gonewiththereap: (and that is why I like you: by wonderfal)
[personal profile] gonewiththereap


HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY: EPISODE 1.05

INT. WILL’S SUITE – DAY

WILL sits and types on his laptop while ANDREA and ANDREW sit on the chairs nearby, discussing something while WILL is evidently zoned out.

ANDREW
You’re still blaming her?

ANDREA
She knew the role had been written off. She didn’t tell me. Who do you want me to blame? The milkman?

ANDREW
Do those even exist any longer?

ANDREA
[Sighs]
Just let me have a few more days of ignoring her.

ANDREW
You know, it has been two weeks.

ANDREA
I do know, actually.

ANDREW
Just checking. I wasn’t sure if Will’s nocturnalistic lifestyle had been spreading. William, what day is it?

WILL
[Distracted]
Uh…Wednesday?

ANDREW
Actually, it’s Sunday, but good show.

ANDREA hides a smile and leans over to kindly pat WILL on the shoulder.

ANDREA
It’s okay. Jake already has plans to get you completely plastered as soon as this ordeal is over.

ANDREW
He can’t hear you. He’s writing.

ANDREA
Aw, Will.

[She leans over and pats him on the head, peering at the script as she gives a disgusted sigh]

WILL
Oh, what?

ANDREW
Perhaps you wrote in a milkman? She seems to despise them so.

ANDREA
You killed her off. You killed off the main character.

ANDREW
Ah, here we go.

WILL
Yes. And?

ANDREA
Why? Why is death such a commonly used theme? Why does someone always have to die?

WILL
Because it’s the way things are. If there’s a gun on the stage, it should be used by act five, if there’s a human life in someone’s hands, that life will eventually take a last breath and if it’s my pen that writes it, then I control it. Then, I am God.

[A pause]

ANDREW
Remind me to convert.

ANDREA laughs and smacks ANDREW, getting his hair disheveled as he peers up.

ANDREW [cont’d]
[As the shot fades away]
Care to convert to my religion, darling?

ANDREA
Just let the man write.

OPENING CREDITS

INT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY LOBBY – DAY

BELLA stands, leaning against the counter as she rolls her eyes and watches MATT sifting through mail, sorting it impeccably into too-neat, too-square piles.

BELLA
Matthew.

MATT
[Without looking up]
That is your stern voice. That is a voice that scares me.

BELLA
Look, Matthew…

MATT
And we’re still going with full-name usage, so I’m too terrified to actually look up.

BELLA
I’d look up if you ever want to work in this town again, buster.

MATT immediately looks up, smiling accommodatingly.

MATT
Yes, mistress?

BELLA
Good boy. Now, we’re going to discuss a lovely, magical thing called leverage, Matthew.

She wanders around the desk to drape an arm over his shoulder’s, amidst his protests that she can’t really be back there.

BELLA [cont’d]
And in this business, it’s not what you know, it’s who you…

MATT
Blow?

BELLA
I’m not Andrew, sweetie.

MATT
[Smirk]
So, it’s who you know.

BELLA
One day, this town will implode in a burst of immorality and sin and this place is going to go first, the way you and Andrew go. Now, how about you do me a favor and I do you one in return.

MATT
I’m listening…

BELLA
You know most of the people in this town.

MATT
I do, indeed.

BELLA
So now you’re going to use all of those pretty little connections to help me get Tom to stay.

MATT
I’m listening…

BELLA
Don’t worry, I have something in my pocket for you. How about that audition with a prominent director for a bit role?

MATT
Matt likeys.

SARAH enters and winces at that.

SARAH
What did you say to him? I can practically see the drool.

MATT
[nonchalant]
You’re totally looking at the next big thing.

SARAH
To…happen to white geek boys?

MATT
Just remember this when I’m famous and you’re still writing about aliens.

SARAH
The one story!...

BELLA
What are you doing here, anyhow?

SARAH
I’m apparently Danielle’s chaperone.

MATT
To go try on sexy lingerie?

SARAH
No.
[sotto voce]
Perv.
[normal voice]
I’m taking her to an audition so I can talk her into actually reading for the role.

BELLA
[distractedly, reading the newspaper]
The comedy, right?

SARAH
Yup. Wacky roommate, or romantic lead. She’s deciding on the ride over.

