Alex and His Pen: Love and Lust on the Film Set
With my short film Hell Hath No Fury finally on its way, I thought Iâ€™d share an amusing story about what happened on the set.
Back in June, I was pumped about working on the film. And I had pretty good reason. I had this film, I was going to act in the 48 hour film project, and most importantly, I was about to get started on Pinheads. Of course, all of those are stories on their own. The film called for me to play romantic with another girl, and I was excited, but even after the table read, I still didnâ€™t get to meet the girl Iâ€™d be sharing my romantic scenes with. The suspense was killing me.
The first day of filming rolled around. I finally got the chance to see my co-star Heather. And Ohâ€¦ myâ€¦ Godâ€¦ She was just my type too â€“ big blue eyes, long black hair with bangsâ€¦. Oh, come on, don’t act like you weren’t thinking that! Seriously, she was the kind of girl I was always looking for â€“ a cute crop of red hair, petite but still featuring the goods, and by George, she was just cute as a button. And yes, she has blue eyes. I can even show you what she looks like:
We actually hit it off pretty well too. She laughed at my Joker impression and various other Batman references. She playfully enjoyed me teasing her for making an accidental rhyme. And she was pretty apologetic when she accidentally jabbed me with a prop.
I really liked being around Heather. When I got home the next morning, I bolted to Facebook so I could find Heather. Thanks to Darryl â€“ my director â€“ posting to Facebook, finding her was easy. She quickly accepted my friend request. I did it, hoping we could chat it up on Facebook, but by own admission, I didnâ€™t do as much browsing on her profile as I should have. I was always afraid of seeing something I wouldnâ€™t like â€“ namely that she had a boyfriend. I donâ€™t want to give any spoilers, but I may have saved myself a little trouble if I had. Or I would have just gotten upset a lot sooner.
It was a while before day two of filming. In between, I did the 48 hour project, I started production on Pinheads. And before anyone asks, yes, I totally worried about the projects conflicting. I guess somebody up there likes me because nothing came up, and I was able to do everything. Leading up to filming, I was thinking of Heather a lot. Okay, I was still thinking a lot about my work on Pinheads. But I was in the thick of my Red Dwarf obsession and I was thinking about that a lot less. Then again, I was in the middle of the seventh seasonâ€¦ (Anybody who watches Red Dwarf will know what Iâ€™m talking about.) Okay, so mind was not exclusively fixed on Heather, but I was thinking about her a lot. It doesnâ€™t exactly hurt that I knew we were going to be doing our kissing scenes. I figured if nothing else, Iâ€™d have that.
I had to bum a ride because the brakes on my car werenâ€™t exactly in tip top shape. And if thereâ€™s one thing I learned from Tommy Boy, having the wrong brake pads can be disastrous.
But from a distance, I could see her. It had been about three weeks and to quote Sting, Iâ€¦ Iâ€¦ I donâ€™t speak French, so Iâ€™ll just straight up say it, I was hungry for her. But my nervousness sprang up just as quickly because I noticed she brought a guest. I couldnâ€™t exactly tell from afar who it was, but despite being three weeks, but I certainly remembered that Heather was in fact one person. I approached Heather, and my fears confirmed â€“ with a vengeance!
â€œHey, Alex, this is my girlfriend.â€
Externally, I was calm, cool and collected. Internally, I felt like Scrooge McDuck after a sea monster ATE HIS ICE CREAM!
Of course, if I had been a little more observant, I may have picked up on a few things â€“ like her rainbow bumper sticker. Or the fact that she had a patch on her purse that says â€œIt gets gayer.â€
Now anybody who has read my Pinheads scripts may be having an Old Biff Tannen moment and thinking â€œSomething very familiar about all this.â€ For those of you donâ€™t know, I wrote an episode called â€œThe Buddy Systemâ€ in which my character Charlie Valentine falls for a petite redhead only to find out sheâ€™s a lesbian. Yeah, forget the simialarity in the situation, Heather even kind of looks like the way I described the object of Charlieâ€™s affections. (Interestingly enough, so far only one of my friends has picked up on this BEFORE I brought up the connection.) Itâ€™s funny because you write these things, thinking these kind of things only happen in sitcoms, and what do you know? It happens for reals. Hell, I bet a lot of you thought the rainbow bumper sticker and patch were just me doing a routine. No! They were really there! I have to admit Iâ€™ve been putting serious thought into rewriting that episode to include some of my real experiences.
For example, in the episode, I depicted Charlie as pretty much just lusting after his girl. Heather and I actually hit things off well. We joked around. Like when I told her I considered growing a beard for my pilot, she quipped that considered the same question. Although tempting, I resisted the urge to ask any questions about her and Kaitlyn. The scene called for us to hold hands and cuddle together on the beach. I thought about how these would have been good â€œinsâ€ for breaking the ice with Heather, telling her things like â€œI really enjoyed thatâ€, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I think the point was moot.
Despite being the â€œcompetitionâ€, I also hit things off well with Kaitlin if for no other reason than she was a fellow fan of Blackadder. Okay, I officially decree that Heather has chosen wisely. But Kaitlin still hadnâ€™t heard of Red Dwarf! Must I be the only smeghead I know? But it was pretty awkward and irksome, watching Heather and Kaitlin together. They kept holding hands, and calling each other namesâ€¦ and rubbing each otherâ€¦ and kissingâ€¦ and Heather showed off her yoga movesâ€¦ and Heather took off her shirtâ€¦ Okay, maybe it wasnâ€™t so bad!
