|(Not) Gerard Butler (gerard) wrote,
@ 2004-01-11 21:59:00
July 1999: Shooting of Dracula 2000 [Backstory] - The Meeting
[players only. Backstory, July 1999, the day Gerard and Jonny Lee met. First day of Gerard's filming on Dracula 2000. Gerard had just come off doing Attila and he was cast after shooting had already started. Gerard played Dracula. Jonny Lee played the delectable antiques dealer Simon Sheppard. A lot of the filming was done in and around New Orleans and Toronto.]
July in New Orleans isn't hot. It's hell. Temperatures are rising, and so are tempers. Technically, production began in early June, but Wes didn't settle on his Dracula till the 24th, and the cast is just getting to meet him today. Jonny Lee Miller, 27, is tired of reading through the script; he just wants to be filming, but they've done as much as they can without their vampire. He's curious about this Dracula, hasn't heard of him, but that doesn't mean much; hell, he doubts anyone in the real world's heard of him, 'cept being Jude and Ewan's buddy. So he's casual today in jeans and shirt, pretty much like his character Simon, feet propped up on the back of a chair as he runs lines with some of the cast.
Gerard's nervous as hell. Patrick, god damn his soul, had scheduled him a whirlwind for his first week. Meet the cast in the mid-afternoon, then rush around with dinner and then to the cemetery to play around with mausoleums and headstones. Then the costume people want to get a better fit, or whatever, and that's his afternoon tomorrow. He'll be lucky if he manages four hours of sleep tonight and for the rest of this fucking month. He should have known better than to sign on for a role of wearing entirely black during the fucking summer.
Jonny Lee looks at his watch. Two friggin thirty, and still no sign of their star. He closes his eyes as he leans back in the director's chair, a precarious perch at best, thinking on what their Dracula will look like. A fan of comics and the old Hammer films, Jonny Lee has a soft spot for vampires. It's why he signed on for the role. That and working with Wes. But in his mind's eye, he knows what the perfect looks like. A bit like Deacon Frost, he smiles, or maybe it's just Stephen he's remembering. But, no, the perfect vampire is tall and dark, and Stephen's neither of those, even if he is a great fuck. The dream's starting to get good, and Jonny Lee would be content just to drift off into sleep till someone drags him to the nearest Cajun restaurant for jambalaya later in the night.
Gerard sucks in a deep breath and walks over to the cluster where the cast and crew were lounging around. He's in costume and he tries his best not to channel the character too much. The clothing make the man and, while Gerard can't be said to be a method actor, he always takes on some of the character with the clothes. The sparse wind catches him, twisting the cape behind his back, dancing in his newly-cropped curls.
The nudge at his shoulder is annoying, almost as much as Jeri's whisper in his ear. "Miller, might want to wake up. The vamp's here."
"Finally," Jonny Lee says, pushing himself up in the chair. "Now we can make happy hour." He turns, starts to say something else and stops, mesmerized by the figure in black. Damn, black's a fuckin' good color. He doesn't say anything as the others introduce themselves, the shy Jonny Lee Miller taking firm control of the more self-sure, semi-snarky one.
Gerard smiles and nods as he hears the names, knowing he isn't going to remember any of them, but wanting to appear polite. He finally comes to the last one of them and sticks his hand out, not really taking notice of the man. "Gerry Butler," he says.
"Um, Miller. Jonny Lee Miller." Jonny Lee reaches out, takes the hand, lets his own be shaken more than being assertive. "Gerry?" He tries the name on, rolls it off his tongue. Yeah, that's good, Miller. Be polite. Keep our libido down. Forget for a minute you've decided you're gay. "Nice to meet you."
Gerard gives him a quick once over. Nice face. A sort of lanky look to him, but that might just be the costume. A part of his brain is putting two and two together, informing him that this man is most assuredly straight since he had a rather high-profile marriage, and that it wouldn't do to throw him against a wall and discover in detail just how kissable those lips were. "Pleasure is all mine, Mr. Miller. I didn't think I'd meet a man of the kingdom here."
A dozen words from that tongue, with that accent, thick and Scottish, deeper than Ewan's, and Jonny Lee's lost, forgets he still has a hand in his, that there are a dozen people standing around. "Couple of us here." It's all he can think of to say, since would you like to have me for dinner does seem inappropriate. His north London accent is much more pronounced than before. "But none that sound that nice." Fuck it, Miller. God, you're stupid. He starts to pull his hand back, wonders if he could blend into the concrete beneath his feet.