MATT
God bless typecasting.

BELLA
She’ll get the romantic lead. Girls who look like Danielle don’t play wacky.

MATT
This better not mean I have to mimic her hairstyle, because my hair is about ten times nicer.

SARAH
You’re such a girl, Matt.

INT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY – DAY

CRYSTAL is fighting with her door, trying to get it to stay open to use the mirror on the closet wall, switching between dresses.

CRYSTAL
How can I not have one flattering dress?

She flips through her clothes, obviously anxious.

CRYSTAL (cont’d)
Red. No. Red is too…yeah. But red is provocative and it’s not too low-cut. But black is nice and classy!

[She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes]

CRYSTAL (cont’d)
Maybe I really should have taken the vows. Black and white forever with no option out.

DANIELLE has been hanging around in the hall, concealing a smile.

DANIELLE
Freaking out this much over a dress. Either you have an audition or there’s a boy. And the red is a bit escort-like. But in a nice way. Not the ‘I’d pay five bucks to do blow off you’ way.

CRYSTAL
Uh…

DANIELLE
I was just worried you thought the whore thing ran in the family. It doesn’t. You’re very clean-cut.

CRYSTAL
So I take it you know about my sister, too? [Under her breath] Was there a flyer?

DANIELLE
In this place, the grapevine has wheels.

CRYSTAL
Great. Just great.

DANIELLE
Wear the purple dress. It flatters your skin tone.

CRYSTAL just stares at her speechlessly.

DANIELLE
Yeah, it was kind advice. [brightly] Just uh, don’t get used to it!

She waves as she cheerfully heads off.

DANIELLE (cont’d)
Toodles!

EXT. BUILDING – EVENING

SARAH and DANIELLE stand there, SARAH smoking a cigarette while DANIELLE fidgets with her sunglasses.

SARAH
So it went well?

DANIELLE
Do you ever get that feeling that a casting director is mentally undressing you while you run your lines?

SARAH
Wasn’t this one female?

DANIELLE
Yeaah.

A pause.

SARAH
Really…can’t say that I know how that feels.

DANIELLE peers around the door to view ANDREW and NICK LINWOOD fighting. NICK is a seriously out-of-touch man, who looks like he listens to no one and can have a dozen people listening to him in a second flat. He is tall, imposing, and charming if the moment calls for it.

DANIELLE
They’re still going at it.

SARAH
So why are we here?

DANIELLE
They told me we were doing pick-ups!

JAKE approaches with coffees, handing them to the women.

JAKE
Morning, ladies.

SARAH
Hey there, handsome. A mocha latte. Are you trying to get in my pants?

JAKE
Thank Matt. He told me you were coming.

DANIELLE
SHH! They’re coming this way! Look…you know…

JAKE
Nonchalant?

DANIELLE
What?

SARAH
[whispers]
Big words and Danielle don’t mix, remember?

ANDREW
Honestly, I think we’re done.

NICK
You say that, but see, I don’t see the product.

ANDREW
[through gritted teeth]
The product, Mr. Linwood, is on your reels. We don’t need the special effects. Danielle and Jake’s talent can…

NICK
Look, I’ll have the company take a look at what they can do. Dani, Jack…

JAKE
It’s actually Jake, sir.

NICK
Jack Boyd has a better ring. You kids have been great. Why don’t you just go with my assistant and run your lines so we can add a bit of dazzle.

DANIELLE stares at ANDREW, hissing his name. ANDREW just sighs.

ANDREW
Do as the man says, Danielle.

DANIELLE
Fine.

NICK wanders off, leaving SARAH and ANDREW to stand around awkwardly.

SARAH
Andrew…

ANDREW
I’m not in the mood for anything you have to say, Miss Slightman.

SARAH
Right. I’ll leave you alone.

ANDREW
That would be for the best.

INT. RESTAURANT – EVENING

CRYSTAL sits, fidgeting with her dress as she scans the crowd for faces, leaning forward desperately. She finally exhales and sits back when STEVE sits in the chair opposite her.

STEVE
How about that foot traffic, huh? I swear there was a pileup on the bridge.

CRYSTAL
I’m just glad you got here. I was getting hungry.

STEVE
Hey, nice dress. The purple is hot.

CRYSTAL
[laughs warmly]
Thanks…I think?

