I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 66

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:40]
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After Al Pacino pretended to clumsily drive the Lamborghini Diablo away from the party, the shooting for the day was over. The crew had been working for close to eight hours.

As long as it went on like this, Eric believed that they could wrap everything up in four weeks time, so although he still had plenty of energy to spare, he didn\'t ask them to work overtime.

In Europe, overtime hours are frowned upon. It\'s basically impossible to have Europeans work overtime, and in some countries, they even put restrictions on the company at this effect, while some even impose high taxes on them. To have Americans work overtime, you better be ready to cough up money and make vacation promises, or you might get the labor union on your tail.

In accordance to what had initially been decided, once the shoot was done, the party to celebrate the start of the filming finally started.

Melodious and soothing music resounded over the room, and Eric politely turned down the invitations to dance of several beautiful women, instead opting to sit on a sofa in the corner of the room. He began discussing the upcoming shooting schedule with Jeffrey, and as he glanced at the dance floor out of the corner of his eye, his sights soon stopped on Julia and Al dancing together.

Julia had quit her job as a waitress, and after receiving a down payment of her paycheck, had followed Eric\'s earlier advice and moved into an apartment in Beverly Hills.

Although she didn\'t have any scenes today, the girl was still actively doing her best, offering her services to the crew if they needed it, and even seeking out Al to rehearse some of their mutual lines.

Eric was very pleased with Julia\'s attitude, considering that, besides the assistant who was assigned to her, the agency hadn\'t given her any preferential treatment.

Actually, even Al Pacino hadn\'t received any, he came to work in his own car and left likewise. In order to save up budget, the crew had only rented a trailer for the actors to put makeup on and dress up. Obviously, this was only a one-time thing, when the two actors would shoot their next movie, they would definitely not receive this kind of \'cheap\' treatment.

Jeffrey, who was chatting with Eric, found the man was out of sorts. He followed the youth\'s line of sight and quickly grasped the object of his focus.

"You\'re not jealous, are you Eric ?"Jeffrey playfully said, he was all too clear about what had happened between his friend and the young woman.

Eric shook his head. Since he did have an intimate relationship with Julia, it was impossible for him not to feel anything when seeing her dancing with Al like a pair of even-matched lovers.

However, he didn\'t intend to claim the girl, she was simply not his type. Eric, you see, was a senior member of the \'Appearances DO matter\' club, and to him, Julia had simply not reached his required standards of beauty, yet.

"I\'m happy to know they get along with each other." Eric casually said, "Look, only one week has passed since they\'ve been introduced to each other, and they\'re already getting along. Don\'t you think they\'ve got great chemistry ?"

At Eric\'s words, Jeffrey looked back at the dance floor. Julia and Al Pacino were whispering and gazing into each other\'s eyes, appearing every bit like a loving couple.

"It does indeed look like it. Eric, do you think that Julia will fall for Al once the shooting is over ?"

As he thought of Julia\'s past passionate and sensitive personality, he said: "It\'s possible, but Al will definitely not humor her, his girlfriend is pregnant after all."

Al Pacino was a definite playboy, but he was also a skilled and wise one. In Eric\'s past, only two women had given birth to his children.

If it had been before, Al might have started a relationship with Julia. However, now it was unlikely to happen. The man was at a critical moment of his comeback, and his girlfriend was pregnant - something everybody was aware of. If rumors started appearing at this time, the possibility of things blowing up was quite large.

If it had only been Eric watching, perhaps Julia wouldn\'t have realized, but now Jeffrey had also joined him and the two of them were talking and gazing at the couple dancing. Julia noticed them, and it was the same for Al, who very graciously smiled to the two men.

Julia felt inexplicable apprehension at being in the man\'s arms, she leaned over and whispered something to him, before getting away and making her way towards Eric.

Al Pacino didn\'t mind, he shrugged and soon found another companion.

"What\'s up Julia ?" Eric curiously asked.

"Just a little tired." Julia took a glass of champagne and sat down on the sofa. Casually leaning towards Eric, she asked: "What were you two talking about ?"

Jeffrey took the initiative to reply with a smile: "Eric was just telling me that he thought there was a chance you\'d fall in love with Al by the end of the shoot."

"Ha ?"

Eric quickly interrupted Jeffrey: "Don\'t listen to his nonsense, Julia, he\'s just bored. We were just saying that the shooting would probably proceed smoothly, since the two of you have obviously already grasped your characters."

"Oh." Julia absentmindedly nodded. She sipped on her champagne, and asked: "Are you going to dance, Eric ?…."

