Love in L.A.: Chapter 6
It came time for Eric to start shooting his own film for school and so I hardly saw him at all for awhile, which wasn’t unexpected. I understood how important this was for him and so I told him I’d be here if he needed anything. I was so busy with Victor anyway, so it was fine. But I sure did miss him.
I was finally ready to start shooting my own film and was very nervous and excited. I had decided to cast a woman in Amelia’s play as my female lead. I’d seen the play a couple of times with Sookie and it was really pretty good. Amelia was great in it, but unfortunately not really right for the part in my film. So I asked her castmate, Selah Pumphrey, to be in it. She said yes and we started rehearsing right away.
Then I got extremely lucky when it came time to cast the male lead. Pam had been talking me up to some of her friends at Paramount and she got an actor named Alexander Skarsgard to agree to play the lead. He was a huge star in Sweden and his father was a big name actor. He had recently moved to L.A. and was pursuing film work here, and the fact that he agreed to do my film was amazing. Actors know that student films never pay anything, but they can be used to build a reel for a new actor, get exposure if the film gets any recognition, or at the very least they can give an out-of-work actor something to play with while he or she is between jobs. Most actors live to act and many will do it even for free when they can.
I was so grateful to have Alexander and promised to schedule him for as quick a shoot as possible because I knew how busy he must me. He suggested my using his stand in and photo double for some of the scenes and the double was nice enough to offer his time as well in exchange for a credit. So we managed to get all of Alexander’s scenes shot in one very long day and then for an additional two days we shot his photo double for all of Selah’s close-ups. The double was of course the same height and body type as Alexander and we were able to shoot many angles using him including most of the love scenes. He and Selah seemed to get along fine and even felt comfortable enough to offer to shoot some nudity, which was great for me. I was careful with the camera angles of course and kept it tasteful, but was really pleased with the outcome.
While I was editing in the next couple of weeks, I realized that I needed a few more shots, of course. That always happens, but by then Alexander was on a shoot along with his double who was standing in for him and so both were unavailable. But since I was the same height and coloring, I decided that I could just use myself and let Maxwell Lee to the camera work. The shots were all just hand inserts and a couple of close ups of feet running, so it didn’t take too long and we got what I needed pretty painlessly. Unfortunately, I had to cancel a date with Sookie to do it though as it was the only day Maxwell Lee was available.
I knew Eric would be busy with his shoot, but boy he wasn’t kidding. Those guys worked 16 and 18-hour days. He was almost finished and so we made plans to spend a Sunday together when Victor didn’t need me. I was so looking forward to just relaxing and spending the day with Eric, but then he had to cancel at the last minute to shoot some more. I thought he was all done and just editing, but then he said he needed a few more shots. His actor wasn’t available and so he said he was going to photo double for him himself since they were the same size and coloring. I was disappointed, of course, but understood that this film would not only determine his grade in class, but that it would serve as a showpiece that could lead to future work and it was a huge deal for a film student and future director.
About a week later Amelia came home from her play one night and knocked on my door. I wasn’t asleep yet and asked her in. She sat on the foot of my bed and I could tell she had some bad news to tell me. “Let me start out by saying that I hate Selah Pumphrey, but unfortunately I don’t think she’s a liar.”
“Tonight I overheard her say that she slept with the guy who was Alexander Skarsgard’s photo double in the student film she just did.” I felt all the blood drain from my face.
“Eric photo doubled Alexander just last week.”
“I know. Apparently, she said they hit it off when they were doing some horny love scene together and then later they got together at her apartment and had sex in spite of the fact that he has a girlfriend. I guess that sort of thing happens all the time. Ew.”
“So you believed her?”
“Yeah. She didn’t know I was listening and had no reason to make it up. God, I’m so sorry Sookie.”
“Thank you for telling me. I’m sure that wasn’t easy.”
I waited until she was gone before I had my meltdown. I cried myself to sleep.
The next day I kept thinking back to how Eric was in school. To say he was a big slut would be accurate, but I’d been certain that all that was in his past. He seemed so sincere about being in a committed relationship with me, but then wasn’t it he himself who was always saying how naïve I am? Could he really be sleeping with Selah and I wouldn’t know it? I guess it’s possible. I decided that I was going to confront him about it and so I did.
When he called that night, I just asked him point blank, “Is something going on between you and Selah Pumphrey?”
“What? No, of course not. Why would you even ask something like that?”
“You’re not seeing her?”
“Seeing her? Um…I’m with you, remember? What the fuck are you talking about, Sookie?”
“There’s nothing you want to tell me?”
“Okay.” And then I didn’t bring it up again for awhile. But over the course of the next few weeks, I asked him about it again, and he continued to deny that anything had happened.
Then one night I went to see the play again by myself and afterwards some of the cast members went to Merlotte’s for a drink. I decided to play detective and cornered Selah’s roommate and quizzed her about the photo double mystery. Sure enough, she had seen the guy at Selah’s and confirmed that Selah was sleeping with him but she wasn’t supposed to talk about it because he had a girlfriend. I asked her what he looked like and she described Eric perfectly. I pretended to be enjoying the gossip and then made an excuse to leave and walked home in tears.