STEVE
I’m just a guy. My compliments are limited to ‘hot’, ‘sweet’ and ‘your ass looks great in those jeans’. Don’t think my Mom likes hearing that last one though as much as she does.

CRYSTAL
You just can’t mean half the things you say!

STEVE
I’m horrible, aren’t I?

CRYSTAL
I think I can get used to it.

STEVE
Wow. Two dates and already you’re lowering your standards for me. I think that’s a new record.

CRYSTAL
[Sounding shy]
I think that you’re an exception.

STEVE
So, tell me, what does a guy have to do to earn a third date with a gorgeous girl like you?

CRYSTAL
You could start by ordering the wine.

STEVE
Enchantée, mademoiselle.
[They both laugh as he signals]
Waiter!

INT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY CHRISTIAN’S ROOM – NIGHT

CHRISTIAN sits eating Chinese noodles out of a Styrofoam box as he reads a brief, his cell phone beside him. There is a knock on the door and he barely glances up.

CHRISTIAN
Who is it?

RICK
Hey, it’s me.

CHRISTIAN hesitates before he gets up, sliding off his glasses and unbolting the door, heading back to his desk. RICK opens it slowly, peering around, as if to case the room.

CHRISTIAN
I didn’t hide any ninjas in the curtains, Rick.

RICK
You never know with tabloid reporters.

CHRISTIAN
What’s going on?

RICK
I dunno, you know? I guess I just heard a thing from Bella, so I came up to see how you were.

CHRISTIAN

[warily]
What…thing?

RICK
She said you were in a mood lately, like you were just a hurricane waiting to hit land.

CHRISTIAN
And she didn’t mention why?

RICK
Something about work? I think her exact words were ‘he’s like a dry spell in Iowa, all cracked and cold’.

CHRISTIAN
[Waits a long moment to speak, then speaks very slowly]
She did, did she?

RICK
You’re pissed.

CHRISTIAN
Rick, I am not…

RICK
No, I’ve been your best friend for three years and you are pissed off. Wow. And at Bella. That takes balls.

CHRISTIAN
Was that all she said?

RICK
She might have mentioned seeing a plane ticket. A one-way plane ticket?
[Quietly]
What’s going on, Christian?

CHRISTIAN
[laughs mildly and holds up a handful of papers]
I am elbow-deep in a case right now defending one of the local restaurants against some complainants. Do you really think I would just up and leave in the middle of something like that? The ticket’s one-way because I don’t know how long I’m going to need up in Sacramento to visit some of these chains.

RICK
Really?

CHRISTIAN
Rick. Why would I lie to you?

RICK
[Exhales audibly]
Yeah, you’re right.

CHRISTIAN
So uh, we’re good.

RICK
Yeah, I’ll get out of that pretty hair of yours.

CHRISTIAN
Thanks, Rick.

RICK leaves without much of a fuss, just as CHRISTIAN’S phone rings.

CHRISTIAN
[Answers]
Christian Fellowes. Yes. Yes, I will be in Iowa for the interview next week. [Pause] Good. I’m looking forward to it.

INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

CRYSTAL and STEVE are laughing over their wine and dinners, in the middle of a conversation about CRYSTAL’S first audition.

STEVE
No.

CRYSTAL
Y-yes!

STEVE
No, I refuse to believe this. You are flat-out lying.

CRYSTAL
She asked me if I would consider a threesome with her cat for the part.

STEVE
And you said no?

CRYSTAL
I am not into bestiality!

STEVE
What a sad day. I’m sure you’re going to look back on all of this and regret it deeply. I mean, that cat might have been a demon in the voyeuristic department.

CRYSTAL laughs loudly, snorting lightly.

STEVE (cont’d)
Oh…my god.

CRYSTAL
What?

STEVE
Wow.

CRYSTAL
What!

STEVE
You’re a snorter.

CRYSTAL
I am…

STEVE
You have a snorty-laugh.

CRYSTAL
That is just all the wine!

She playfully smacks him in the arm.

CRYSTAL (cont’d)
[good-naturedly]
Quit it!

STEVE
Admit defeat, O Snorty One!

CRYSTAL
Only if you pay for dessert.

STEVE
Her wish is my command.

INT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY CHRISTIAN’S ROOM – NIGHT

CHRISTIAN’S phone rings again.

