I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 40[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:31]
ric nodded, and turned around: “Jeff, I’m hosting a party at my place tonight, I’ll need a chef and a waiter, and so….. I thought of you.”
Catering for a party was a very profitable business, Jeff gladly listened and said: “No problem, I’ll get you Vanessa and Cindy.”
“For the chef, Vanessa is not a problem, but as for the waiting, how about you let Miss Julia go instead ?”
Julia Roberts looked at Jeff and hesitated slightly before nodding her head.
This settled, Eric casually started chatting with his ex-boss, writing down what he wanted to be on the menu for tonight. He had been a waiter in the restaurant before, so he was familiar with all the dishes.
Once it was done, Jeff took the paper, looked at the girl who was still standing next to them and said: “Julia, you come help me. Eric wait a bit, I’ll be right back.”
When they came to the kitchen, Julia noticed that Jeff had handed the paper to a chef, she was startled and asked: “Sir, what do I need to do ?”
Jeff looked her up and down, besides her slightly plumper lips, the girl wasn’t particularly attractive, he seriously couldn’t understand.
“Julia, do you know who Eric is ?”
Julia was somewhat confused: “Sir, I’m not sure, I only came to L.A a few months ago.”
Jeff didn’t bother beating around the bush with her as he straightforwardly said: “ You ought to know about Home Alone, right ? Don’t you know who directed it ?”
Julia’s eyes instantly widened, she remembered recently seeing the young director’s picture in the papers, and he really did look like him: “You’re saying that….. that…..”
At this time, anyone in the whole of North America who hadn’t heard about Home Alone and its miraculous teenage director was probably from Mars.
“Yes, that’s him. When we were talking, I mentioned that you were an actress. Originally, Eric was probably only going to ask for a chef, but he later added a waiter and also specifically asked for you.”
Once Julia who hadn’t been cast in almost a year heard Jeff’s words, she flushed with excitement. She had participated in a lot of auditions this year, but all ended in failure, so no one other than her could better understand how important an opportunity this was.
“So,” Jeff patted the girl’s shoulder: “Eric will soon shoot his new movie, you play your cards right, and you might just land yourself a role.”
“Thank you for the heads up, sir.”
Jeff smiled and waved his hand, he actually had some selfish motives in mind. After Eric rose to fame, thanks to the boy’s past experience in the restaurant, the paparazzi had come many times leading to the establishment gaining quite a bit of reputation in the area. If another well-known celebrity popped up from here again, business would definitely soar to renewed heights.
“Mr. Williams, do you mind if I board with you ?”
Eric had just pulled out his keys to start the car, he didn’t expect that Julia Roberts who was supposed to be sitting in the chef’s van to suddenly appear in front of him.
“Not at all, Miss Julia. Please get in.”
Casually glancing at the girl in the passenger’s seat, he noticed she had gotten out of her waitress’ uniform. She had applied some light make-up and was wearing a dark red jacket with light-colored jeans, whose fabric perfectly showcased her taught and slender legs. Right now Julia was only 21 years old, and although her appearance wasn’t quite up-to-par, her body was exuding a youthful aura of invincibility.
“Do you know who I am ?” Eric nonchalantly asked while holding the steering wheel.
Julia who was thinking of how to strike up a conversation, subconsciously nodded: “Ah, yes, sir Jeff told me.”
“No wonder.” Eric chuckled.
Julia was startled and asked: “Yes ?”
“Miss Julia, I hired you for 10$ an hour, however you’re not dressed like a waitress but like someone who’s about to attend a party instead.”
“Ah…” Julia looked at her clothes, when she heard her boss’ words she subconsciously wanted to leave a good impression on Eric and hastily changed her clothes: “Yes…… I’m sorry, Mr. Williams, I…… I will go and change back.”
Eric smiled and shook his head: “It’s okay, this is fine. I heard that a movie you’ve acted in was released in October ?”
