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کتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 35

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  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Murdering Maid

I quickly got cast in a guest-star role on a show called Cover Up. The premise was undercover CIA agents masquerading as fashion models. Really.

Prior to my arrival, the show had been on hiatus because of a horrible tragedy. During a break between scenes, late at night, the star, Jon-Erik Hexum, got bored and started playing Russian roulette with what he thought was a safe prop gun. He shot a blank load into his temple, and ended up brain-dead. He died several weeks later. In shock and grief, they shut down the show for a number of months. When CBS revived it, they had a new actor take over for Jon. I was hired for the first show back as a guest star.

I had been told that the female star of the show, Jennifer O’Neill, was nice, and she was. But I think she was still coping with the loss of her costar, so it was tough going at first. I went to shoot an important scene with her, and the script supervisor told me he was reading Jennifer’s off-camera dialogue. She was still at lunch. I said, “Get her back. Please.” On camera or off camera, you’re there for your fellow actor, giving it your all every take. That’s my philosophy.

They got her back, and she was not happy. I tried to play off that unhappiness in the scene. I’m not sure it was effective, but I had to play the hand I was dealt.

I had four different roles on Cover Up, including a newspaper guy, a blowhard, a mustachioed reporter, and a maid . . . who also happened to be a murderer. I had a skilled Hollywood artist make me up like a woman, and I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, You are the ugliest woman I have ever seen.

My manager, trying to raise awareness about my work, put out an ad in Variety with pictures of the four characters I played. The text read: 4 your consideration.

Meanwhile I was auditioning for commercials like a maniac. I ultimately did spots for Excedrin and Preparation H and Coffee-Mate. My mother could never remember if the coffee-whitener product I was selling was Coffee-Mate or its rival brand Cremora. She’d call and say, “I saw your Cremate commercial again! I use that when I don’t have cream.”

I’d answer, “You like the taste of cremate, Mom?”

“I do!” she’d say. “It’s rich!”

When I started getting a lot of guest-star roles, I’d make postcards and send them to casting directors to alert them. Watch Bryan Cranston in Matlock this week! Don’t miss Bryan Cranston’s guest turn as Tom Logan in Baywatch! Tune in to Amazon Women on the Moon for a special treat: Bryan Cranston stars as Paramedic #3. I knew 99 percent wouldn’t watch, but they would see my name. They would see my face. And they would get the message, even if only on a subliminal level. This guy works a lot.

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