CHRISTIAN
Christian Fellowes.

RICK
Hi. It’s me.

CHRISTIAN
Yeah, I can tell.

There is silence for a long moment.

RICK
Wanna come hang out on my balcony and see if we can’t overhear Bella and Tom’s fight?

CHRISTIAN
Exactly how bored are you, Rick?

RICK
I’m debating calling up Keith just to see if I can’t toy with him about giving him an interview.

CHRISTIAN
You’re just saying that so I’ll come down to your room.

RICK
No. Really. I’m going to call Keith and tell him I’m secretly a woman in love with Jake. Really.

CHRISTIAN
And your publicist is going to kill you when?

RICK
Mirry always says tomorrow.

CHRISTIAN
There’s a reason you pay that woman and your agent as much as you do.

RICK
Is it because I’m like a child?

CHRISTIAN
A complete child.

RICK
Does this mean you’re coming down?

CHRISTIAN
[laughs]
Yeah. Make popcorn. And invite Will. He could use the distraction.

INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

CRYSTAL and STEVE are leaving for the night, standing by the exit as he helps her into her coat, brushing her hair gently with his fingers.

STEVE
I had an amazing night, you know.

CRYSTAL
Yeah. Me too, actually.

STEVE
How about I walk you home?

CRYSTAL
You really are going for broke, sailor.

STEVE
Ooh, I get navy cred now. Nice.

CRYSTAL
[Through laughs]
Honestly, you have to be some kind of comedian.

STEVE
Class clown. Sadly, it’s not a reality show, it’s just my reality.

CRYSTAL
So, tell me about you. I mean, really about you and no jokes. How long have you been here? What do you do exactly? I feel like…there’s this divide and I really wish that you weren’t standing so far. Not literally, obviously, but, I like you. I’d like to actually talk about you.

STEVE
Well, I’m a Director’s Assistant, so that means I basically fetch coffee all day and wonder why I never got my Commerce degree.

CRYSTAL
But you seem to like it.

STEVE
Oh god yeah. If I hated it, I’d have left. So, the Embassy is where we’re going, right?

CRYSTAL
Yes, indeed.

STEVE
A hard right it is, then.

CRYSTAL
And your home life?

STEVE
Is…rocky. My Dad left us when I was thirteen and I’m the youngest of two, so I took it the hardest. My older sis kind of just went hardcore icy after that and vowed not to let anyone in. She’s uh, a member of the ‘men are scum’ following.

CRYSTAL
I know of them.

STEVE
And are you one?

CRYSTAL
[hesitates a long moment before she laughs]
I…may have once been a member.

STEVE
Then here’s an invisible toast to your leaving.

CRYSTAL
So you and your Dad never got along?

STEVE
The problem was that we got along great. I mean, he was just a genuinely good guy and he had problems that we never saw. And one day he was gone and I didn’t even know why. Sometimes, I don’t think he did either. He volunteered, he came to every game, and he had a great job. So, I guess in the end, he just had a reason to split.

CRYSTAL
I’m sorry.

STEVE
Yeah, me too.

CRYSTAL
Do you uh, wanna come up for a nightcap?

STEVE
Wow, how are we here already?

CRYSTAL
If I had to guess, I’d say the power of walking.

STEVE
An amazing power, that.

CRYSTAL
So…

STEVE
I probably shouldn’t.

CRYSTAL
Oh.

STEVE
Hey, I like you. I like you a lot. But I’ve got a commitment for the morning and I shouldn’t be drinking.

He leans in and kisses her slowly, causing CRYSTAL to exhale happily.

STEVE (cont’d)
Raincheck?

CRYSTAL
Uh huh. I like the rain.

STEVE smiles as he watches CRYSTAL leave and he checks his watch, hurrying on his way to hail a taxi and get out of there the moment CRYSTAL is inside.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY BALCONY – NIGHT

WILL, RICK, CHRISTIAN, and DANIELLE lean out over the railing, sharing one bowl of popcorn between the three of them. DANIELLE looks exhausted and WILL is fidgeting awkwardly.

DANIELLE
Five hours of one line.

RICK
You know Nick’s a hardass when it comes to technical perfection.

DANIELLE
Yeah, and anything resembling actual emotion just got buried in about five layers of CGI for a character-piece.

