Authors: Lindsey Kelk
‘Oh well.’ James threw the BlackBerry back at Blake and laughed. ‘We’ll try him later. Looks like we’re here. Did you know Fox’s headquarters were the Nakatomi building from
‘No way!’ I yelled, hanging out of the window like an overexcited Labrador.
‘Yep,’ James yanked me back in as we drove straight through security. ‘They were in
Alvin and the Chipmunks
too but the less said about that the better.’
‘Were you in
Alvin and the Chipmunks
?’ I asked, narrowing my eyes.
James stared straight back at me. ‘The less said about that the better.’
Hooray for Hollywood indeed.
For some reason, I’d thought I would be able to swank around the studio without a single bat of an eyelid, as if I always hung out on movie sets, as if watching Adam Sandler whizz past me on a little golf cart was just an average Monday; but I turned out to be a little bit more of a slack-jawed yokel than I had hoped. Wandering around with James wasn’t helping. Almost every other person we passed wanted to speak to him or at least find some feeble excuse to stop him and stroke his arm, slap him on the back or give his forearm an affectionate squeeze or an altogether slutty gaze. I tried not to be jealous but I couldn’t help but feel completely invisible.
‘This is where I’m filming today,’ James said, after the seventh assistant to the assistant’s assistant of the day had finished blathering on about how privileged she was to be working with him.
From outside, it just looked like a massive warehouse, sandy coloured and sun-bleached, like everything else I’d seen in LA, but once James opened the door and I stepped inside, something crazy happened. We were back in London. I turned to look out through the door. Outside, sunny, shiny LA. Inside, London at sunset. Trafalgar Square, to be exact.
‘No way,’ I said, stepping lightly, completely disoriented. ‘This is bizarre.’
‘It stops me getting homesick,’ James said, taking my hand and leading me through a maze of wires and cameras. ‘Have you ever climbed on a lion in Trafalgar Square?’
‘No.’ I stared all around me. ‘I actually never have. Isn’t that sad?’
‘You can do it now if you want,’ James said, pointing across the floor to a perfect replica of a Trafalgar Square lion, beside a Nelson-less half-column. ‘Give me your phone, I’ll take a picture.’
It was madness. Once we were inside the walls, away from the miles and miles of cables and lamps, my brain just couldn’t register the fact that we were still in LA. I couldn’t even really believe I was inside. The things they can do with lighting these days…At James’s insistence, I clambered up on top of the lion, a little bit shocked to find it wasn’t actually bronze but something slightly less solid and warm.
‘Is this going to break?’ I asked, trying to throw my leg over without flashing my pants. ‘It doesn’t feel very solid.’
‘It’s fine,’ James insisted, squaring me up in the viewfinder of my crappy phone camera. ‘Just try not to kick it or anything. Jessica Alba was on it the other day and it was fine.’
I clung to the lion’s neck, trying not to think about how many Jessica Albas I weighed and praying to the prop gods that this lion was built to take the weight of real people as well as Hollywood waifs. A quiet creak was enough to convince me that it wasn’t.
‘I don’t think I can get down,’ I said, trying not to panic. This was not going to be my finest moment. ‘Seriously?’
James laughed, stuck my phone in the back pocket of his jeans and held out his hands. ‘Come on then, jump.’
‘I can’t,’ I said, gripping the lion slightly too tightly with my thighs. ‘I’m stuck.’
‘You’re not going to be able to do the interview from up there, are you?’ he pointed out. ‘And I have a scene in here in about an hour. I’ve read my script: you’re not in it. Jump.’
I pursed my lips and closed my eyes. This wasn’t going to be flattering, however I hard I tried. Folding my leg underneath me and almost dislocating it in the process, I inched along the lion as far as I could before I felt myself sliding down its backside much faster than I had anticipated.
‘Shit!’ I wailed, collapsing into James’s outstretched arms.
‘This is going to be the best interview ever, isn’t it?’ James asked.
With massive quantities of self-restraint, I shook myself out of his broad, hard chest and coughed, not knowing whether to brush my hair or my skirt down first.
‘I’m probably not going to mention this part,’ I said, accepting my phone back. It was warm from his pocket. ‘But this set is amazing.’
