Actor always on the lookout for scripts from strangers
International film star Russell Crowe couldn’t wait to get home last night so he could read bartender and aspiring screenwriter John Feingold’s romantic comedy “Drinking Buddies.”
“I came in looking for a beer,” said Crowe. “But I’m pretty sure I left with my next project. I mean, I’ve been offered scripts by waiters, prostitutes, limo drivers, police officers, the homeless, FedEx workers, gardeners and countless other random people – but something tells me this bartender’s story is the one.”
According to Crowe, it gets “extremely tiring” reading quality scripts from produced writers who have proven themselves time and time again. That’s why he’s always on the lookout for scripts from absolute strangers.
Feingold wasn’t surprised by Crowe’s enthusiasm for the project.
“Most Hollywood scripts are the same. This one isn’t like that at all. Any actor would be lucky to play the lead in Drinking Buddies,” said the bartender, who’s currently part of a writers’ group in Pasadena. “Russell wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, but at least it would let him show his range.”
‘She’s great in a room’
Sheila the receptionist is finally getting her shot to write a feature film, thanks in no small part to the fact she lets Paramount exec Ronny Halperin “have his way with her” every Tuesday afternoon in her Santa Monica studio apartment.
“I’ve always loved Hollywood!” exclaimed Sheila Madison, 22, a high school graduate. “So I told Ronny, I said ‘hey Ronny, can I write that new movie about the crime guys and stuff?’”
According to Madison, Halperin initially laughed at the idea, but he quickly changed his mind when she threatened to tell his wife about their arrangement.
“I can’t wait to start coming up with ideas for my movie,” said Madison. “I’m pretty sure I want the main character to be played by Reese Witherspoon. She’s hilarious!”
This marks the second time screenwriter Bob Thomas has been replaced on a project by someone who has no writing experience. The previous incident involved a producer’s unemployed nephew.
Interest in script overpowered by less clear factors
“I’d love to read your script,” an Endeavor agent told screenwriter Paul Boden at a party in the Hollywood hills last weekend. “I just can’t.”
When asked to clarify exactly what’s stopping her, the agent hedged.
“Oh, I know how to read. I just can’t accept any new material right now. I’d love to, but it’s simply not a possibility for the foreseeable future. I’m sure you understand.”
But Boden didn’t understand. A few hours later, he bumped into the Endeavor rep outside by the pool. The conversation eventually meandered back around to Boden’s script.
“So it’s about a teenage master thief whose father is a police detective?” asked the agent. “Wow, I like that so much I almost want to read it. But, as you know, I just can’t. Ooh, they have brie cheese.”
The agent then scooped a nice dollop of cheese onto a cracker and changed the subject to all the scripts she actually has read recently.