CHRISTIAN
I’m so out of touch that I’m afraid to ask.

DANIELLE
It’s … you know, even I don’t know what they needed it for. Two people trying to figure out what the hell to do after their lives fall apart and wind up having an affair while their lives are on the line and they have to figure out who’s being targeted and you know what, I don’t even know.

CHRISTIAN
I’m sure the press junket will love you.

WILL
Will you guys shut up? I am trying to listen!

RICK
Someone’s nervous.

WILL
Yeah, well, you deal with Kerry.

RICK
No thanks.

DANIELLE
Nope.

CHRISTIAN
Come on, Will. Even I know better.

WILL
Oh, why are none of you any help?

DANIELLE
[in baby-talk]
Aw, but you love us anyway.

WILL
Tomorrow with Kerry. Tomorrow is when I owe her a full script that my entire career depends on!

RICK
And the reason you’re not working on it now?

WILL
I got bored.

CHRISTIAN
You…got bored.

WILL
Uh, yeah, thanks Amazing Echo.

DANIELLE
Aw, he’s cranky.

RICK
When isn’t he?

DANIELLE
When he’s drunk.

RICK
Three points to Dani!

WILL
Something about…role…need…

CHRISTIAN
I’m just waiting for him to get a glass and put it to the wall.

RICK
It wouldn’t help much. Bella’s several doors down. We’re just lucky the wind’s passing our way tonight.

DANIELLE
And bringing with it sweet, sweet gossip.

They strain to listen, all leaning over the iron-rod railing of the large balcony.

INT. BELLA’S SUITE – NIGHT

BELLA, TOM, and MATT all sit in the living room. BELLA is drinking wine and MATT is fidgeting every few seconds. MATT sits like a man in interrogation.

TOM
[Good-naturedly]
So, when’s the part where I’m dunked in cold water and hot water for increments of time?

BELLA
[Muttering]
Sooner than you’d think.

MATT
Look, I’m here for…I think I’m here to help? Anyway, Bella’s bribing me to get you to stay and the thing is, you should stay and I’ll help you find a nice quiet place! No phonies, no traffic, and the only piss on your wall can be from neighborhood dogs instead of you know, that guy who asks if you want to do the Pants Dance.

TOM and BELLA both stare dubiously at him.

BELLA
He’s frighteningly on the level, Tom. Your own place, working from home, conference calls.

MATT
And I use all my connections to get you everything you ever want delivered. Sides, laundry, drugs.

BELLA
He doesn’t do drugs, hon.

MATT
Fame’s not a drug? I have been seriously misled.

BELLA
Well? Thomas, you know that I can’t do this without you. You know I will lose it one day and those poor little clients of ours are going to sue and I am sure that your name is still in there somewhere, so of course you will be implicated and I will give specific instructions to Christian to ignore getting you off scot-free.

TOM
Bella. Just ask.

BELLA
Tom, will you stay because I want you to?

TOM
[Smiles slowly]
Now why couldn’t you have just asked that in the first place?

MATT
Wow, and now we all kiss and make up?

BELLA
This isn’t porn, Matthew.

MATT
Huh. So you’re saying I should’ve disconnected the cameras is what you’re saying.

BELLA
You realize I am going to kill you for putting me through this hell.

TOM
[Good-naturedly]
I had a feeling. We do need to talk about a raise in addition to this lifestyle change. I was thinking five percent.

BELLA
Let’s not push your luck.

MATT grins as he claps TOM on the back.

MATT
Thanks for the role, man.

TOM
Role?

BELLA
I may have bribed him with a bit part.

TOM
Speaking?

BELLA
God have mercy on the poor director that gets him.

MATT
You know, I don’t even care I’m being insulted right now.

BELLA
You never do.

She takes a long swig of her wine.

BELLA (cont’d)
All right, Matt, go dispel the eavesdroppers. Tom, you and I are going to get utterly wasted on red wine and harmful acids and tannins that will give us hangovers to write home about. And don’t you say a word of complaint, because I know you enjoy it as much as I do.

INT. RICK’S SUITE – NIGHT

DANIELLE, RICK, CHRISTIAN, and WILL have retreated inside to hang around the living room when MATT enters, giving them all a wary glance. WILL is staring at his laptop.

