I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 34

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:29]
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“Hey, baby, do you have an evening dress ? We’re going to a fancy party …… huh ?” Eric frowned slightly: “See what TV producers ? Annie, I forgot to tell you, I have a script specially for you…… I know you want to rely on your own strength, but tonight James specifically told me to bring a female companion, if you don’t come then how could …… No I was the one who …… I see, okay, bye.”


Eric sighed as he hung up the phone, ever since Home Alone’s success, his relationship with Annie had underwent a subtle change. Although she was still as unruly as a baby, it felt like she was stepping on needles every time she was with him.


He knew that it was because she had seen some comments about them in the tabloids, which had brought about her feelings of low self-esteem. Although Eric had been as gentle as possible to get her to not mind it, the anxiousness of the girl hadn’t decreased.


In order to get out of this turmoil, through her father’s advice, she decided to take a few hours every week to continuously participate in TV, movies and plays’ auditions.


Annie’s goal was very simple, she wanted to become famous fast, and shut those newspapers up.


……


In John Aniston’s Beverly Hills home, Annie hung up the phone, and also let out a sigh. She wanted to join Eric at the party, and longed to star in one of his movies.


But she knew that if he did so now, the public would scorn her for relying on her boyfriend, and she would have to forever live with a label. Maybe some women wouldn’t care and be ecstatic instead, but to the strong and independent Aniston, this was absolutely unacceptable.


Reading the newspaper, John Aniston saw his daughter in a daze and couldn’t resist saying: “Jenny, I’m meeting up with Koster today, how about you come with me, he would definitely not mind.”


Aniston shook her head and said: “No, Dad, although uncle Koster wouldn’t mind, I would. It’s just too unbecoming for him to give me that role.”


“Jenny, Eric is a good boy, he’s more mature than the average young men, I think he wouldn’t mind all those things.”


“But I do mind, Dad.” Aniston said: “Look at what the newspapers are saying, my God ! I never thought people would view me that way.”


“Annie, if you’re concerned about this, you’ll never happy,” John persuasively said: “Eric has achieved such dazzling results at such a young age, so not surprisingly his life would be under scrutiny, and you as his girlfriend would certainly not escape from this, unless ……”


John Aniston spoke to there and quickly shut his mouth, he didn’t want to plant any seed in his daughter’s heart with his statement, as she might resent him for that in the future. Although his impression of Eric had changed, but because of his daughter’s strong-hardheadedness, he wasn’t optimistic about the two’s future.


……


After Aniston had refused to accompany him, Eric started to lack interest in the upcoming reception. Late afternoon came, he put on a suit that his father had left behind, and drove towards the Hilton Hotel, where the reception was hosted.


He had just appeared in the hall, that the sharp-eyed James Brooks came up to him, but once he noticed the youth’s attire, he frowned slightly. He grabbed Eric’s shoulders in a friendly way, and whispered: “Eric, your identity is different now, you should pay attention to the way you dress, you should have at least put on a suit that fits you, right ?”


Eric looked at his somewhat large and cheap suit which was the only one his father had possessed. He shrugged helplessly and pulled out his wallet in front of the man as he shook it with a smile: “James, in addition to my car, this is all I have left, a total of …… Well, five hundred twenty-one dollars and seventy-five cents. I had to mortgage the house to make Home Alone, and I still haven’t gotten the ownership certificate back, I have no money to buy new clothes.”


Seeing the guy that had created so much hubbub as Hollywood’s youngest millionaire acting like a beggar, James mouth couldn’t help but twitch: “Okay Eric, Mr. Diller has been waiting for you, let’s go.”


The reception had already started, the hall was bathed in lights, the band played mellow music, and the waiters were shuttling drinks back and forth. Many huge names from his past that he had only seen on the screen were chatting together in groups of twos or threes.


Seeing James Brooks leading a youth through the crowd, everyone started to get curious as to the stranger’s identity. Although newspapers had published photos of Eric, many people still did not recognize him.


Someone finally uttered out his name, and countless eyes turned to stare at him, which made the youth feel slightly uncomfortable.


