Chapter 37 – First try
In the Hollywood film industry, agents play a very special role, they are not personally involved in any part of the film production but are in control of the lifeline of the development of the film and can truly be described as the mastermind behind the scenes.
The tedious and complicated work of an agent can be summarized simply as an intermediary who finds suitable film projects for actors, and also markets suitable actors for studios, and fights for higher salaries for their actors. Many people do not understand the work of agents and think they are just a mouthpiece, but in fact, the real high-end agents in Hollywood, their status in the industry is absolutely no worse than any producer, and many directors and actors have to curry favor with them.
For example, when the filming of “Avatar” was starting, James Cameron put out the word about his new work as he wanted to find the right actors, so his first move was to find the industry’s top agents, and those agents were the one that selected the actors, and then they submitted a list of actors for this job. After that it was the time for the actors to act.
In other words, not just any actor can get such information, even top stars like Tom Cruise, without a powerful agent would have extremely limited sources, not to mention those second-tier, and third-tier actors.
Generally speaking, when the major Hollywood studios set up a new big project, they leave it in the hands of the top agents, with resources being firmly in their control, and they are never leaked, the selection of the crew is always set in a specific range, whether to give newcomers a chance, or to promote a particular actor, or casting a top actor to bring a number of quality supporting actors.
The opposite is also true, Leonardo DiCaprio heard that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is preparing to shoot a new work called “The Revenant”, and he wanted to participate, it was the job of the agent to negotiate, or even arrange a direct face-to-face conversation. Or if Leonardo wanted to make a commercial film, his agent would immediately start contacting major studios to get the latest and best projects, and then hand them over to Leonardo after a preliminary selection by his agent.
The more senior the agent, the more resources they have in their hands; studios hope to find more suitable actors through these agents, and actors hope to find more excellent projects through these agents, agents are like a huge transit station, countless news and information are being processed through their hands, and then they are being redistributed to become the basis for laying a new film project.
A good agent can make an actor completely transform. For example, audiences are always wondering, why is it him or her again? It seems that within the past year, this actor can be seen everywhere, in commercial films as well as artistic films, everywhere. That’s where the agent deserves the credit.
Although Andy manages the agency business for several big-name actors that are under him, it is part of the agent’s daily work to dig up new talent from time to time or to poach them from competitors to strengthen himself.
When “The Pacific” began filming, Andy received the news that Steven Spielberg abandoned the plan to cast Joseph Mazzello and instead chose an unknown newcomer to take the lead role, and everyone had a small talk about it, however, “The Pacific” is only a TV series, so the impact of it was really small, and the news was soon forgotten.
Not long ago, in the internal viewing of “The Pacific” on HBO, the disccusion about the newcomer’s has been intermittently spread, and he heard that the five directors of the series all praised the newcomer, saying that he is a natural actor; even the cast of the show have also said that the newcomer’s talent and performance really make the eyes shine.
This attracted Andy’s attention and he couldn’t help but be a little curious as to what kind of newcomer he was and what kind of potential he had.
However, such curiosity was not enough to make Andy take action, the industry has a saying, “Hollywood can produce a hundred geniuses every day, but not even in a year is it possible to birth a star.” In this land, there has never been a shortage of talent.
This time, Andy came to New York for business, with the plan to stay here for two days, flying back to Los Angeles this evening, before going to the airport, he had some time to spare, so on second thought, he decided to come to see the Pioneer Village.
When they met, Renly surprised Andy a little bit, not because of his appearance, but his manner of speaking, that does not match his age, as he was calm and funny, showing a rare elegance and style. Hollywood is not a place where fame and fortune can be enjoyed, but where every footprint is built upon the bones of other people. Renly’s temperament was really remarkable, it is likely that it will help him go even further.
Of course, it is only a “possibility”.
“I know you starred in ‘The Pacific’ and I watched its internal screening.” Andy said, it was a lie, HBO did not open any kind of screening yet.
“That’s good news.” A glint of excitement appeared in Renly’s eyes, “The result of our seven months of hard work is finally out, and it looks like we’ll be able to watch the finished product in person soon.”