MATT
You … weren’t listening? I’m disappointed.

DANIELLE
We realized we’re grown adults.

MATT stares at them dubiously.

CHRISTIAN
They couldn’t actually hear anything.

RICK
You are such a sellout.

CHRISTIAN
[Said confidently]
Yeah, but I’m a really cute sellout, so I think that makes it okay.

Before CHRISTIAN can continue, his phone starts ringing.

CHRISTIAN (cont’d)
Crap, I have to take this. I’ll see you guys. [He flips his phone open] Christian Fellowes here. Yes, Lucy. Yes. Sure, let’s talk about the subpoenas in the morning…

He wanders out of the suite as RICK watches him go before turning his attention to WILL.

RICK
Remind me why you aren’t getting ready for Kerry?

WILL
I believe in fate.

DANIELLE
No you don’t.

WILL
I have faith in myself?

MATT
Nope. Ring the next buzzer.

WILL
[He shrugs]
I’m … done.

The three others stare at him incredulously.

RICK
That’s impossible!

MATT
I know, right?

WILL
Oh, get off your high horses. I finished a product.

DANIELLE
I bet he’s shaking in his boots inside!

WILL
I do not wear boots.

DANIELLE
Not even your tiny metaphorical ones?

WILL
Guys! Please! I finished, okay?

RICK
Okay, okay, we’re backing off. Just…really?

WILL huffs and storms out of the room, while MATT and DANIELLE conceal their laughter.

RICK
He really loves us. He just doesn’t know it yet.

EXT. STUDIO LOT – DAY

ANDREA and ANDREW are sipping coffee.

ANDREA
Why am I here?

ANDREW
Oh, like you’ve anything better to do.

ANDREA
Once again, without your attitude. Why am I here?

ANDREW
This is the last scheduled meeting with Nick Linwood and you are here to ensure that I don’t do something idiotic, like throw a punch or call him a sissy, or possibly whack him in the balls with all those trophies he loves so much.

ANDREA
Ah.

ANDREW
You’re my calming influence, darling. Be proud.

ANDREA
You know, most people, most adults actually can do this without needing a babysitter.

ANDREW
Did I or did I not promise to find you a role in my next project?

ANDREA
You did.

ANDREW
Then why are you still complaining?

ANDREA
Because you need a babysitter just to talk to the producer!

ANDREW
You’re not a babysitter.

ANDREA
Then what am I?

ANDREW
Good company.

They make their way through nondescript halls and pass various watercoolers as ANDREW stares at people with contempt. Finally, they arrive at NICK’S office and ANDREA gives him a piteous smile.

ANDREA
I’m going to talk to the cute extra in the corner.

She points to a young blond man and ANDREW shakes his head.

ANDREW
(Under his breath)
She always gets all the fun.

He knocks on the door to the tune of ‘Shave and A Haircut’, but leaves out the Two Bits part, sighing deeply as he waits for the door to be opened.

NICK
You can come on in, it’s open.

ANDREW
(Suppresses a roll of his eyes as he opens the door and enters, plastering a broad smile on his face)
Nick. How good to see you.

NICK
Good to see you too, Andy.

ANDREW
I see we’re doing the nickname thing again.

NICK
I like Andy. It’s short. Sweet. Andy Pryce. I can see that on a screen. In fact, you will be seeing it on the screen.

ANDREW
Has the Screen Actor’s Guild changed their policy? I’m registered as Andrew Pryce and I’ve no intention of changing it. Really, it’s a wonderful nickname. Just…wonderful. Perhaps best kept between us?

NICK
See, you. You. You, my friend, get the buddy bonding.

ANDREW
I apparently do. So, I’m here to sign off on the final product, right?

NICK
Correct. Just signature, date, initials…and I think we’re wrapped on Last Vendetta.

ANDREW
(Hesitates)
I see we changed the title from its original version?

NICK
Last Vendetta tests better.

ANDREW
I am sure it does.

He sighs and sits there with his papers, reading one after another and signing without a care in the world, giving NICK a terse smile.

ANDREW (cont’d)
You know, Nick. There really is something I’ve been dying to say to you.

NICK
(Barely glances up)
Lay it on me, Andy.

ANDREW
(Takes a long deep breath, gritting his teeth)
Thank you for all your help during the process.

