Psycomic - 11.17.01
Our Cover Is Blown
Mind you, for the purposes of this column, we're still in L.A., but in real life, we're in pre-production already. In fact, last week, Dimension put the flick on the schedule officially, as Bob Weinstein (our fearless leader) staked out a date in the summer he felt would give us our best chance at B.O. success (that's "Box Office"; as for Body Odor--well, being really, really heavy, I sweat profusely round-the-clock, so I've got that B.O. covered, successfully). The date Bob chose? August 10th, one week after the latest Schwarzenegger flick opening (the title of which escapes me, but the plot of which probably has something to do with Arnold shooting someone with a very impressive gun), and one week before Jason X (presumably another in the long-thought-dead-but-really-just-dormant Friday the 13th saga). Bob calls to tell me this the morning of November 9th, and the first thing I ask is:
"What are you calling it on the schedule?"
Bob says, "What do you mean?"
I say, "Well, we've been calling it VA5, so as not to give away the title."
Bob replies "What the fuck's a VA5? And why wouldn't you want to give away the title? The title's one of your strengths, man. Of course you want people knowing the title! It's going on the schedule as Silent Bob and Jay Strike Back."
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," I correct.
"Whatever," Bob says. "It's going up today."
Based on that, Miramax/Dimension publicity prepares a press release for the trades, and suddenly, that veil of secrecy we've been shrouding the production in for no real reason other than Lucas does it all the time (and look how well his movies do) is yanked off quicker than a horny cheerleader's bloomers at one of those no-boys-allowed-all-girl-on-girl-high-school-experimentation fuck-fests you fantasized about during those halcyon, thrice-daily days of ardent adolescent masturbation (Which stop when you get married. Really. Honest).
But that's all here, in the present. What about where we left off, back in the past? I believe we were still in L.A. on our fishing expedition, and it was...
Thursday, we meet with more actresses, and talk about the impending Kate Hudson meeting with Christine Sheaks (our casting mistress), which is presently set up for Wednesday morning in New York. Everyone's happy about this, as she's currently dazzling the press in Almost Famous and taking up more magazine cover space than a UPC code.
Bob (our fearless leader, and guy with the wallet), however, is still pushing for the Heather Graham meeting, but Heather's either in London, leaving for London, or on her way to Morocco (ah, the informational accuracy of a Hollywood agent). Meanwhile, I'm still wanting to meet Amy Smart, but the week's almost over, and she's a no-show. We're repped by the same agency (the good folks at Endeavor) and they're busting their backs trying to set up this meeting, but Amy's shooting a picture in Vegas, and may not be able to make it to L.A. before we leave on Monday. All parties are biting their nails, when Sheaks tells us that we're meeting with Matthew McConaughey in the morning.
"Matthew McConaughey?" I ask, dubious as hell. "You mean A Time to Kill Matthew McConaughey?"
"Yeah," Sheaks offers. I notice she says this when I'm right.
"But he's a big movie star--or at least, was--and this picture's a little beneath him. He just had a hit, with U-571. He certainly doesn't need us."
"You're forgetting he's done comedy too," Sheaks points out. "Dazed and Confused."
"Yeah, and Larger Than Life," Scott points out, countering Sheaks.
"He's got a point, Sheaks," I nod at Mosier, vehemently. "Besides: I don't think the guy knows who we are, let alone has seen any of our pictures."
"I think it's worth meeting him. Maybe he's a big fan," says Sheaks. "And then after that, you meet with Charlie Sheen."
"CHARLIE SHEEN?!?" Mosier and I both perk the fuck up.
Mosier grins at me. "MA-SHEEN?!?"
"Mal-catraz..." I grin back.
We're both big Being John Malkovich fans.
At that point, we agree to anything Sheaks has to say, because fuck it; she's getting us in a room with Sheen. Anybody who can do that can't be wrong about anything. Ever.
In the early A.M., I head downstairs to the hotel bar (which is where all the meet-and-greets are taking place), and there sits Matthew McConaughey, arms crossed, decked out in black leather pants, looking chiseled. Mosier's there with him already, and I join the pair, exchange greetings, and talk about Wooderson from Dazed and Confused for half an hour. Eventually, he steers the conversation around to the movie we're working on, and asks what it's about.
"It's the movie that closes out the other four we've done," I start. "It's really time, you know; before they overstay their welcome. So we're going to do it with a real balls-to-the-wall comedy, kind of like Rats, which tanked. But we're trying to do a little history correcting here, and make a flat-out comedy that succeeds this time. Plus, the last two were funny but also weighty, and it just feels like it's time to do one that's nothing but funny, with no message or anything, especially after what happened to us on the last one, with all the hate mail and death threats."
It's at this point that I realize Matthew's eyes have glazed over. I can read it in his face: "What the fuck is Tubby here talking about? Close out what other four? Rats? 'Last two'? Hunhh?"
As suspected, not only is McConaughey not a fan, he doesn't know who the fuck we are or what the fuck we're talking about. His agent must've just told him this was a meeting worth having, because (after all) Scott and I have worked with Ben and Matt, so we must be doing something right. In fact, Ben and Matt are coming back on this new, untitled flick too, so maybe it's worth meeting on.
But as we all know, that's just not the case. This is a slapsticky cluster-fuck of a movie in which Jason Mewes is the lead. And since Matthew McConaughey wouldn't know a Jason Mewes if he was pissing on him, let alone would consider playing fourth or fifth billing to him, this meeting is a complete waste of all of our collective time. He suddenly knows it, and we suddenly know he knows it. All that's left is for all of us to get out of this blunder with our dignity intact--which we eventually do when Matthew excuses himself to go to a far more important meeting.
Nice guy, really. We just don't show up on his radar at all. Which is okay, as he doesn't really show up on ours. We smile, shake hands, and go our very separate ways.
Following that, Mosier and I load into a car and head over to the CBS/Radford Studios, to meet with a legend. Bud Fox from Wall Street--the man who brought down Gordon Gekko. A guy who gave the single greatest interview ever given in the rag that is Movieline magazine, in which he talked about hookers and actors he didn't like. The actor who can steal any flick he's in simply by doing a cameo (see Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the aforementioned Being John Malkovich).
We go to meet Chuck Sheen.
The Next Article
Friday Afternoon with the Ma-Sheen - 11.24.00
The Last Article
Wednesday - 11.10.00