Never assume a part is yours until you get your call time (or 'Too many
people in your corner can be a bad thing')

If you're either a film literate or a stoner, you might recognize me from 'Dazed and Confused'

(I'm the girl who tripped - literally). And if you're a true film buff and actually read the credits,

you'll also recognize the names of James Jacks (Jim, we fondly call him) and Don Phillips, the

producer and casting director respectively. That being said, you now understand we go way back.

And it is from this point that began what would be the most (I'll be nice here) 'trying' auditioning

experience I've ever had.

I first heard of 'Mallrats' one evening in February '94 while kicking back a couple cocktails with

Jim at an L.A. bar. He told me that he was producing a film and would like for me and some other

Dazed cast members to be in it. I was flattered, to say the least, and over the next year, my enthu-

siasm grew as 'Rats drew closer to becoming a reality. I read every draft, went through every one

of the possible locations for the shoot, saw 'Clerks'. And when I found out that Don was going to

cast the movie, I sat back and smiled. With both the producer and the casting director on my side,

all I had to do was meet the director - thus making a done deal right?


At this point I have to stress - thrust me on this - that none of the following events occurred out

of malice, but rather out of Kevin's inability to cotton to strong suggestions from my supporters.

This and a complete misunderstanding aided in creating the stigma that very nearly prevented said

director from seeing his way clear to casting yours truly. The abbreviated tale goes as follows:

- I have the part (for a year)

- I don't have the part.

Excuse me? Three days before my meeting with the 'enfant terrible' (Kevin), I received a phone

call from my manager, informing me that my best friend Parker Posey had gotten the part ("But he

hasn't even met me!"). Ironically enough, Parker was visiting from New York and standing beside

me when the news came. Tears streaming down my face, I hugged and congratulated her, as vis-

ions of arsenic danced in my head. After an entire evening of working through it, we put it behind

us (Parker's great that way) and I let it go...

Sort of.

- I maybe have the part?

A few days later, I was told that they'd like my to read for another part. "Out of pity?" I won-

dered? Regardless, I prepared the scenes, and the next day I read.

Now, to understand the anxiety I was then subjected to, you must first understand Kevin. He is,

shall we say, playful... in a Marquis de Sade sort of way.

When I finished my reading, he politely asked me to read for the part I'd spent a year believing

I had. It would take at least three pages to descibe what went through my head in the seconds that

followed. Among them:

"After a year of waiting, this bastard wants me to read cold?"

"Does this guy even know what I've been through?"

"And does not Parker have the part?"

But I'd like to consider myself a pro, so I read the part - cold. And after I'm done, Kevin says

"That was good, but can you do it again, only this time - do it faster?"


Then... "Again, please. Faster still."

Is this some sort of sick, New Jerseyan challenge?

"One more time, but even faster."

I hate you.

"Nice job."

And I leave.

Some days later, I was told I had a callback for the part - my part - scheduled for January tenth -

the day after my birthday (needless to say, it was a sober one that year, and it pretty much sucked).

Then the appointment was postponed for ten days ("Jesus Christ, how much longer can this go

on?!") So I waited (not so patiently) dwelling in Hell, chaos, confusion, and Parker's dilemma

over whether to do 'Rats or another film she'd been offered. The ten day wait ended and - call me

a masochist - I went back in to read.

- I don't have the part.

Parker's not doing it and neither am I. Shannen Doherty is (which, by the way, she did an excel-

lent job with).

- The whole thing's over.

Thank God! They had final call-backs and I wasn't invited. I threw the script in the trash and I

finally let it all go.

- The whole thing's not over.

I got a call back from Don saying that they want me to read for Gwen. It became official - I am a

masochist. I go in and read.

- I have the part (of Gwen).

Allow me a moment of sappiness - it was a truly beautiful moment when Don - knowing all I had

been through - told me after my reading that I had the part. We were standing in the same place

where he had told me I'd gotten Dazed lo those many years ago. It was... magical.

Now - if this was going to Hell and back, I'd do it a million times more. The experience of 'Mall-

rats' was all at once exhilirating, exuberant, mirthful, rapturous, transporting, elating, enlightening,

blissful... you get the idea. Not only did I learn much and meet people who I can only hope will

allow me the pleasure of their company for any amount of time, but I got to know one of the finest

young directors with whom I'm certain people will be shitting themselves to work with...

... even Kevin Spacey.

I love you Kevin. Thank you.
Okay - enough!

Never through objects in a room full of people, someone might get hurt.