‘Yeah,’ he nodded, looking around. ‘Always seems crazy to me when they spend a fortune on a set, though. Although I suppose they can’t go around blowing up parts of the real Trafalgar Square.’
‘You’re blowing bits of it up?’ I asked, hoping it wouldn’t be my lion.
‘Shit, I’m supposed to be sworn to script secrecy.’ James pulled an imaginary zip across his mouth. ‘You didn’t hear that from me.’
‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Are you blowing it up today? Can I watch?’
‘Bloodthirsty, aren’t you? Nope, sorry, Trafalgar Square doesn’t get it until next week.’
‘James!’ Blake yelled from the steps of the National Gallery and tapped his watch. ‘Trailer!’
‘Want to see my trailer?’ James raised a perfect eyebrow.
I raised mine. ‘I bet you say that to all the girls.’
‘Maybe a couple,’ he admitted, putting an arm around my shoulder and walking me off into a Waterloo Sunset.
If walking onto the set had been like walking into London, walking into James’s trailer was like walking into heaven. I’d never, ever seen anything so plush. It made The Union and The Hollywood look like a youth hostel.
‘This place is amazing. Why would you even have a house?’ I charged up the steps and into the lounge. Three massive plush sofas dominated the space, all pointing at a huge flatscreen TV with a beautiful low coffee table set in the centre. Under the TV was a DVD player, a Blu-ray player and several games consoles. It was basically boy heaven.
‘Gets boring after a while,’ James said, his hand hovering over a fruit platter on the coffee table before he skipped over onto a bowl of M&Ms. ‘Sometimes I just really want to fuck off back to my mum’s. You can fly direct to Sheffield now, can’t you? I could be there in a day.’
‘Sheffield?’ I gave James a questioning look. ‘I thought you were from London?’
‘Not approved!’ Blake called from the kitchen. He stuck his head around the door. ‘We’re not talking about James’s past, Miss Clark.’
‘OK.’ I launched myself into one of the squishy sofas and filed it away.
‘So, James has to go do some actual work. We’ll be, like, two hours. You’ll stay here?’ Blake pushed James through the door as he threw me a helpless shrug and disarming wink.
‘Perfect,’ I said to myself, pulling my laptop out of my bag. It was almost twelve already and my blog wasn’t about to write itself. Couldn’t hurt to at least attempt to get it in on time…
The Adventures of Angela: LA Story
So finally, I can let you in on my secret…right now, as in right this second, I’m blogging to you from the trailer of a very cool, very talented and, well, gorgeous movie star. Seriously, we’re talking A-list, super-hot, 100% amazing Ac-Tor-type person.
What’s great for me (but possibly a little bit rubbish for you), is that I’m actually interviewing him for
my first-ever proper interview! But that’s not the most rubbish bit (unless I do a really shoddy job, that would be a bit tragic): what’s really sad is that I’m not allowed to tell you who it is.
I know, what a tease.
What I can do is tell you all about LA and all the adventures I’m having…Which have so far totalled a bit of shopping and puking outside a bungalow at Chateau Marmont. I am all class, I know. But seriously, what gives? Why am I not loving this place? I was so excited to leave the New York snow but LA just seems a bit empty and impersonal instead of glamorous and exciting. Am I doing something wrong? If you have any recommendations, please email me and let me know where I should be going. And yes, before you ask, I have a car.
Course, things might pick up when Mr Movie Star takes me out this afternoon…I do this all for you, you know.
Blog written and emailed to Mary back in New York, I popped in the earphones from my Dictaphone and prepared to type up my notes. Hmm. Me telling James how I ended up in New York. James laughing. Me telling James how much I disliked LA. James laughing. Blake telling me I had to stick to approved topics. James laughing. So far, all I had for the interview was:
James Jacobs loves to laugh
Before I could even start to panic, I heard my phone buzzing in my bag. Mary—Office. Meep.
‘Hi Mary,’ I said, shuffling onto the edge of the chair and actively not biting my nails. ‘You got my blog?’
‘I did, you were sick outside his bungalow?’ Mary wasn’t one for pleasantries.
‘Er, yeah, food poisoning,’ I bluffed. ‘James didn’t know anything about it, I just thought it sounded funny on the blog.’
‘Right.’ I know she didn’t believe me for a second. ‘Is everything OK? Have you got some good stuff?’
‘Do you want to send it to me?’
