Written by Joe Janes
82 of 365
DD, late 40s
(Lights up on Martin and two writers, Phill and Agnes, in a small coffee shop in LA. The writers look nervous. Martin is sipping espresso.)
MARTINWe’re looking for a new project for DD. Whatever you do, don’t use the word “comeback.” He’ll walk out on you. I’ve seen him do it. But just between you, me and the espresso machine, this is a last ditch effort to get him back in the limelight. Otherwise, he’ll have to wait until he’s in his 70’s and hope for a Shatner-style revival. Are we on the same page, here?
AGNESWe understand. We’re grateful for the opportunity, Martin.
MARTINHere he comes.
(DD enters. He is in his late 40s. Wears sunglasses and a ball cap. He takes off the cap and glasses and looks around. He sighs when no one recognizes him.)
MARTINDD! Good to see you! (He hugs DD) Did you get those Cuban cigars I sent you?
DDNo, I don’t think so.
MARTINHmm. I’ll cut the balls off my assistant and send another box over wrapped in the flesh of his scrotum.
DDAs long as it doesn’t affect the taste.
(Martin over laughs at this.)
MARTINOh my God, DD. You bring tears to my eyes. If another comedy comes our way, we have to grab it. We have to.
DDFine with me. No babies, no dogs. Unless I get to kill them.
MARTIN (laughing)Stop it. Stop it. You’re killing me. Have a seat, have a seat. Let me introduce you to two of the hottest young writers in Hollywood. Phill Magnuson and Agnes Hill.
DDHave I seen anything you might have done?
MARTINSure, you have. Sure, you have. You’ve seen that TV show about the doctors and the cops, “St. Justice” – the one in the prison hospital?
DDYou guys write for “St. Justice”? I love that show.
PHILLWe do the webisodes.
AGNESThey’re very good.
MARTINWatch ‘em on my cell phone all the time. You should, too.
PHILLI’m a big fan of your work, Mr. Johnson.
DDCall me, DD.
AGNESLoved “Beverly Hills Equestrian.”
DDThanks. You know, they let me write my own dialogue for that.
PHILLReally? You came up with, “Buck off, asshole”?
DDI ad-libbed the “asshole” part.
DDAre they going to suck my dick all day or we going to do this thing?
MARTINGood call, DD. Let’s do this thing. Phill and Agnes have been working on a few ideas. Phill… let’s hear the cop one first.
PHILLUm, okay. Okay. DD, you play a drunk who gets pulled over by the cops. One cop is a Jew; the other is a black guy. One of them might be a woman, as well, or gay, or both. Belligerent drunken racial slurs fly aplenty – great opportunity for your adlib skills, right?
AGNESIt all gets caught on the cop’s dashboard camera and leaked to the press. We’re talking big impact here.
PHILLMaximum exposure. News outlets, viral, a defiant, yet pathetic mug shot.
AGNESAnger management, public apologies. Could draw the exposure out for months. At least a year. Maybe two.
PHILLThen a producer takes a chance on you. Boom - Blockbuster movie. Oscar.
DDI don’t know.
MARTINLet’s keep it open as a possibility. It is a big time commitment.
DDI was hoping for something more altruistic. Maybe help out some animals or AIDS patients.
MARTINDD, we could go that way, but that’s so 90s. Save it for the nostalgia crowd. We need to start thinking quick and dirty and now. What’s going to give us the biggest bang for our buck, right?
MARTINWhat else you got?
AGNESWell, honestly, it would be easier if you were a woman with a substance abuse problem and a little slutty. Well, a lot slutty. If benders and racial slurs aren’t your style, we might want to look at “the awkward interview.”
PHILLYou know, get you on Letterman or Leno. Have you be unresponsive. You‘ll be all over the Internet the next day. Heck, the next hour. Real water cooler stuff.
DDHard to be unresponsive. I like those guys.
AGNESIt’s easy. You leave your shades on. Don’t shave. You chew gum or do dipping tobacco. Swear a few times. Mumble. Tell him your changing careers.
PHILLLike, becoming a rapper.
DDI don’t rap.
AGNESPick a fight with someone in the audience.
PHILLThe idea is to create tension. Painful, can’t-look-away tension.
DDCan’t I just do another movie? One of those independent, work-for-scale things?
MARTINThe problem, DD, is that before those offers can come rolling in, we have to get you on people’s radars, again. “Beverly Hills Equestrian 4 – Ride Hard” tanked. We need to think “You.” Front and center. In the spotlight. See what I’m saying?
DDI just want to make movies.
MARTINThese are movies, DD. And you’re the star. Not your usual movies. Not on the big screen. You have to expand your definition of what a movie is these days. You are the movie. With today’s technology, it’s not enough just to shoot films and show up at premieres. The public doesn’t care about that stuff anymore. You have to get their attention. Get under their skin. Give them something to talk about.
DDI came to Hollywood to be the next Harrison Ford. And I was, for a little while. People complain about autograph hunters and paparazzi. But it’s worse when they’re not there at all. I want people seeking me out because they like me, admire me. See me on the big screen and see me as a role model. Not because I made a humiliating public display of myself. Never thought I’d say this. Maybe I’ll just go back to working on my dad’s farm.
AGNESOh, my God. What a story.
PHILLBig Hollywood star leaves the glitter to go back to his roots.
AGNESLeaves the big time to become a farmer.
MARTINFrom tits to teats. I smell reality TV here.
PHILLWe get you on a talk show wearing overalls.
AGNESWearing a straw hat.
DDNot really that kind of farm. Soybeans and corn. I’ll probably mostly do paperwork.
MARTINDoesn’t matter. Let us handle the story. I can get you on Fallon tomorrow. Pack your bags.
PHILLThat really is a brilliant idea, DD.
AGNESThis is why you’re the star.
DDYou guys really think we can make this into something? Get my film career cooking, again?
MARTIN (nodding and holding cell phone)I have the head of Fox reality programming on my speed dial. This thumb is about to make you millions of dollars. Tell your wife and kids they’re moving to small town America and living on a farm.
DDIt’s actually only about an hour from here.
MARTINWe don’t need to tell people that.