Just when I was counting down the hours remaining in my pointless temp job taking subscriptions at the Legendary Hollywood Trade Paper—thirteen, to be exact, less two lunch hours and three ten minute breaks—Bill Paxton called. "The actor?" I asked, so flustered I then added the following signature witticism: "Wow. Cool."
"That's right," he said, obviously flattered. "Who's this?"
"Julie. It's, yeah. Julie." This sparkling and pithy exchange of bons mots felt like some kind of failed audition for Annie Hall. "You gotta stop sending me all these magazines, Julie." Mysteriously ignoring the invitation to conversation implicit whenever a movie star addresses a girl by name, I told him the offending subscription might be a complimentary mailer from the Motion Picture Academy sent out during awards season. "Don't you need to know who to vote for?"
"I'm thinking I'll see the movies and figure it out. How do you like that approach?"
"Interesting." Interesting? Here's a guy zero degrees of separation from Jim Cameron—a big studio A-lister who's also worth a cool ten mil in foreign independent financing—and I'm somehow electing to keep things monosyllabic between us. Why didn't I just grunt a few times and show off my casual way with Cro Magnan?
I suppose everybody longs for a chance to re-write certain key scenes from their own life stories from time to time. As someone who spends so much time whiny-whining about her god-given, long overdue right to ascend to the rank of Big Hollywood Screenwriter, I propose a Fred McMurray/Barbara Stanwyck-worthy Double Indemnity dialogue polish.
Julie: Subscriptions, this is Julie.
Bill: Hi, Julie. This is Bill Paxton.
Julie: Bill Paxton. You don't say.
Bill: Listen, I need to cancel my subscription. I never even ordered the thing.
Julie: May I make a confession, Mr. Paxton? I've always confused you with Bill Pullman. Though you're clearly the hotter Bill, since you always get the girl, even if it's only in the B-plot.
Bill: I got two of them in Twister. Is there extra credit for that?
Julie: You get that for pulling off a treasure hunter named Brock Lovett in Titanic.
Bill: Most people only remember the name Jack Dawson.
Julie: I'm not most people.
Bill: You're not going to cancel my subscription, are you?
Julie: You've got to give Leo credit for that steamy handprint in the back window of the red Model T. Hottest love scene in movie history.
Bill: That belongs to Redford in Out of Africa. When he tells Meryl Streep to stop moving.
Julie: And she says she can't, but she does and then they're just lying there, breathing each other's breath.
Bill: You don't sound old enough to remember the details.
Julie: I sneaked into the theater on the arm of a helpful college boy.
Bill: You've got a real way with words, kid.
Julie: It happens I'm a writer.
Bill: In this town? Imagine that.
Julie: "Action hero" hardly smacks of originality.
Bill: It happens I'm in the market for something more meaningful.
Julie: It happens I have a Hilarious Little Funeral Comedy on hand.
Bill: Maybe we should talk.
Julie: We are talking.
Bill: Maybe we should do it in person.
Julie: What was all that nonsense about a magazine subscription?
Bill: I have no idea.
Julie: In that case I'll bring the screenplay. You bring the Coeur de la Mer.
Bill: That would be somewhere at the bottom of the ocean.
Julie: Then all you'll have to do is find it.
Bill: Something tells me you're not an easy girl.
Julie: Define easy.