I stopped actively not biting my nails. ‘It’s not ready.’
‘It’s not ready?’
‘And I’m a perfectionist.’
‘Right. Send me something tomorrow.’
I didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing that she hung up without absolutely kicking my arse, but I was fairly sure that it was not good. Mary might have agreed to let me do the interview, but if things looked as though they might be going badly, she would pull me off in a heartbeat, and I was absolutely not going to let that happen. This was my chance; I really wanted it to work. Somewhere along the line, I’d got it into my head that if I could do this, then I could do anything. That maybe Mary would send me more exciting assignments than reviewing the new Christina Aguilera album. I just
to do a good job. Even if I had absolutely no experience, precedent or genuine reason to believe that I might be able to. Shit.
So what had I really learned about James Jacobs? He liked to run in the hills, he had just filmed a movie in Canada and he may or may not be from Sheffield. Hmm. Not even enough to warrant a ten-second interview on Facebook let alone a magazine interview.
OK, Angela, I told myself, as soon as James comes back to the trailer, you will be a hard-hitting journo. You will be the world’s most investigative interviewer. You will check your make-up and hope that you are still looking human. And then, of course, James will walk back in while you have two giant rings of Touche Eclat highlighting your impressive eye bags. He was shadowed, of course, by Blake.
‘Well, you, Angela Clark, are a rare beauty.’ He gave me one of his most dazzling smiles. It was a wonder he didn’t think everyone in the universe was mentally challenged, it was so difficult to actually give a coherent response when he really turned it on.
‘It’s a terrible load to bear,’ I agreed. ‘So what are we up to?’
‘I’m all done here for today.’ James stretched, touching the tips of his fingers to the ceiling of the trailer. ‘Just let me get changed and then I thought we could head out into town.’
‘Sounds like a plan,’ I agreed, watching him vanish into the other room, giving me a chance to pat (never rub) the magical make-up into my skin and check my phone. Nothing from Jenny still; nothing from Alex. It was nice to feel loved. I sent a quick text to Jenny to check she was alive, but didn’t have time to put together an Alex-appropriate message before James reappeared, car keys in hand, Blake by his side. It took time to be breezy.
‘So, where are we going?’ I asked, dropping my phone into my bag.
James held out a hand and hoisted me up. ‘We’re going to show you LA. Ready?’
Outside the trailer, James’s limo had mysteriously vanished and in its place was a huge, petrol blue truck. Oh dear.
‘A Hummer?’ I tried not to raise an eyebrow at the cliché. Very
‘An H2H—hydrogen-powered Hummer. Don’t judge a book by its cover, Angela.’ James held open the door.
‘You are a long way from home right now, James Jacobs,’ I tested, shaking my head and clambering up inside.
‘Not approved.’ Blake ‘helped’ me into the cab with a firm shove to the arse. ‘Seriously, Miss Clark, we are not talking about James’s past in any way—’ But before he could climb into the car after me, James leaned over, slammed the door shut and ran around to the driver’s side. Sliding in and gunning the engine, he gave his assistant a hearty salute as we pulled out of the parking space.
‘Bye Blake, I’ll keep her on the approved topics, don’t worry,’ James called as we drove off, making an overly dramatic ‘I can’t hear you’ gesture at his furious assistant as he revved the engine ever louder and peeled out of the car park. ‘Now, I love that guy, but seriously, how are we supposed to do an interview with him barking “not approved” every ten seconds?’
‘Couldn’t agree more.’ I wound the window down, trying to ignore the giddy butterflies building up in my stomach as we pulled out of the studio lot and onto the Avenue of the Stars. It wasn’t just the ridiculous street name, it was cruising at high speed in a great big shiny truck. It was looking out of the window and up into the sunshine. It was the great big genuine grin on James’s face. ‘But aren’t you afraid I’ll ask you some horribly inappropriate questions and print some scandalous filth in the magazine?’
‘Here’s hoping,’ he grinned.
‘What do you think?’ James asked as we screeched to a halt.
For the second time that day, my eyes turned to fall on something impossibly beautiful. I’d been so busy fiddling with James’s iPod in the truck, trying to work him out by his song selections (impossible: he had everything ever recorded from Strauss to The Stones—and Stills, of course) that I hadn’t even looked out of the window once we pulled onto the freeway.