really, really funny on her reel (really, REEL-y funny, one might say; all right, maybe not). She's so good, in fact, that I start wondering how in hell I missed the Conrad Bloom bandwagon, and begin questioning my taste in television. We ask Sheaks to set up a meet-and-greet with her promptly.
The viewing party was all we had on the schedule that day, so I opt to take the fam to Disneyland, which some may find ironic, considering the anti-Disney sentiments I've expressed over the last few years. But my axe was never being ground (grinded?) at Mickey himself. Shit, what Communist robot doesn't have a soft spot for a high-voiced bearer of good will with huge fucking ears and a constant smile (my wife fits the description too, and I married her)? We elect to head down to Anaheim at one.
But then Affleck calls. He's in his car, between meetings, and wants to stop by and pick up the new draft of the script. I tell him to come over, and the wife nearly shits herself, as she's still in a towel from the shower, without her makeup on or her hair done. I remind her that she's married, and that there's little need to present the best possible aesthetic version of herself to others anymore (I mean, look at me; the minute I slapped on that ring, I let myself go by about fifty pounds, and I was no catch to begin with). She ignores me, muttering something about keeping her options open, and proceeds to get gussied up for our movie star friend.
Here's the truth about Ben Affleck: he may very well be one of the greatest living human beings of all time. The man's one of the funniest wits on the planet, one of the most charming human beings who ever lived, one of the brightest brainiacs never to hold a PHD, one of the most generous fucks around, and an incredible big galoot - all at the same time. It's no secret that I've got a heterosexual crush on him. If I were gay, I'd let him plow my fields of anal gold in a heartbeat. If I were a woman, I'd let him berate me, cheat on me mercilessly, and offer me to his friends as a fuck-toy - so long as he'd stay with me. And if I was a gay woman, I'd think about turning straight for him, or at the very least, let him watch me and other girls munch rug.
As I'm just straight ol' me, I'm simply a fan of the man - personally and professionally. He's one of those cats I could talk to for hours, and usually do, when the opportunity arises. The wife knows this, and is now planning on not getting to Disneyland until six at night.
Affleck arrives and assaults me and Scooter with his infamous bear-hugs. Following that, he raids my mini-bar and starts jawing about VA5, as well as his sundry other more-well-paying gigs: a flick with Sam Jackson he's starting soon, and another flick about a guy from a Tom Clancy book that Indiana Jones once portrayed. Yes - this man who slept on my couch and bitched about how few available chicks there were while we were making Chasing Amy can now buy and sell me thousands of times over, thanks to the big, fat movie checks he's earning being one of the most in-demand actors in the biz.
That being said, he's getting paid peanuts to do our picture, another of his shining attributes. From time to time, he'll throw a brother a bone and do a week or two on his little dick and fart pictures. Thank God the man has loyal tendencies and a heart of gold.
Except when talking about my child.
When my parents-in-law arrive at the room with Harley (my kid), A-fuck proceeds to greet her with a hearty "Hello, little one. I'm your father." Yes, indeed. A helluva guy.
After I throw a script at him and kick him out of my room for besmirching my child's paternity, I and the fam head down to Disney, where we frolic for a little under two hours before the park closes. And call me paranoid, but when I buy myself one of those cool-ass Sorcerer's Apprentice hats (complete with Mickey ears), the kid's looking at me like, "I know that man was lying about being my father, dad, but fuck if I wish it weren't true."
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