I’ve never been the type to be star-struck. That’s a good thing as I chose to earn a living in the film industry. I’ve had breakfast with Paul Newman, chatted up George Burns in the halls, and argued with Little Richard over the length of his limo. No problem.
O.K. There was that time that I nearly peed my pants meeting Lucille Ball… but she was a legend and my childhood idol. I wasn’t working with her; we were at a party – so that doesn’t really count.
Imagine my chagrin when, years into my career, I found myself completely star-struck during a job interview.
I was tired of constantly looking for work and applied for the job of “celebrity assistant.” These types of jobs are always kept deliberately vague when advertising in the trades. I was told to appear one July day in the 14th floor Century City office of said celebrity’s accountant. Upon arrival, I was told I was interviewing with Christopher Lambert, of Greystoke fame. (French pronunciation: Chris TOFF Lamb BEAR)
I was shown into a library with a wall of windows. The door opened; It was Christopher. Without really looking at him, I reached for his hand. Then I saw the most alluring azure eyes. I was only vaguely aware of him peeling his hand away from my death grip.
As he moved around the table, I checked out the rest of the package. Short, dark hair; tall, clean-shaven, tight legs, amazing ass, sexy French accent. Whew! I sat across from him and lost myself in his beauty. Yup. He is the most gorgeous man I have ever met.
“Oh, yes, ..um, I work on sets.. not build them. . . erm…what was that question again?”
I am blowing this interview…. Get it together! Oh damn! He asked me something else…
He looks at me as though I’m some stalker. I am certain he wishes he had taken the seat by the door. We both notice a book falling from the shelf.
“Is that an earthquake?” I ask, the first sentence I’ve offered with any clarity since he entered the room.
He stands and grabs my arm, “Yes, darling, we must move to a doorway.”
He called me darling.
And just that fast, the earthquake and Christopher are gone.
“Thank you for coming in,” he shouts from down the hall.
I get in the elevator, still numb. The elevator vibrates hard against the walls, metal clanging on concrete as an aftershock occurs. I keel over laughing.
Oh what he must think of me… how unprofessional!
But then, fate does believe in second chances.
Eight months later, the phone jars me awake at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. It’s Amanda, my production manager.
“Hey, do you have a current passport?”
“Yes,” I reply, reaching for a pen.
“Can you be ready to leave tomorrow?”
“Here’s the deal. Meet me at Aerolineas Argentinas counter at 12 noon. We’re going to Buenos Aires to replace a feature production crew …Highlander something… a sequel. We’ll be there for 3 months. It’s fall there, winter when we come home. Pack accordingly. O.K?”
I am terrified to find out Christopher Lambert is the lead and even more afraid to “meet” him. It is uneventful… my humiliation remains secret.
I become involved in my work. This is a crew of over 1200, units all over the place, insurance claims up the wazoo. As luck would have it, I possess one of the only working phones on set. Christopher and his lovely assistant, Patty, regularly park at my desk.
We all become chummy. One night a group of us are out to dinner. Christopher suggests dancing. Many drinks and dances later, the group dwindles to Patty and me and like all good drunks I feel the need to confess.
“Icoulda hadyer jab, yaknow…if I onleeeeeeeee hedn’ta blernda innaview,” I shouted as I hug her on the dance floor.
I spill the beans and then my dinner.
The next morning, the realization sinks in. Nah, she was drunk too. She won’t remember. I try to reassure myself.
When I arrive at the office, Patty is waiting, grinning like a full Cheshire.
“You have to tell Christopher!”
“No – that’s the most embarrassing thing ever,” I plead.
She smiles and walks away.
I manage to avoid them both for days. Then, Christopher plops down in a chair across from me. I assume he needs my phone and end my conversation. Patty walks into the room… that damn, stupid grin still on her face.
“Patty says you have something to tell me,” he says.
“No, not really,” I beg off.
“You tell him or I will,” Patty laughs.
I relay the tale. He stares at me, searching for recognition in my face. I stare at the floor wondering if he could have me fired. The silence is deafening.
He finally speaks.
“I want to know one thing. You’ve always been professional, you know your job…you’re nothing like that girl I interviewed. If you found me too handsome to hold a conversation, how do you work with me every day?
“Oh, that’s easy,” I say, praying that I do know this man’s sense of humor. “Your hair’s grown out, you’ve got all that stubble and those blue eyes are awfully bloodshot with the hours we’ve been working. Basically, you do nothing for me looking like this.”
I both hold my breath. Maybe I will get fired, after all.
And then, he laughs. He laughs so hard, he falls out of his chair. Patty and I help him up. He spins round and hugs me, still laughing. He pushes me away and looks into my eyes.
“You really are full of crap!”
Ah… reputation redeemed.