Eric looked at his watch and said: "Nope, I have to leave soon."

Jeffrey said: "What, why ? You should enjoy a little more, we\'ll be so busy for a while."

Eric stood up, smiled and said: "The first episode of Jenny\'s TV show is aired today, she called me earlier to tell me not to miss it. It\'ll be on soon."

Jeffrey was first startled, he then laughed and escorted the man out. Some other sharp-sighted people saw Eric leave and accompanied him as well.

At the villa\'s entrance, Eric said: "Alright, you guys go back. Don\'t let them play too late Jeffrey, we don\'t want tomorrow\'s schedule to be delayed."

"Don\'t worry, I\'ve got this."

Eric waved goodbye and made his way to the parking lot. Julia, who was in the middle of the crowd, hesitated a moment, before following him out.

Eric had just opened his car door when he spotted her: "Julia, is something wrong ?"

"I haven\'t had the time to buy a car yet, can you give me a ride ?"

Eric smiled and said: "No problem."

Once the were on the road, Eric casually opened: "So, what do you think about Al ?"

Julia glanced at Eric, and carefully worded: "Al Pacino is very gentlemanly and easy to talk to, but I don\'t really feel anything else about him. He is, after all, 20 years older than I am."

Eric laughed and said: "If Al heard you, he would probably be sad. You might not like older guys, but I\'m pretty sure he likes beautiful young girls."

"You think I\'m beautiful ?"

Eric nodded: "From a Westerner\'s point of view, you certainly are."

Although Julia felt his phrasing was kind of weird, her face lit up in joy.

After a brief pause, Julia mustered up the courage to ask: "Eric, is your current girlfriend Jennifer Aniston ?"

"Yup, we were together in 17 Again." Eric said. Thinking of something, he smiled and said: "Jenny also knows you."

"It\'s impossible, I know her thanks to the newspaper…." Julia started, then remembering the night she had spent with Eric, flushed in embarrassment.

Eric didn\'t mind, he said: "Yeah, that\'s also how she knows you…." An image of a pouting Jenny popped in his head and he smiled: "That shirt you were wearing when you were photographed, it\'s also something Jenny has worn. Right, do you mind giving it back to me if you still have it ?"

"No problem." Julia subconsciously nodded.

The car pulled in front of Julia\'s newly rented apartment, and she got out. Looking left and right and making sure no one was there, she said: "There\'s no paparazzi this time Eric, do you wanna come in for a cup of coffee ?"

Eric popped his head out the window and said: "Nah, I really have to get back, I\'ll just wait here."

"Alright." Julia took out her keys and opened her door. She looked back and Eric didn\'t seem to have any intention of following her, so she went inside alone.

In her bedroom, Julia opened her closet and took out the man\'s now clean and washed white shirt. She inhaled its fabric, before silently folding it. She was about to go out and give the shirt back to Eric, but when she thought of what he had said, a wave of jealousy washed over her and she reflexively put the shirt back in her closet. She took a deep breath and went back out.

"I\'m sorry, Eric, I forgot where I\'ve put the shirt. I\'ll give it to you when I found it, okay ?"

Eric stared at the girl for a bit, and sighed: "Okay, it\'s fine if you can\'t find it too."

When he was about to roll his window up, Eric stopped, he stuck his head out and said: "Julia, I can assure you, that after Pretty Woman is released, you will be one of the most sought after Hollywood stars. At that time, you will become the dream girl of countless men, and countless others will pursue you, so…." Eric hesitated a moment, before saying: "Don\'t let me down, act at your best."

Julia bit her bottom lip, and revealed a forced smile as she said: "Rest assured, director Williams, I will do my best."

"Then… see you tomorrow."

"See you tomorrow." The girl waved, and watched him drive and vanish out of sight.

As he looked at the unmoving figure of Julia in his rear-view mirror, Eric sighed. He gently tapped his index finger on his steering wheel to the rhythm of an old Chinese song: "Xíng dé zhèng xié bù pà, yī rén fēng dù piān piān chù chù liú xiāng. Yuè guāng shān zhōng yōu yōu liàng, wǎn fēng chuī chóu rú hǎi làng…." (When walking the righteous path, one is not afraid of nefarious designs, and that person has left its fragrance everywhere. The moonlight amidst the mountains glows quietly, and the night wind blows as sorrow washes over like ocean waves….)[1]

As he sang the last words, Eric froze. He shook his head and smiled wryly: "Nah, no way."

_ _ _ _

[1] "", sung by Ren Xianqi.