Wednesday night. Dave and I were chatting with each other in the crowd—at the Lovely Bones
premiere after-party being held at the The Plaza Hotel—and suddenly Steve Buscemi
walks up to us. With a big grin, Buscemi gets into Dave's face and demands, "Who are you with...?"
Let me back up.
Why was I invited to the red carpet premiere of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lovely Bones
There was a regular Writers Guild screening of the movie happening the same night a few blocks away, at the Directors Guild Theatre, but I was invited to the red carpet affair at The Paris Theatre.
Literally. Red carpet. Celebrities, photographers, the whole magilla.
I'd like to think that it's because it's a Paramount movie and that things seem to be going well with my project there... so maybe someone at the studio decided to throw me a bone. I'd prefer to be able to pay my bills, but I will take any offer of free movies/food/drink.
Peter Jackson came out and introduced the movie and the main actors. Wahlberg
was at the screening but I didn't see him or Jackson at the after-party. I believe this is the first big Hollywood movie premiere I've ever attended. They have free popcorn and drinks at these things. (This paragraph feels out of order but I don't feel compelled to rearrange it.)
I won't review the movie here because you're really not interested in a movie review, are you?
The Plaza Hotel is old-school swank. It was the most surreal sensation, waiting in line in the marble lobby, in my fucking GAP clothes. In my wallet, just a few spare singles I'd been saving to treat myself to some dollar-slices of pizza later in the week. There were people there wearing things on their backs that would pay for a year of my living expenses. Coming to the end of the most financially ruinous year of my life, waiting to get into The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel so I could drink free drinks and gawk at the famous rich people.
Who did we see? Rachel Dratch
. Carson Kressley
. Bob Balaban
. Joe Morton
. I believe the French like to call this "the cream of the cream".
It was really crowded at the party and I bumped my chin against Courtney Love as I passed by her. I may not have done that accidentally. Like a cat, marking her with my scent. Though she probably left more of a scent on me.
(I'm quite lonely.)
I was telling Dave that I wish I had a system for taking pictures with my cell phone on the sly. It's a total geek move to take celebrity pictures, especially when you're in the inner-sanctum, but it's a rare thing to be at a place like that: it's nice to have a little proof. Who cares if the pics are dark and blurry? It's almost better. Makes them feel more authentic.
Of course, Dave—being one of my oldest and dearest friends—had brought a digital camera with him and quietly started taking pictures of the stars without flash...
The lovely and talented Saoirse Ronan
My mom's favorite, Susan Sarandon.
(Tim Robbins must have been looking after the kids.)
Michael Imperioli had his own table, with a big reservation card that said, "Michael Imperioli". This is what he looks like in near-complete darkness.
Stanley Tucci... who's amazing in the movie...
Tucci conferring with the giant Oliver Platt...
More of Platt...
The lovely Patricia Clarkson...
I look over to see who Steve Buscemi is hanging out with and I say to Dave, "Hey, it's SLEDGE HAMMER!
Dave says to me, "I'm pretty sure that's Aidan Quinn
Somewhere along the way, Dave got more bold taking pictures. It was a dark, crowded room, everyone had cameras with them, Dave wasn't using flash. But I guess the stars began to notice Dave...
This may be what Oliver Platt looks like moments before he destroys you.
This might be where Aidan begins to take note of the camera...
This might be where Aidan decides he doesn't like you...
So anyway, this is our night. I'm dragging Dave to the bar to get free drinks. We make circles around the party while I'm gawking at famous people. More drinks. More gawking.
Then suddenly, when Dave and I are just having a regular chat on our own, Steve Buscemi walks up to us and asks Dave:"Who are you with...?"
Dave and I are both a bit shocked. The night's surreal enough as it is. Dave asks what he means. Buscemi, of course, is asking about the picture taking. "My friend Aidan was noticing you were taking pictures and wanted to know what they were for."
Dave reassured him that they were just for personal use. "So, you don't work with a tabloid or anything? You don't have a blog?" Dave reassured him that he didn't.
(Of course, he didn't mention that *I* have a blog, but hey... this blog doesn't get a lot of traffic...)
Buscemi was actually really friendly and apologetic and good-humored about it. He asked me my name and I briefly considered trying to explain how I'm a screenwriter, but it just seemed too lame. And I guess this is my issue with approaching celebrities "in the wild". I'd much rather be introduced to them than do a cold approach. Or rather, wait until I've got some work out there that they may actually have HEARD of so they know I'm not just some street urchin with dreams.
(In hindsight, of course, I can think of a bunch of different things I could've said to open a dialogue, but this is why I suck.)
God, the whole experience felt like some bizarre dream. And I'm still not sure why I was invited to it.
Friday mourning, I scheduled an appointment with yet another temp agency down on Wall Street to take some more fucking assessments. Thursday night, it got postponed which was a fucking relief. It'd be better to get it over with but I'm happy to have it put off. It's such an awful mindfuck, to seek out shitty temp jobs you know you're going to hate...
I hate it but I just need to figure out a way to support myself through the lean stretch. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life right now. This has officially been my royal fuck-up year.