Andy’s eyes flashed with a dark aura, Renly’s behavior was very normal, yet not normal – shouldn’t the focus of the conversation just now be the agent’s powerful abilities? “It’s a very good work and I believe it will trigger another storm of critical acclaim, just like ‘Band of Brothers’.”
“Haha, I’ll cross my fingers in prayer.” Renly’s response remained pampered, which made Andy increasingly more intrigued.
For any new actor who encounters an offer from a top agent, he should not appear to be so calm, actually he should at least be flattered. So, is Renly acting so calmly because he doesn’t have a clear understanding of Andy’s status as an agent, or because he doesn’t have an accurate perception of the importance of an agent?
Looking at Renly’s springlike smile, Andy felt that these two possibilities were not likely, then there is a third one, Renly was also pondering about it, except that he took this situation too well, whether because of arrogance, or because of wisdom?
However, this does not matter.
An agent and an actor are supposed to be a two-way process, with both sides wanting to choose a better partner and work together for the better benefits. Whether arrogant or wise, this shows that Renly is a smart man, which means that the future cooperation between the two sides may lead to more sparks.
An actor with goals, ambitions and beliefs can often go far in Hollywood.
“Do you wish to be a star?” Andy asked a similar question a second time, trying to test the waters further.
Renly smiled and shook his head, “No.” This answer made Andy’s eyes flicker slightly, somewhat surprised, “I would like to become an actor.”
Andy’s smile blossomed, thinking that Renly was unsuspecting, or rather, idealistic, “The truly top actors are all stars.”
“But not all stars are actors.” Renly’s answer was perfect.
Andy did not immediately spoke, instead he paused for a moment, and seriously looked into Renly’s eyes, trying to peek at the emotions hidden in his eyes, he saw confidence, tenacity and perseverance, “in this world, there are many geniuses, but not every genius can succeed; similarly, in this world, there are many dreams, but they often end up in tragedy. ” In Hollywood, dreams are the most inexpensive thing.
“Huh.” Renly laughed lightly, spreading his hands and shrugged gently, “I guess only time will tell, won’t it?”
No anger, no excitement, no impulsiveness, he didn’t even try to defend himself, Renly’s response really made Andy’s eyes light up, he displayed a big smile, as if he was the Maitreya Buddha, “I have no way to refute this, do I?” After a pause, Andy again began to probe, “So, what kind of actor do you want to be? Jack Nicholson? Or Tom Cruise?”
The former is the most iconic acting star in modern United States, while the latter is the most successful box office star in recent history, “I don’t know.’ The Pacific’ is only my first work.” Renly’s answer made Andy raise his eyebrows slightly, frank and honest, not trying to pretend he knows everything, this one is even more broadminded than the impression he had before, “Of course, if possible, I would like to challenge different roles and try different things out.” Renly showed a smile, ” I came from the British Academy.”
Andy suddenly understood – the British Academy’s definition of an actor is: competent in different roles, having a thousand faces, an actor should be ready to play a thousand or even ten thousand roles, this is the acting; not the kind to focus on one type of role, or only one specific role.
“This is not an easy task.” Andy sighed out loud, two short sentences, but the information revealed to Andy made him very satisfied.
Renly laughed out lightly, looking relaxed, “If it were easy, then everyone could achieve it.”
This is the rebuttal to Andy’s bucket of cold water just now, sly and wise, which was another highlight, Andy’s eyes narrowed into a slit because of his brilliant smile, “I’m starting to miss my youth.” The subtext is that Renly does not understand how high the sky is, and merely relies on the impulsiveness and enthusiasm of his youth, and simply does not realize the cruelty of real life.
Renly also replied with a smile, “Therefore you are not me, and I am not you.”
Was this a sarcastic remark about him being too timid, too worldly, too boring? This …… was really funny, too funny. Andy laughed joyfully, and picked up the Coke that was in front of him, tilted his head and finished it in one gulp, then he stood up and said with a smile, “If I don’t want to miss my flight, I should head to the airport now.”