NICK
See. You really are a great guy. We’ll keep in touch. I’ve got a killer horror-flick I’d love your directorial fingers all over.

ANDREW
Yes. Well, lucky me.

He gets up and leaves in a hurry, slamming the door behind him as he fetches ANDREA from talking to the Blond Extra (who will eventually be known as DANNY).

ANDREA
He knows Danielle.

ANDREW
Bully for him. Let’s go before I explode like Krakatoa.

ANDREA
Hey. Hey!

ANDREW stops and turns.

ANDREW
Anywhere but here.

ANDREA
You are a grown man. Despite your not acting like it half the time, you are. And the fact is you have to deal with people like this sometimes because you want to keep on making a living, so deal with him. Be smarter than him, be better than him, but don’t let him get to you like this.

ANDREW
And why shouldn’t I?

ANDREA
Because my money on you having a heart attack won’t pay off for another year.

There is a pause before the tension settles and they both laugh.

ANDREW
Darling, I plan on winning that bet for myself. That money is going in my cold, dead hands.

ANDREA
We’ll just see, now won’t we? Come on. Let’s go get you drunk.

ANDREW
More comforting words were never spoken.

INT. WILL’S SUITE – DAY

WILL is sitting and pacing while JAKE watches him, sipping a cup of coffee in the luxury of a well-kept breakfast bar area. WILL has a bundle of well-kept papers clutched to his chest, being careful not to bend the pages.

JAKE
She’s actually coming here to pick it up.

WILL
Yes.

JAKE
You do know that’s a rarity.

WILL
Yes, I know! Jesus, Jake, stop making me more nervous.

JAKE
Just a habit, I suppose.

WILL
I swear, you’re always out to make me more neurotic.

JAKE
Which is no easy task, let me tell you.

The knock comes at the door and WILL looks at JAKE with wide eyes. JAKE sighs.

JAKE
I know, I know. I’ll get it. Sit down before you pass out, why don’t you.

WILL sinks down into a chair, groaning.

JAKE
Ms. Isis, a pleasure to meet you.

KERRY
And are you the help?

JAKE
You really are just as witty and charming as Andrew promised. I’m Jake Boyd.

KERRY
Right. The action actor.

JAKE
I’ve done dramatic pieces…

WILL
(Clears his throat)
Jake.

KERRY
(Glides in easily)
Well, you look almost relaxed and human. It suits you.

WILL
Thank you. Here. This is the full script that you asked for. It’s not an action or a thriller or even anything heavy-hitting. It’s just a dark comedy.

KERRY
We’ll give it to the readers.

WILL
So, just that.

KERRY
And we’ll call you. Don’t bother calling us.

WILL
I…don’t even have your number.

KERRY smiles and takes the script.

KERRY
We’ll see you, William.

She departs, leaving a stunned WILL and a defiant JAKE in her wake.

JAKE
Action actor. Honestly, of all the things and reputations.

WILL
At least she didn’t call you the secret bisexual transvestite.

JAKE
That rumour still hasn’t been killed, has it?

WILL
Oh, not in the least.

JAKE sighs and flops back onto the couch.

JAKE
So now it’s out there, in the world.

WILL
Maybe you’ll have faith in me now.

JAKE
Come on now, don’t be bitter. You asked my opinion, I gave it to you. And if you’d just let me read your script, I might have an answer to that already, but you’re so damn stubborn.

WILL
We’ll just see, okay? We’ll see.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET – EVENING

STEVE is walking along, his cell in hand, reading a text message when the phone rings.

STEVE
Hello? Crystal! I should’ve known it was you. I think I’m starting to get some psychic sense of when a hot woman is phoning me. (He laughs) Yeah, I know I’m full of it, but can you blame me? I’ll do just about anything to keep you happy.

He pauses outside an apartment building.

STEVE (cont’d)
Tonight? I have to run errands for this gig I’ve got. What about tomorrow? I’ll wine you and dine you so fine you won’t know when your panties slid off. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m incorrigible. I’ll see you then, okay? And I’ll even shave. Promise.

He hangs up as he hits the buzzer, waiting at the doorway. When it’s opened, TALIA stands there.

TALIA
I didn’t know we had an appointment.

STEVE
Surprise.

TALIA
The best kind. Come on in.

END EPISODE

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