We had to switch locations and take things to a motel. Under normal circumstances, Iâ€™d love going to a motel room with a pretty redhead, but thatâ€™s not what we were there for and Heather doesnâ€™t do that period. After waiting and hoping, I finally got that kiss. So yes â€“ there is videographic proof that I have in fact kissed a girl! (And I liked it â€“ there I made the other obvious joke. Though with this story, that joke was like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.) Though despite what I thought, â€œThe Power of Loveâ€ did not cue up. As much as I enjoyed my lip lock, I felt a little embarrassed doing it in front Heatherâ€™s girlfriend. Then again, I think thatâ€™s why Heather brought her. She may have been worried that Iâ€™d be competition. Mayhaps I should have reassured her that Iâ€™m competition for nobodyâ€¦
When went on our way. I had to mooch a ride to get home. I called my stepmother and father. Funny story, Iâ€™ve had to bum rides from them before because I havenâ€™t always had a car. I offered to compensate them, but my stepmother always refused, saying that â€œI had to get to film sets somehow.â€ This time, out of genuine gratitude, I still offered to pay them. My father snatched up my money like it was the last slice of pizza. Among other things when I arrived back home, I browsed Heatherâ€™s Facebook page â€“ something that may have saved me a little trouble as she had dozens of pictures her together with Kaitlin.
Over the next few days, it was fun explaining the situation to my friends. I explained it to a coworker this way. â€œShe brought a guest.â€
â€œOh, she brought her boyfriend. Iâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œNo, she didnâ€™t bring her boyfriend.â€
â€œShe brought her fiancÃ©e?â€
â€œShe brought her husband?â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s as off the market as I can think of.â€ I kindly explained Heatherâ€™s bumper sticker and purse patch. That made things a little clearer. Though my friend set a new record for futility. I explained the patch and the bumper sticker and he STILL didnâ€™t know what I meant. One of my friends yelled at me for not pursuing Heather more. He used that documentary Chasing Amy as his evidence. Though I bet dollars to doughnuts that heâ€™s the kind of person who will urge a person to ask a girl out if sheâ€™s nice to you but will say that just because a girl is nice to you doesnâ€™t mean sheâ€™s interested in you. (Oh, I look forward to seeing how many people know what Iâ€™m talking about.)
Though this did lead to another funny conversation. As some of you may know, I finally got back into watching New Girl. I frequently watch it while exercising, commenting, â€œIf the sight of my beautiful Zooey doesnâ€™t motivate me to get into shape, nothing will!â€
My coworker, oh so politely, chimed in, â€œAlex, sheâ€™s gay.â€
Saying I nearly had a coronary at that one is a pretty big understatementâ€¦ (The other rumor I heard to almost give me a coronary is too repugnant to even mention.) After sitting in suspense for what felt like an eternity, I pried my friend for some answers, specifically how the dickens she could conceivably know that. She revealed that she thought I was talking about Heather. My heart started operating at normal capacity again.
I guess it doesnâ€™t help that it was NOT the first time I heard that. A friend of mine who is an out and proud lesbian (and ergo probably has better gaydar than I do) said sheâ€™s gotten a lot of gay vibes from Zooey. Our own MBA said that she even came out as bi. (Pretends to think about it) I can live with thatâ€¦ Her part in Our Idiot Brother (AKA the movie that made me insanely jealous of Rashida Jones) didnâ€™t help. And the whole experience with Heather taught me that my gaydar isnâ€™t exactly that fine-tuned. In fact, a friend of mine recently confided in me that she thinks one of my managers is gay. When I told a friend, he responded by essentially saying â€œisnâ€™t it obvious?â€ True, I figured out Anna Paquin was bi (which is awesome on multiple levels), but thatâ€™s the extent of my powers. I have a few others Iâ€™m thinking of, but theyâ€™re mostly blips without any proof yet. Though I did have this conversation on Twitter:
SmarmyJerkface: A lot of people may be surprised by this, but I actually like Star Trek V more than Star Trek IV.
Me: After a friend told me she thinks Zooey Deschanel is gay, my bar for being surprised has been raised.
SJF: Is she? Suddenly, Iâ€™m interested.
Me: No, itâ€™s just a friendâ€™s speculation. But I do have it on good authority that [popular actress] is gay.
SJF: Is she? Good! Blech!
(FYI, I do have a little insider dirt on who is gay in the biz. If you wanna know, hit me up.)
And speaking of which, a friend recently said he’d feel bad for me if I met Zooey because I wouldn’t know what to do. Trust me, I think I’ve got things covered. Then again, last year I sent her a message for her birthday on Twitter… only to find out she got a personalized letter from President Obama… I really don’t know how to compete with that one.
I really got sidetracked, didn’t I? Oh well, time to wrap things up. So what have we learned?
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â My gaydar is atrocious.
-Â Â Â Do your homework before setting your heart on someone. The truth may hurt. But sometimes, the truth can be hot. Then again, all it would have changed is I would have found out sooner. I mean, who am I trying to kid? I still carry a torch for her!
Either way, Iâ€™m getting a copy on Nov. 23. When the movie is available for everyone, Iâ€™ll keep you all posted.