Gerard finds himself holding tight onto that hand, the only connection he has with the man. "I play Dracula," he says quite unnecessarily. Screw straight people. Maybe the bloke's bi.
"I, uh, um," Jonny Lee stops himself. He hates that he stutters when he gets too flustered. "Yes, you're Dracula." It's an understatement. Black hair. Blue eyes. All in black. He's everything a vampire should be, in Jonny Lee's mind. "Just who we were waiting for."
"Yeah." There's not much Gerard can say to that, so he settles on putting everything he wants to say behind his smile. "And you play?"
"Me? Um, Simon." Slowly, very slowly, Jonny Lee's brain starts working again, the blood deciding to rush back north for a minute. "Simon Sheppard," he nods his head in a mock bow, "humble purveyor of antiques." He notices then that Gerard hasn't let go of his hand. He can't be interested in me. He's fuckin' gorgeous. Has to be straight.
"You're the one I'm hunting tonight." Gerard tries to hide his delight at that. They'll be having scenes together. Gives Gerard a chance to feel him out, feel him up...Gerard quickly clamps down on that thought. He might've told Wes about his orientation, but he doesn't want to be known as the Gay One. "An antiques dealer?"
"Hunting me? Never thought of myself as prey before. Interesting." There's a feeling of comfort sliding back over Jonny Lee, slipping into the his brain as easily as Gerard's silky voice. "Antiques dealer. Got a fascination with rare old things."
Oh, yes, Gerard would love to hunt him, love to feel that skin between his teeth as he bites down, marks him for his. For his prey. "You seem pretty rare yourself." As soon as the words leave his mouth, Gerard's cursing himself. There probably are worse pick up lines in the world, but he doubts it.
Before Jonny Lee can respond, one of the production assistants interrupts them. "Mr. Butler, sir, Mr. Lassiter says there's a problem with the cemetery shoot. We won't be starting till near 1 a.m. He says to tell you he's sorry for the delay, but it's something with the city letting us in."
Gerard nods, doing his best not to shout for joy. "Thank you." The assistant scurries away to inform the other principles and Gerard turns to Jonny Lee. "Want to catch a bite?"
"Sure. There's a great place down in the Quarter. Hole in the wall, but quiet. And fuckin' fantastic food." Jonny Lee starts bouncing on the balls of his feet, amazed he'd been able to stand still as long as he had. He takes back all his whinging earlier about filming delays. They can take all night to reset the shoot, of all he cares.
Gerard grins, releases Jonny Lee's hand only to offer his arm. "Lead the way, sir." He'll take Jonny Lee's word about the food, but makes a mental note to scout out a place and take Jonny Lee out. He refuses to let his better sense chastise him for taking a mile when Jonny Lee's only given an inch.
Jonny Lee takes the proffered arm. He isn't why. It seems weird, old-fashioned, but also incredibly right. It's a short walk from where they're filming to the French Quarter and the quaint little restaurant Jonny Lee found on its first walks 'round the city. He comes here alone, just to be by himself, several times a week, and the owners know him when he walks in, Lena giving him a quick hug before putting them at a table in the small open courtyard. Since it's a Wednesday night, the restaurant's not crowded, just the regulars crowd.
Gerard likes the restaurant on sight. It's small, it's out of the way, the sort of place that makes you think comfort. Gerard sits himself down, resisting the urge to move his chair closer to Jonny Lee's. "What's good here?"
"Everything on the menu." Jonny Lee pulls out a chair, slides it around, moving closer to Gerard, either consciously or not, mostly because he hates talking across tables. "You eat meat, don't you?"
"Red, white, light, dark. I've found that it doesn't pay to be picky. You?"
"Not a vegetarian, not me." Jonny Lee pushes the menu aside. "Jambalaya's damned good. Spicy. Scorches the tongue in all the right places."
Gerard's so fucking tempted to make a crack about something to soothe the tongue, but, dammit, he doesn't know. Oh, to hell with it all. "Are you straight?" he asks bluntly.
"Huh?" Jonny Lee's caught off guard by the question. Completely. Starts to answer, decides to make sure they're on the same page. "We're talking sex, right? Not anything about the food."
"Sex, yes. I didn't think they made gay food, but anything's possible." Gerard tries to keep it light, but his stomach is rapidly sinking.