When he had almost reached the end of the hall, Eric finally saw an acquaintance; at the corner of a long table, Penny Marshall was wearing a black dress and chatting with Tom Hanks who was next to her. She looked up and there eyes met.


Both of them smiled and nodded. Eric couldn’t help but glance at Tom Hanks who was at her side. Although he was already 32 years old, his figure was tall and his facial features handsome, the slightly chubby look of his later years was nowhere to be found.


Once they arrived in front of a room, James said: “Eric, go inside, Mr. Diller is waiting for you. I’ll excuse myself for now.”


Eric knocked on the door and opened it when he got a response. A man and a woman were sitting on a sofa, when she saw Eric come in, the 30-year-old beauty whispered something to the middle-aged man, got up, picked up her handbag and left the room. The fifty-ish year-old male was obviously Barry Diller, Eric remembered seeing pictures of the tycoon in his past, his big nose made him quite recognizable.


“Hello, Eric.” He stood up and reached out his hand towards Eric.


“Hello, Mr. Diller, nice to meet you.”


The two men shook hands and sat down on the couch.


“You know, Eric, I reckon a lot of people must now feel frustrated every time they see you.”


Eric raised an eyebrow, and asked: “Oh ? Then how about you, Mr. Diller ?”


Barry Diller didn’t mind Eric’s brusqueness, he laughed: “Of course not, I don’t believe in luck, I don’t believe in shortcuts, I believe in my own strength that allowed me to climb from the William Morris Agency’s* bottom to where I am. Maybe I’ll admire your achievements, but I am still proud of my career.”


“Mr. Diller, do you feel Home Alone’s success to be entirely coincidental ?”


Barry Diller nodded and said: “I did make a special analysis, but I didn’t see that one coming. So I’m curious, really curious, Eric, as to why you dared to make such a gamble with Columbia when you had 80% chance of failing.”


Eric said: “I come from nothing, if I fail, I just have to start again.”


Barry Diller felt that there was something else but he didn’t get to the bottom of it and opened: “Well, Eric, on behalf of the Fox, I’d like to invite you to join us, what do you think ?”


Eric didn’t intend to tie himself to a tree, if he agreed to this invitation, he’ll probably have to sign a contract for several years.


So he shook his head and said: “Thank you for your kindness, Mr. Diller, but I don’t like to be shackled, so I plan to start my own independent movie company and keep making low-cost movies in the meantime to train myself.”


Diller was directly refused and did not insist. Since Eric had appeared, a few specialized agencies had made a thorough analysis on the fellow’s life experience, personality, etc. Barry Diller had also read about it, so he knew that the youth was unlike his peers, and that once he made a decision, it was almost impossible to change his mind.


As for Eric opening his own film company, Barry Diller didn’t care. Many famous directors had done the same in order to obtain more benefits and the right to stand up for themselves, they’d rather do that than to rely on the Big Six.


These people often failed miserably though, and realized they couldn’t tread this path alone once they hit a wall. In Eric’s past, even the best amongst Giants, DreamWorks, had ended up failing, so the difficulty of the road ahead was hard to fathom.


Investing in a movie was like gambling; before it was released, no one knew if it would do well. DreamWorks’ main mistake was investing in a lot of shitty projects, resulting in their huge losses that brought about their doom.


However, that type of gambling risk didn’t apply to Eric, because he already knew the results. This was a cheat-like ability that would help him rule this world.


Maybe the giants would gang up against him in order to prevent their monopoly from being taken away, but Eric wasn’t afraid in the slightest. As long as his movies always succeeded, fame and fortune would follow, and no one would make life difficult for him then.


It had happened with Tom Cruise in his previous life, although he and Sumner Redstone had fought openly through the press, a few years later the two were sitting at the same table, laughing like old friends.


After a casual talk, the topic soon turned to Home Alone. From what Eric now had in his hands, only this chip could catch the Giants’ attention, even Jurassic Park had yet to be seriously considered.


“Alright Eric, let’s get down to it. We’d like to buy all the Home Alone’s remaining copyrights, and we would also like you to sell us your sequel, we’ll give you a very reasonable price, how about it ?”


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