Movie Stars and Things of That Nature

This past weekend Jesse and I headed up to Seattle and then over to Spokane to attend my sister's graduation from Whitworth. Unfortunately she still has classes through next December, but at least she got to walk with her class and do some of the celebratory stuff now.

The fam: Jesse, Grandma, Mom, Kerri, me, Tobin & Tim.

As you may or may not know, it was pretty danged hot up in the Northwest this past weekend - Portland, Seattle, Spokane, basically everywhere - it was hot. By the time Jesse and I were nearing Portland on Monday afternoon, we'd logged roughly 17 driving hours in just a few days. We'd pretty much run out of conversation topics and we didn't have air conditioning and I was regretting the decision to pick up a closing shift at work that night.

I might as well say it: I was cranky.

We stopped to get gas and since I no longer had the airflow through the open window I'd enjoyed while we were moving, I dumped the rest of my water bottle down my front for cooling purposes. As we approached my street we encountered a roadblock and had to wait to be directed through the final 100 meters or so. At first I thought it was construction, but quickly realized otherwise. ALL the neighbors were out - in their yards, in our yard, on the street, as we pulled our semi-ghetto borrowed vehicle into the driveway.

You see, they're filming a movie on our street. It's an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road,' starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. I find it rather puzzling that a story 'set in the smoking ashes of a post-apocalyptic America' could be filmed in our neighborhood. Granted, I'm sure it's only a few scenes. But still. Words like 'idyllic,' 'charming.' 'lush,' 'quaint,' and even 'ideal' come to mind when I think of our humble little burg in SE Portland. 'Scorched', 'desolate,' 'ravaged'? Not so much.

Anyway, the house they are officially filming at is up the street about 1/2 a block, and the info letter they sent out said they'd be doing everything indoors or in the backyard. But apparently this shrubbery in the yard across the street from my house must have bewitched them and it was decided that no other bush could possibly suffice.

At any rate, there they were in the neighbor's yard. And there we were in the driveway.

I stumbled out of the turquoise hatchback moments after Jesse, my hair a total wreck, jeans recklessly and unevenly scrunched up above my knees, huge wet splotches on my t-shirt - you get the idea. Having failed to notice what he had (that all was quiet on the set), I started grumpily grabbing my various bags and rather loudly adjusted the car seat to reach behind it.

Jesse gave me one of those looks like I give him when he starts doing major leg and back stretches in the middle of a movie at a friend's house, one that says,
"I still love you, but... Really? You're just gonna go on and do THAT right here and now?"

And it wasn't just him. A cameraman across the street whipped around, too, because apparently the whole block was on silent alert and I had just screwed it up with the 'whump!' of the seat back moving forward. So I froze and waited for them to capture the all-important shot of Viggo gazing longingly at the azalea- or whatever he was doing- before daring to move again. Soon it was over and I quickly disappeared into the house, baggage-laden arms trailing reluctantly.

Jesse kept watch for a while and got to see Mr. Mortensen smoke a cigarette and walk up the street, but failed to find Charlize (poor guy). In retrospect, I think it was kind of cool and I wish I could have been around more all weekend to see more and, you know, make connections that would’ve altered the course of my life, etc.

It was funny to me, though, that on Monday afternoon, in spite of my past history of obsessive behavior and fascination with fame (especially considering who it was - I had a major thing for VM pretty much throughout the whole LOTR trilogy years), I couldn’t be bothered with it. While Jesse, on the other hand, normally so coolly disinterested in such trivial things, remained glued to the window for upwards of 45 minutes (or at least 15-20) just watching the proceedings. This conveniently enabled me to proudly feign indifference at the time, and later selfishly use his observations in recounting our brush with fame to others.


Ashley L. said…
You have run away again!

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