Jonny Lee looks down. At the table. At the floor. Everywhere but at Gerard's face. "No. I'm not." He's not exactly open about his sexuality. Knows everyone assumes he's straight. "Bi," he says, sinking into a nearly patented shy routine. "Mostly gay these days." And he has no idea why he's being so fuckin' honest with this man he just met, like he's compelled to tell him the complete truth.
Gerard grins. "It's ok. So'm I. All the best people are."
He glances up, hesitantly. "You are?" Jonny Lee doesn't mean to make it sound so incredulous, but it comes out that way.
Gerard shrugs. Being gay is nothing new for him. "Yeah. Been that way since puberty. You?"
"Except for the random teen experiment, about five years." Jonny Lee pauses, lets a small laugh come out. "'Bout the time I got married."
"Oh, that's wonderful timing." Gerard matches Jonny Lee's laugh. "What'd she think?"
"She likes guys as much as I do, so it worked. Not the reason the marriage broke up," he adds quickly, not wanting to leave Gerard with the wrong impression. "In fact, we're still good friends."
"Good philosophy." Gerard struck by the absurdity of approving of a relationship of a man he's just met. "Never been married myself." He smiles, tries to change the subject. ""Jambalaya?"
"Jambalaya," Jonny Lee echoes. "Want me to order?" He motions to Lena, who's been hovering near the door to the restaurant's main room.
"Please do." Gerard's content to sit back and watch. A part of him is plotting , but the rest of him watches Jonny Lee, wondering just how far he'll let him go.
"Whatcha wantin' tonight, boy?" Lena asks.
"Two jambalayas, m'am, heavy on the spice. And a couple," Jonny Lee stops, looks at Gerard. "Didn't ask. You want a beer?"
"No. Water will be fine, and lots of it." He's had jambalaya before and extra spicy would like as not burn his taste buds off.
"Okay, Lena, make it two waters with a pitcher. And a big basket of bread." Lena nods her head approvingly and walks off. "Hope that's okay," he says, turning back to face Gerard.
"It's fine. But, by all means, don't trouble yourself on my behalf." Just because Gerard doesn't drink doesn't mean he's against others drinking.
"No trouble." There's a sudden feeling that nothing Gerard could ask would be any trouble whatsoever. Jonny Lee wants to ask if Gerard's hitting on him, wants him, but he thinks it'd be too forward. And, while he might be able to order dinner, he's not very at carrying on conversations.
They chat about trivial things during dinner. The food's as hot as Gerard had expected it to be, and the water is very appreciated. The bread is warm and breaks apart easily and Gerard's wondering if Jonny Lee would give him more than a good night kiss. "Coffee?"
"Sure." Dinner conversation was easy, much less painful than Jonny Lee anticipated it'd be. He glances at his watch. "Still a few hours till you have to be at the cemetery. We're safe."
Gerard orders coffee for the both of them, adds cream and sugar to his. "They shooting you in tonight?" He's read over the script and he knows that it's three of them in the scene, but they'll probably be doing establishing shots and close ups tonight.
"Yeah. Gotta head over with you." Jonny Lee pulls his coffee to him. "Sugar." He motions to the bowl at Gerard's hand, waits on him to pass it.
Gerard passes it over without comment and sips his coffee. "What's been shot so far? I haven't really gotten a status update."
"Nothing, really. Just a few establishing shots. We were waiting for you." Jonny Lee takes the sugar, heaps a few spoonfuls into his cup and stirs.
Gerard takes special notice of how Jonny Lee takes his coffee. "I've had a wonderful time."
"Me, too." He pauses. "Can I ask something?"
"Certainly. Go right ahead." Gerard sits back in the chair and relaxes
"You hitting on me?" Jonny Lee looks down again, unable to ask the question if he can see Gerard's face.
"If it wasn't obvious until now, yes."
"So, we could do this again?" The shy routine's not such a routine. Jonny Lee doesn't have a lot of self-confidence.
"If you want." Gerard says. "How about tomorrow?"
"I'd like that." He stops. "You mind if I call you Gerard. I like it better than Gerry."
Gerard gags the voice that whispers that he didn't give Jonny Lee permission to call him anything, and smiles broadly. "Please do. May I call you Jonny Lee?"
Jonny Lee starts to say you can call me anything but settles on a simple "Yes. I'd like that."