My first day in Minneapolis I was transported by van from the hotel to the Eden Prairie Mall and

then led to an empty store front and instructed to wait in the back room until Kevin was ready for

me. It was at that point I was introduced to several of the cast and crew. My first conversation was

with the young Jason Mewes, which quickly turned into an interrogation regarding my sexual ex-

periences and inquiry into which orifices I preferred penetrated. Although he was endearing, I ex-

cused myself and meandered to a corner where I sat and plotted my next move and try and 'fit in.'

Claire Forlani joined me and as we smoked butts and discussed the trials and tribulations of mar-

riage and serious relationships, a colossus of a man entered the room with a German Shepherd.

Claire informed me this was Shannen Doherty's bodyguard and dog, who was later kicked out of

the mall despite her... influence. So she's here, I thought. I must admit I was a bit star-struck by

the notion of meeting her so I guess to calm my nerves, perhaps to be cute, I decided to play a little

game of fetch with the pooch using a plastic Evian bottle. All was going well and the dog seemed to

enjoy the exercise when some bald kid walked directly in the line of fire and was smacked right in

his head, which immediately turned beet red (out of embarrassment more than pain, I hoped). I

apologized profusely and it wasn't until later I found out this bald kid was in fact twenty-two year

old Dave Klein, our director of photography. That's the guy who works the camera and makes you

look good... or bad. I was fitting in just fine.

This case of 'unknown identity' is not dissimilar to my first impression of Scott Mosier, our

twenty-four year old producer. I met Scott during the auditions and somehow, possibly caught up

in my own dilemma, missed the "...our producer" part of the introduction. He was reading with the

actors and I just assumed that he was a newcomer that Don Phillips was breaking in (this reflects

nothing towards Scott's acting ability - I actually thought he was kind of talented), and I even felt a

bit sorry for him. I thought, "This poor guy probably wants to do this movie so bad, maybe they'll

give him a small part." I was so delighted to see him on the set and felt like such a fool when I

learned who he was. I went back to my room and studied my cast and crew sheet to avoid any fur-

ther faux pas.

Never discuss religion when unaware of everyone's beliefs

This is nothing more than an apology to Jason Lee.

People the press call bitchy can really be nice

To answer the question in everyone's mind: No, Shannen Doherty is not a bitch. Hell, she let me

use her rent-a-car and although she did have her bodyguard to drive her around, it was nice all the

same. My observation of Shannen is this: Strong southern woman with an Irish temper (dangerous

combination if you ask me) and she's smart to boot. I mean, who could hate someone who was a

regular on 'Little house?' Shannen grew up in the business, she's a professional and she knows

exactly what she wants when it comes to makeup, hair, wardrobe, lighting treatment, etc. and she

demands it. She demands respect. I personally admire this, but see how it can be misconstrued.

I wasn't quite convinced of her neccessity for a bodyguard until...

It was late one evening and Shannen and I were hanging out with Dana Allyson, our costume

designer, who asked if we wanted to go shopping. Did she really need to ask? Since safety's in

numbers, Shannen let her bodyguard off for the night. He didn't seem too happy about this and

on our way out he handed her his beeper and warned, "Beep me if you need me." Well , his con-

cern was contagious and I immediately got an eerie feeling. I had heard rumors of 'Shannen stalk-

ers' but thought them just that... rumors. Were we safe? At the mall my paranoia grew as I began

noticing people noticing Shannen and, when a lady approached with an autograph book, I suddenly

felt all the protection and championship of that dog of hers.

We made it through the mall and headed to Urban Outfitters. It was getting late and the cold Min-

nesota night seemed dark and foreboding as the winds howled at the moonless sky and I became

downright scared. Once there I couldn't really concentrate on my shopping. I was busily watching

for stalkers or psychos who might be hiding behind any corner, waiting to pounce, and was com-

pletely terrified when an employee shouted, "LOCK THE DOOR!" I turned and to my horror, a

thrall of people had gathered outside the front door wanting to see Shannen. I am only one and there

were so many. I went into shock and became completely useless, at which point Dana and the store

manager took over, quickly leading us out the rear door where we dashed down an alley and into the

parking lot. I could see the car and was just starting to feel some sense of safety when I noticed the

more clever of the crew had caught onto our sneaky little escape and it became a mad dash. I was at

the car, Shannen was at the car, Dana was unlocking the car, and they were closing in when Dana

turned and to my amazement with all the command of... God, ordered "Stay Back!" They did, and

we got in the car, and headed for safety. We didn't hang out a lot after that.

