Chapter 15 – Different treatment
Bright incandescent lights illuminate the entire corridor, and the spacious space leads straight to the door at the end; green potted plants decorate the interior, complementing the white walls, original wooden desks, and silver decorations, bringing a touch of coolness amidst the raging summer heat; the scene of people coming and going is full of vitality, and there is a hustle and bustle amidst the quiet, showing that in today’s society, young people with the “Hollywood dream” are still numerous. “The attraction of fame and fortune in the spotlight drives countless people to follow”.
“Hey, George.” Someone greeted Chris and Renly cheerfully, this is already the sixth since the beginning of the journey, “rumors are saying that J.J. is a difficult director, is it really so? Does he really heckle actors at random on set?”
This is about J. J. Abrams, who became famous with the TV series “Lost”, and then directed “Mission Impossible 3”, “Star Trek”, and became a first-rate director in Hollywood. Chris played Captain Kirk’s father – George Kirk in “Star Trek”, which made him a familiar face among many loyal fans.
Chris has obviously gotten used to the name “George” and replied with a smile, “No, of course not really, J. J. is a very funny guy on the set, he is very happy to exchange ideas with the actors…” Chris told a small story about the set in a colorful way. The other side showed a satisfied expression, and the envy in his eyes was not concealed.
“Really?” The other party looks about thirty years old, but his face remained very unfamiliar, the development of his career as an actor should not have taken off, in fact, this type of actor is the main part of Hollywood, those bright and shiny top stars only occupy a millionth of it. Such as Chris who can play a heavy role in commercial blockbusters, in their eyes is already worthy of the title “Star”, “so when will the next “Star Trek” start shooting? I believe your role in the film will be significant, right? ”
“Star Trek” was released in May this year, and it was a hit, giving the series a new lease of life after years of silence. However, there is no further news for now.
“The script is in the works, and our entire cast is waiting for it. “Chris replied with a smile, dealing with such a scene is obviously not unusual for him.
Renly stood quietly as a sidekick, with no intention of joining the conversation – and of course, he was not entitled to join.
A little bit later, Chris took the initiative to end the conversation, the other side solemnly introduced himself, Hollywood’s network is such that no one knows when a nobody will become an overnight success, not to mention, Chris is not a “nobody” anymore.
The other person looked up and down at Renly, as if he had finally noticed that there was a person next to them. The other side was ready to leave, but seeing Renly’s calm smile, he was embarrassed and nodded his head in response, and then left quickly.
After seeing each other off, Chris turned his head toward Renly and gave a helpless expression, “They always like to hear these bloopers, such enthusiasm is really overwhelming.”
“That’s the siege, isn’t it?” Renly shrugged and sighed. Those outside the siege want to get in, but those inside the siege want to get out.
The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you are getting into.
The middle-aged woman sitting at the front desk looked up and said, “Welcome to the Actors Union of America, do you need to join the Union or ……”, but only after the words were spoken, she saw two tall men in front of her –Chris’s height is even taller than Renly by almost two inches, then she showed a big smile, “Chris, sweetie, you have not appeared for a long time, I thought that you got that role in “Inception”!”
That overflowing enthusiasm made Chris smile brightly too, beaming and grumbling, “No, Joseph-Gordon-Levitt (Joseph-Gordon-Levitt) got the role. ”
“Oh. ” the woman let out a lamentable exclamation, the chubby body shakily stood up, pinched Chris’s handsome cheeks, vividly expressing her regret, “I think you’re better than him!”
Chris pursed his lips and shrugged, then shook his head gently, “It’s okay, if you miss it, you miss it. I don’t think much of that movie anyway, the concept is too complicated.” Then, Chris did not want to continue this depressing topic, turned his head and pointed to Renly beside him, “This is my friend, Renly, he came here today to confirm the casting results of a drama. What’s the name again?” The last sentence was a query to Renly.
The woman finally shifted her gaze. Renly showed a gentlemanly smile, “The Pacific’, I was told to come over to the Union today to find a public agent and ask for the details.”
