I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 55

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:36]
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Eric didn\'t answer, he just sat on the couch that was used as props, and stared at Julia for a while.

"Julia, cross your arms over your chest with indifference." A few minutes later, he finally spoke.

Julia breathed a sigh of relief, Eric\'s frown was too pressuring. According to his demands, she posed with her arms crossed and fixed the ground with an indifferent expression.

"Pace back and forth a little." Eric pointed to an open space with his finger, and Julia dutifully obeyed.

"Alright, stop it." Eric morosely said. "Julia, did you earnestly study the script ?"

Julia nodded: "Of course, I almost remember all the lines."

"Right now you\'re Vivian, and I want you to think of me as Edward. Remember, you\'re a prostitute. Let\'s give it another try, show me what you can do."

Seeing Eric lazily sitting there, coupled with the fact that he had driven everybody out, Julia suddenly recalled the \'sofa auditions\' rumors. She almost blurted out that she didn\'t want to, but eventually ushered a quiet internal sigh, thinking this wasn\'t the solution….. Taking off her red coat and putting it aside, Julia knelt down in front of Eric, then took a deep breath and unbuckled his belt.

Eric raised an eyebrow and looked at her strangely as he felt something warm and his little friend reacted. Clearly, the girl had misunderstood his intentions.

But it was so…. comfortable. Ten minutes later, Eric let out a groan and relaxed his body on the sofa, while Julia covered her mouth and made a run for the nearby bathroom.

Eric took out some tissues to clean the mess up and buckled his belt. After a while, Julia came out from the bathroom, wiping her hands with a towel. She lifted her chin with reddened eyes and asked: "Are you happy now, Mr. Williams ?"

"I sure am." Eric smiled playfully at the girl\'s pitiful appearance, he said: "But, Julia, you obviously got something wrong, all I meant what for you to start acting, not to…."

When Julia heard him, her entire body froze. From beet red to pale white, her face experienced various shades of color, then she suddenly threw the towel she had in hands to Eric: "Why didn\'t you stop me ?!"

Eric laughed as he dodged the projectile and said: "Hey I\'m a healthy man, how could I stop you ?"

"You… bastard." said Julia in utter embarrassment, before powerlessly sitting down on the ground and burying her head in her arms to cry.

Eric put away his smile and sighed, he walked towards the girl and squatted beside her. Patting her head, he said: "Julia, don\'t cry, I was wrong."

"You think I\'m cheap, don\'t you ?" Julia didn\'t stop crying and started to choke on her sobs as she asked.

"Of course not." Eric sat beside the girl and took her in his arms as he comforted, "You just lack confidence. You know that Jeffrey, Kapoor and the others aren\'t optimistic about you, and it makes you anxious. Julia, you can be sure that I\'ve thoroughly thought it out before giving you this role. There\'s a lot of people out there waiting for my next movie to flunk, y\'know."

"Thank you, Eric."

"Help me make a good movie, that\'s the greatest thanks you can give me. Now let\'s talk about your issue."

The two of them stood up, and Julia fixed her make up a bit before sitting down opposite Eric.

"Julia, I\'ll tell you straight forwardly what your problem is; you are supposed to act a prostitute, but you can\'t do it. Before she gets her makeover from Edward, Vivian\'s every words, smiles, gestures are supposed to scream \'I\'m a hooker!\'. But, although that dress does make you more attractive, I can\'t feel Vivian\'s vibe coming out of you. Honestly, the way I see it, you\'re no different than when you were working as a waitress."

Julia was grateful to Eric for pointing out her shortcomings, she waited until he was finished before saying: "How about I try again ?"

Eric shook his head: "No, that won\'t be necessary. Julia, right now I\'m going to give you a task. Every night, I want you to go and roam those streets filled with prostitutes, I want you to observe them and try to mimic their behavior. I\'m going on a trip to New York for Christmas, and when I come back, I\'ll give you a test: I\'ll have you stand in the middle of a crowded street, and if within an hour the number of men who come up to you is less than ten, I\'ll consider it a failure."

Julia hesitated before saying: "That… Eric, isn\'t ten too much ?"

"It isn\'t." Eric didn\'t give the girl the opportunity to bargain, "If you can\'t act it out by then, I don\'t mind swapping you out."

Julia only nodded, and Eric was thoughtful for a moment before adding: "When you go there, don\'t go near the back streets, and remember to bring an assistant with you, it\'s safer with two persons."

Julia felt her heart warm up at his words, "Thank you, Eric."


The news that Richard Gere had refused to star in Eric\'s upcoming movie was soon spread, and speculations about the CAA blacklisting the young director were running rampant.

With the paparazzi relentless pursuits, the CAA and Eric disclosed that they hadn\'t been able to reach an agreement because they couldn\'t agree on either the cooperation fee or the schedule. Regardless of the truth, the public noticed that the two sides hadn\'t started an all-out-war through the media, which meant that things weren\'t to the degree where they had lost all decorum.

MGM\'s United Artists\'[1] took this opportunity to announce that Richard Gere would be starring in their upcoming production, an action movie based on a true story, Road House[2].

Prior to that, United Artists\' had originally intended for their movie to be released in May, and therefore had no immediate plans to start shooting. But when the CAA recommended Richard Gere to them, both the MGM and United Artists\' executives keenly felt this was a chance to offset Eric\'s momentum, so they decided to start shooting earlier and release the movie around Easter, clearly intent to compete with the young director.

As soon as he saw the fuss in the newspapers, Barry Diller personally called Eric to anxiously inquire about the actual state of things. Although the Fox had been looking forward to the youth\'s upcoming movie, they were more concerned about Home Alone\'s sequel. If the CAA had indeed blacklisted Eric, then the shooting of the movie would be greatly hampered.

"….. Don\'t worry, Mr. Diller, if that really happens, I\'ll consider letting the Fox produce the Home Alone\'s sequel in my stead…. I\'m sorry, I\'m very busy lately, I\'m afraid it\'s not a good time…. Alright, goodbye."

Hanging up the phone, Eric turned his sights to the thick folder containing several actors\' personal files. He looked up and was met with Kapoor Sid\'s bloodshot eyes.

"You seriously didn\'t have to do it so quickly, Kapoor. Please take care not to overexert yourself."

Kapoor had only used a day\'s time to collect detailed information in line with Eric\'s request, and this deeply moved the young director as he asserted that he hadn\'t put his faith in the wrong person.

"Thank you for your concern, Eric, I\'m okay, really. I worked on a movie project once and went two days and nights without sleep."

Eric nodded, opened the folder, and went through each of the files attentively.

Most of these actors were from the WMA or other international artists management companies, others were from small agencies, while some had even their relatives act as their agents.

Eric kept looking, and whenever he found someone he liked, he would pull out the file and put it aside, intent on giving those people a call.

He suddenly froze on a particular page: "Kapoor, why is the space next to \'agency\' blank on Al Pacino\'s file ?"

_ _ _ _

[1] Sub-studio of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. More info here.

[2] It was originally Patrick Swayze who starred in it, guess Richard Gere was picked instead due to Eric\'s influence.