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Entries in movies (3)

Wednesday
Feb262014

Dear New York: I'm the New Alec Baldwin

This week, Alec Baldwin published a New York Magazine piece announcing that he is getting out of the city, and the public eye, for good. I just want to say, to showbiz and the media—I’m willing to take his place. I think I’m really right for the job, because Alec Baldwin and I have a lot in common.  

For one thing, our hair is kind of similar. (See photo above.)

Alec Baldwin is known as a great New York actor, the kind of guy you might see performing in Shakespeare in the Park. I’ve done Shakespeare in a Parking Lot, on the Lower East Side. What could be more “New York” than having a Dept. of Sanitation truck drive through during your soliloquy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Alec Baldwin was on 30 Rock for seven seasons, and I auditioned for 30 Rock once. I didn’t get the part, but I almost had a scene with Alec Baldwin, and I’m sure we would’ve become close, because we’re so much alike. 

Alec Baldwin was married to Kim Basinger, and I’ve had sex with Kim Basinger many times, in my mind. (It’s usually like that scene in 9 ½ Weeks—she’s blindfolded, and I’m feeding her exotic foods, like nachos and buffalo wings. She’ll be like, “What’s that?” You know, all turned on. And I’ll say, “Blue cheese, babe.” Then I go to the fridge to get something else to tantalize her with, and Mickey Rourke shows up. He says, “Waddaya got there…guacamole?” I’m like, Mickey, get out of here! Kim and I are having food sex!” She says, “Who’s that?” I say, “Nobody.” She says, “Is that Mickey Rourke?” I’m like, “No, he’s not here.” She says, “Mickey…? Did you say guacamole?” Mickey Rourke is like, “Hey, Kim, what’s up?” She says, “This is getting weird” and takes off her blindfold. I’m like, “What do you mean? It’s my fantasy, so why are you saying it’s weird?!”) But I digress.

Lastly, I’m not a homophobe, and neither is Alec Baldwin (according to his article, which I do believe).

So you see, I’m the perfect person to fill the Alec Baldwin-sized hole that will be left in all New Yorkers’ lives. Maybe I’m a little less famous, now, and the paparazzi aren’t beating down my door. But what I have that he doesn’t is the desire to be a public figure. I welcome the attention, I need it, and won’t go running to some remote, off-the-media-grid place, like Los Angeles. So, New York, my door is open…come inside. Stalk me, misquote me, make my life hell. I’ll even punch you in the face.

Monday
Jan142013

Exclusive Photo: Golden Globes Red Carpet

Thursday
Jul212011

HOLLYWOOD CONFIDENTIAL: MY BIG MOVIE ROLE

Earlier this week, I played a small but significant role in a major motion picture. I thought I would write about it, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the working life of a film actor. While on set, I was asked to sign an agreement not give out any confidential information about the project “orally, in writing, or by any other media.” It read, “Confidential Information shall include all scripts, characters, cast, settings, locations, special effects, costuming, make-up, lighting, sound, data” and a bunch of other stuff I wouldn’t even think of talking about. With that in mind, here’s what I can tell you:

I was in a movie. It was a comedy, or maybe a tragedy. The movie was shot in a highly populous city on the Northeastern seaboard. It had a big star in it, someone you’ve heard of and may even like a lot. I was in a scene with the star, and my job was to react to a particular thing that the star was doing. You will definitely hear about this movie, and may even want to go see it. It may or may not be good.

I think I can tell you that I had my own dressing room in a trailer, parked on a street in this Northeastern city. The room was small and narrow, but air-conditioned, which was important, since the city was experiencing a heat wave. It had a bunk with a plastic mattress, a fire extinguisher, and a sink with a sign on it that said “Potable Water. Not for Drinking.” (Doesn’t “potable” mean safe to drink?) I sat in the trailer for many hours. Once in a while, someone would knock on the door and ask me to try on clothes (which I’m not allowed to describe) or fill out paperwork, such as the non-disclosure form. A writer stopped by to brief me on the scene. He told me, “Keep it very small.” I said, “Sure, you mean just be real.” He said, “That’s right.”

Oh, but another thing I think I can say about acting in a movie is that my room had a wall-mounted stereo with an awesome cassette deck, which I would’ve used if it’d been 1985 and I’d had a tape on me. Instead I just listened to classic rock radio. I also had my own bathroom, which I didn’t realize until halfway through the shoot. Before that, I’d used the public bathrooms, which were housed in a different part of the same trailer and marked Desi (for men) and Lucy (for women). These trailers are called “honey wagons.” According to Wikipedia, “‘honey wagon’ is a facetious traditional general term for ‘a wagon or truck for collecting and carrying excrement or manure.’” I hope I’m not disclosing too much, but I know people are interested in showbiz and how it works.

Outside my door, there was a piece of tape with the name of the role I was playing written on it with a Sharpie. OK, I’ll just tell you, it said “Offended Customer.” (I think I can say that without breaking my agreement, since it isn’t really a character name but more a generic description.) It was a part I thought I would be good at, since I am often a customer, am often offended, and frequently both at once.

Like I said, I’d been cast in this role to do a hilarious reaction -- ok, a small hilarious reaction -- to something that the star of the movie would be doing in a particular scene. (I would explain, but I’d get sued.) You might say that a whole joke or set piece in the film depended on my small but hilarious reaction to this thing, and for that reason I was not only worth paying the SAG day rate, but I was money in the bank.

At some point, we rehearsed the scene. The director told me to keep it very small. I said, “You mean just be real.” He said, “Yes.” During rehearsal, I got nervous, because the star was a very big star, and he or she was telling me what to do. But I basically ignored what the star was saying, because I knew that’s what the star would do if he or she were in my shoes, and because that’s just the way I roll. I went back to my trailer while they did some film production stuff.

Later, we shot the scene. It went well. Beforehand, the star came up and chitchatted with me. He or she said to me, “Just keep it very small.” I said, “Yeah, yeah, just be real.” The star said, “Yes! Very real.” We did several takes and the star and director didn’t say anything to me, so I figured I was doing all right. I heard the director say, “I think we got it.” Then I went back to the honey wagon and sat there for a long time in case they needed me again, which they didn’t. I ate some spaghetti from the craft services table, and my work was done.

That’s all I can say, except that the rest of the movie is being made right now, and the film will most likely be released in the future. It will be projected onto a large screen in a darkened room, perhaps at a theater near you. I may or may not be in it.