Feeling ill at ease, Julia Roberts quickly replied: “Yes, it’s called Mystic Pizza, it tells the love story of three waitresses and their boyfriends, it has reached the ten million dollars mark at the box office already.”
When Julia mentioned Mystic Pizza’s box office, her tone held a tinge of pride, but thinking about the young man’s achievements, it immediately vanished.
Although Mystic Pizza was a low-budget movie and the more than 10 million $ box office could be considered quite good, if compared to Home Alone, it wasn’t even worth mentioning.
“Oh, 10 million $, not bad.” Eric hadn’t seen the film, nor was he interested in it, he just knew that it had marked Matt Damon’s debut. He said: “Jeff told me you haven’t received a role in almost a year, but after that movie someone will probably notice you.”
Mentioning this matter, Julia held some resentment. Once Mystic Pizza had gotten a good box office, her usually indifferent agent quickly scrambled to suggest her some movie auditions, however, she had directly fired this man who hadn’t fought for her interests at all during this past year like he was supposed to.
“Mr. Eric, I heard that you’re about to…… shoot your next movie ?”
“It’s just an idea, I still have neither actors nor script.” Eric chuckled.
He couldn’t help but sigh in his heart, he had just decided to shoot Pretty Woman that the past lead actress appeared in front of him.
To cast her or not to cast her, that was the question.
Actually, Eric’s favorite actress was Sophie Marceau, and the woman suffused of both a classic and alluring charm. To him she was the perfect combination, the ideal lead actress.
However this french rose hadn’t yet broken out of the European movie circle, so she might think of attempting America as a stretch and refuse his invitation, he wouldn’t really know unless he tried.
As for why Eric had hired Julia as an additional help, he was actually thinking about how to win her over. After all, in his past, she had been a force to be reckoned with, a bona fide Hollywood icon whose paycheck was in the tens of millions.
Thinking up to here, Eric asked: “Julia, do you belong to an agency* ?”
When Julia heard Eric’s question, she was delighted and quickly replied: “No, I just recently fired my agent, so I’ll temporarily be handling my matters personally.”
“Then Julia,” Eric said: “How about joining mine ?”
After learning from Barry Diller that Stuart Runkle had signed with the CAA, Eric had the idea to found his own agency. He didn’t want to see the people he had painstakingly made into stars turn their backs on him again.
Eric was thinking on having her audition, and once she passed, they’d certainly have to sign a contract, hence his proposition.
But Julia hadn’t expected this kind of offer at all, which made her a little more cautious, she didn’t want to join an agency to then be abandoned for a year or even longer.
“I apologize Mr. Williams, this isn’t something I’m planning to do. I was at an agency before, and didn’t receive a single job for almost a year which is why I’m currently working at the restaurant.”
Eric said: “You don’t have to worry about this, I can guarantee you that you’ll be featured in at least two movies a year, I can also arrange for this clause to be written in the contract.”
It was in 1989 that Julia got her first Oscar nomination, Eric knew that it would be for Steel Magnolias, a Columbia Pictures production. Although his and Blount Cohen’s relationship was rocky, recommending an actress wasn’t a problem, this was business after all.
Julia Roberts hesitated for a moment before saying: “Can I think about it, Mr. Williams ?”
“Of course, no problem.” Eric casually said, and thought for a moment before adding: “Actually, I want to invite the French actress Sophie Marceau to act as the lead, and if she refuses, you’ll still have a chance.”
Julia’s hands shook as she pursed her lips tightly, she was really at a loss. Her parents and brother were in the entertainment circle, so she certainly knew a lot about what kind of concept it was to star in Eric Williams’ second movie whose fame had reached new heights thanks to Home Alone.
However, it was precisely because her parents were in this circle that she also knew about its deceptive side. Eric’s promise could just be a calculated bait.
If she hot-headedly agreed to join his agency and the latter went back on his word, she wouldn’t even have the time to shed tears.
_ _ _ _
* A brokerage firm, I felt agency was a better way to word it.