Some Directors actually do give 'line readings'

I was listening when Claire told me about Kevin's

method of directing, really I was. I don't know if I just

didn't believe her or if I thought he'd never try it on me

(or if he did, only from time to time), but when I first

heard him instruct me to "Say it like this...", shock and

defiance ran through my body.

It was out first rehersal, and not only did he give me a

line reading, but as he did, he added a little 'business'

for me to do as well ('business' meaning the stuff actors

do with the hands, body, etc. while acting). I sat - mouth slack, mind you - completely speechless,

with zero idea of how to react. So I swallowed (rather difficultly) my pride and said it - excuse me -

repeated it like him.

Thus began our director/actor relationship - a union comprised of never-ending utterances such

"Say it like this..." (His favorite)

"The inflection's on..."

"Go up at the end."

"Go up at the middle."

"Go up at the beginning."

Christ, I thought - why didn't he just record himself reading the script and pass it out.

I'll never forget the first time he actually gave me what 'I' considered direction... well sort of.

We were rehearsing the scene where T.S. and Gwen discuss why they dated as long as they had,

and I just couldn't deliver the line "you had cable" the way in which Kevin wanted - nay, obsessed

over - regardless of how many times he illustrated it for me. Several of the cast were in attendance,

and our battle of wills soon became the focus of the group. Maybe I'd been preoccupied with the

dichtomy between Shannen's figure and her dinner of chicken fingers and French fries - but I could

not, for the life of me, say it... right. "You're saying it like you'd say it in Dazed and Confused!"

Kevin jokingly (?) charged, to which I jokingly (?) replied "That's because Rick's a real director!"

(The foundation of our repartee from the start has been mutual digs, which I've since interpreted to

be Kevin's manner of conveying affection.) Finally out of sheer frustration, Kevin screamed "JU-

ST SAY IT LIKE - 'Duh!'"

Lights flashed, bells sounded, the fog lifted, and it all became clear (except why did it take him

thirty minutes to make his point?). I said it right from that moment forward.

But it didn't stop with line reading, oh no. Kevin one time offered what can only be described as

a 'body reading' as we rehearsed the Gwen/Brandi scene. He was less than thrilled with my en-

trance (that's what he's all about - entrances and exits... and a shit load of dialogue in between)

and since he couldn't give a line reading. I was really curious as to what he'd do. So after failed

attempts to explain what he wanted, he got up and performed it. Not to patronize, but it was kind

of cute.

Although I knew Kevin's dialogue was extremely stylized and somewhat cadenced, I found it so

unnatural to speak with rhythms and inflections that weren't my own. I even doubted that it would

come off well on screen. It wasn't until I shot my first scene, watched the dailies, and saw what

amazing performances he was getting out of everyone that I realized Kevin was right, his directing

- while unorthodox - was right, and in giving him my complete trust, I was right.

From then on, it was a walk in the park.

Twins can be confusing

Here's a bit of trivia for you: What actor in Mallrats has an identical twin brother who is also an

actor? You guessed it: Jeremy London, who's brother Jason starred in Dazed and Confused (oh,

it's an incestuous business). After playing Jason's girlfriend in Dazed, it wasn't hard to play Jer-

emy's ex-girlfriend in 'Rats. The only thing hard was calling him Jeremy when he looks so much

like Jason plus there were two other Jasons on set (Jason Lee and Jason Mewes), and I knew Ja-

son first and so I guess Jeremy looks like Jason to me because I didn't meet Jeremy first because if

I had, then Jason would probably look like Jeremy. Confused yet?

Differentiating factor - hearing Jason's rendition of Lenny Kravitz's "Rosemary" after hearing

Jeremy's version at a local party we attended.

Work out the details before shooting 'nudie scenes'

The first conversation I ever had with Kevin (outside auditions)

was a discussion of the 'titty scene'. He called me from the set in

Minnesota (where he was already rehearsing with the two Ja-

sons) and after congratulating me on getting the part, he segued

into exactly how much tit I'd have to show. He was actually ve-

ry cool about it and informed me that he and my manager had

agreed to 'fleeting'. I seconded that, and we quickly changed the

topic, never mentioning it again until five minutes before we were

to shoot the scene, at which time my three questions were:

"Exactly what is 'fleeting?'"

"Is partial nudity (as called for in the contract) half a tit?"

"Do I start with my shirt open or closed?"

Since the shot involved a stunt (Silent Bob's head through the

changing room wall) for which we had only two walls to bust.