The middle-aged woman didn’t make too much of a fuss – although this was a Tom and Steven produced series, there was a big difference between the TV show and the movie, and she was all too familiar with this kind of situation, “Name?” The businesslike tone cooled the atmosphere slightly, and she awkwardly returned to her chair, placing her fingers, which were as thick as sweet potatoes, on top of the keyboard.
Cracking her tongue, she looked at the screen to confirm the information, “Roy Lockley.” Looking up, she continued, “I’m not quite sure if Roy came here today, you go to the third floor, room 307, that’s his office. If he’s not here, there’s his card by the office door, just take one and contact him.”
Chris tapped Renly on the shoulder, “Do you need me to accompany you up there?”
Renly waved his hand, “Don’t you want to see what’s going on? You go ahead and get to work, I’ll come over to you later.” And then politely nodded to the lady with a smile, “Lisa, thank you.” The nameplate on her chest said “Lisa”, and Renly could see the expression on Lisa’s face stiffen slightly, but he didn’t pause in his steps and turned straight away.
The sound of Lisa and Chris talking happily again came from behind him, and Renly couldn’t help but smile.
For such a difference in treatment, Renly felt that it was perfectly normal. This is the reality in their society, fame, power and money are the basic criteria for people to measure and judge other people’ social status. Even Renly himself, chose “The Pacific” as the first audition attempt, not without taking into account the meaning of the two big-name producers.
Climbing the stairs, he soon arrived on the third floor, looking at the Victorian-style wooden door and glazed window, Renly looked around, looking for signs, trying to confirm Roy’s presence.
Suddenly the office door opened and a man emerged, his hair slightly disheveled, a dark brown suit somewhat creased, a black briefcase clutched in his arms, the black frames of his glasses on the bridge of his nose curbed and slid down, which made him a little fidgety, “You are …… ”
“Renly Hall.” Renly took the initiative to introduce himself.
“Renly, Renly.” The other person chewed twice, “Oh, it’s you!” He looked back and then forward, as if he was debating whether he should continue to go out or deal with Renly.
Renly opened his mouth and was about to say he could come back this afternoon when the other man made his choice and pushed open the office door and walked back in, “Come on in.” Then he casually put the briefcase on the desktop and went around behind the desk, “I’m Roy, the official agent of the Actors Union of America, and since you don’t have an agent, “The Pacific” signing is being done by me.”
In the United States, in order to protect the interests of actors and to avoid unethical behavior, labor unions not only send representatives to monitor the audition process, but also send official public agents to sign contracts for those actors who do not have agents.
Although the unspoken rules still exist in the entire film industry, for those who dream of overnight success, why not do it if they can reap fame and fortune by pleasing directors and producers; but compared to 30 or 40 years ago, the rights of individual actors are protected to the greatest possible extent.
Unlike his scruffy appearance, Roy was extremely fast and efficient, and just as Renly sat down, he found the exact contract from the mountain on top of the table and placed it in front of him.
Renly glanced at the half-eaten sandwich on the table, and a grease-stained pizza box, and then withdrew his eyes, picked up the contract, hearing Roy’s voice explaining, “HBO said that you will be the lead actor, a total of seven episodes of content, each episode fee is going to be $20,000, if there are objections to this figure, it can be discussed again. But I personally think that this is a very reasonable figure, after all, this is only your first role.”
Renly, however, did not wait for Roy to continue his explanation and interrupted him with a direct nod, “I’m fine with that.” For Renly, the performance and the role come first, this is the essence.
The pay is crucial for any actor, newcomers and superstars alike, and in many cases, it is the measure of an actor’s status on the set. What’s more, newcomers like Renly need that first bucket of money to make ends meet – yes, for such simple and humble reasons. So, Renly’s behavior really surpassed Roy’s expectations.
After a pause and a little breathing adjustment, Roy gave a nod and said, “That’s a wise decision.” After some thought, he then added, “That’s pretty much the highest pay a newcomer can get, unless you’re Emma Roberts.”
Renly smiled and tucked his chin, saying gently, “I know.”
Roy felt a bit constricted in his chest.