I didn't want to talk about it, and Jim thought I might be trying to

weasel out of what I'd agreed to do. I was getting scolded, they were yelling for me on set, and I

did what any professional actress would do - I started crying uncontrollably. Kevin suddenly seemed

to want to talk about it, and was very sweet, telling me that I didn't have to do it at all (yeah, right),

but I said I wanted to - that I'd agreed to do it. After about ten minutes (mind you, I was holding up

a shot - a big no-no unless you're Tom Hanks) my crying ceased and Kevin left me to fix my make-

up and collect myself. As I did, I realized that we still hadn't solved the problem: How much tit?

So I ran to the set and found Kevin (garbed in helmet and goggles, rigged to come crashing th-

rough the wall), warned "This is what I'm going to do," and flashed him - at which point I noticed

that he'd averted his eyes (a fine, gentlemanly quality - but completely useless at that particular junc-


The A.D.'s yelling for me to get into position, I'm scared shitless, and still left with nooo idea

how much tit! I was on my own... and ACTION! I open my blouse, Silent Bob crashes through

the wall, I close my blouse, scream, hit him, and... CUT!

That was it? Hmmm... alot of hoopla over nothing.

It really does hurt when you hit a guy in the balls

Just ask Jeremy. OOPS!

If a smoker is working on a non-smoking set with a director who smokes,
follow him whenever he leaves the set

Many a good time were shared as well as cigarettes smoked in Kevin's office to which he would

retreat whenever possible. Anything went, the jokes never ended, and anything you could find dou-

bled as an ashtray. It was in this happy haven I first discovered the ol' pigtails and tap-dance trick.

Kevin was having problems on the set, or perhaps his comic books hadn't arrived, or had ar-

rived... bent! Regardless, he was in a foul mood and I felt some "please all the people all the time"

need to cheer him up so I did what all do when trying to lift spirits. I tap-danced. A slow grin crawl-

ed across his face, egging me on, so I continued whipping around into the buffalo two-step at which

point Kevin's grin blossomed into a smile and victory was mine.

Kevin (always adding his own touch) then asked me to repeat my little dance but this time, with

pigtails. Slightly confused and a little humiliated, I consented. The sound of his raucous laughter

filled my heart and fueled my ego (to make someone that funny laugh makes you feel funny). This

soon because the cheer-Kevin-up stand-by and was actually going to appear in the end credits until

I broke my toe. (Look for that story in behind the scenes of Bio-dome.)

Minneapolis is freezing in February

The majority of our time outside was spent running from building to car or from car to building

and since few of us had cars (not everyone was Shannen's favorite) we spent a lot of time in the

hotel and a lot of that time was spent in the hotel bar.

Tip hotel empoyees well, especially the bartenders

Whenever on location, I have found that the hotel bar (not to be confused with the chain discos

that accompany many hotels) seems to become a meeting ground for all involved. I guess this is

kind of obvious; I mean where else would we meet - the banquet room? Anyway, I must salute

those who intoxicated us, fed us, and basically put up with all our shit for two months. Do you

think they knew that I was buying beers for minor Jason Mewes who would start the evening so-

ber and somehow end up mysteriously belligerent, trying to entice a pretty maiden back to his room?

All those special requests of dressing on the side, skim milk, and food when the kitchen's closed -

they succumbed to. Eating eight bowls of nuts to one drink and then asking for more - they dished

them out. It was in this hotel bar I heard the profound words, "Only women can have perfect na-

vels" roll off Ethan Suplee's tongue. It was in this bar that... you know what? Not a damn thing

happened in that bar. No one fell in love or in lust or even so much as flirted. I never heard any

good gossip and I can't recall anything funny happening. I wasnt even told a good joke, for Ch-

rist's sake. Although I did hear a tale about two local girls claiming to be in the film so as to pick

up Jason and... I can't remember who.

The real drama unfolded when we decided to venture to 'Kicks', the attached disco, and involved

no cast members, but rather Jason Lee's girlfriend Carmen (now wife). We were having trouble

getting in because of out "attire" and Carmen defiantly asked, "What wrong with what I'm wear-

ing?" To which a lady with big hair suggested, "Tale a look in the mirror, honey!" Without missing

a beat Carmen punched the bitch and we casually strolled out. She obviously wasn't a magazine


Never trust a director to drive you to the airport

We had a very nice meal at Denny's (his favorite because of the picturesque menu) but we got to

the airport late. I was rushed, spilled coffee on the baggage clerk, and had to bolt to my gate. I later

learned Kevin compensated the man for his burns.