It had been a few months into shooting. It was a script I initially rejected, out of some kind of foolish pride. When I actually got the part and started filming, both the part and the film seemed much better than when I first read it. Pride had gotten in the way of my judgment, I guess.
What the hell kind of script is this? I’ve played characters that were a bit crazy, but never a script that was like this!
On second thoughts...now that filming has started, it’s not as bad as I thought.
In hindsight, the filmmakers didn't let their pride get in the way of making certain decisions. While I personally didn't have a problem with my acting partner, the filmmakers felt that he lacked the comedic touch they needed. Furthermore, I later learned that he was a little too rough when filming a fight scene.
When the recasting was announced, I was too damn focused on figuring out my character of Doc, that it hadn't occurred to me that my acting partner's real name wasn't Marty, or that the filmmakers felt he lacked something. In fact, I was so focused on my own stuff, that it didn't bother me that the connection we had as actors was good enough to do the job, although not electric. It was just accepted that actors pretend to be someone else, and you even fake relationships for entertainment.
Oh God I’m gonna have to start all over again! I just barely know my character. How am I going to get my energy focused? Or how are we going to reestablish the relationship?
But at that point I knew that as an actor, you have to move on and work with what (or in this case, who) you've got. It’s admittedly easier said than done, as I didn’t know if I could get the same performance out of me with a different actor. My worries were blown away when my acting partner and co-star changed. In fact, it was more than just that.
“Hi. I’m Michael. Nice to meet you.”
“You too. I’m Chris.”
Lush brown hair. Round and expressive blue eyes. Adorable smile. Boyish features. Petite height. Lovely voice. Professional yet friendly attitude.
I’ve always dismissed “love at first sight” as a cliched concept that only existed in fiction. Yet there I was, not knowing what to do with these feelings in me that I felt.
My brain must be playing tricks on me. Or is it?
When we shot our first scene together, we were just so into our roles, we had no time to think about the personal. After watching the scene for the first time, it hit me how he added a lighter touch to the character, and how we had some kind of electric spark when together. Even the crew noticed that the characters connected with each other more. Fortunately, they never bothered to attribute that to anything suspicious on my part or his part.
Whew...that’s a relief. But I’ve never really felt this way before. Or at least, not this intensely.
What was on my mind was whether Michael was feeling the same way. I didn’t have much in common with him at first glance, because I’m quite a bit older than him. Not to mention, there wasn’t much time for us to interact for long periods of time in between filming or on off days.
Damn! How could you let yourself become a real-life example of a cliche? This feels like an infatuation...only deeper and more intense than that. And what if he finds out?
Filming continued despite my internal giddiness, which showed up in the film, giving my performance an extra bit of energy. Thankfully, Michael was pulled into the energy, with him going where I wanted him to go, and vice versa. It was like our energies played off of each other.
This is insane, thrilling...and fun!
Then in between filming, I was alone in my trailer, enjoying a short break. I noticed a knock, then opened it to find Michael.
“Uh, I just wanted to stop by, and chat,” he said.
And so we chatted for a few minutes and had a few laughs, before he had to run off and film some of his scenes. Each and every one of these moments, no matter how short, were both intoxicating and rewarding to me. He seemed to genuinely like me, though I wasn’t so sure what “like” meant.
Maybe as a friend? As a mentor? Something else?
Another instance of Michael entering my trailer for a quick hangout. This time I wonder if I should tell him how I feel or take my feelings down to the grave. Perhaps some things are left unsaid. We wouldn’t want to make things awkward on a tight-knit set. We wouldn’t want to ruin anything.
Ruin. So apt of a word.
“Before I go for today….thanks,” he said, hugging me tightly and wrapping his arms around my neck while we were still sitting in our chairs.
My God he’s so close to me now.
Then after we slowly pull away, he attempts to hug me again, yet what I feel isn’t a hug. His soft and silky lips are pressed against mine.
He initiated this kiss!?
“This is how I feel about you,” Michael told me.
“The feeling’s mutual,” I warmly smile at him.
“We should keep this our own little secret,” he said.
“Precisely,” I replied.
“That’s what Doc would say,” he giggled.
Michael then continued.
“Will we be able to meet even after all this has wrapped up?”
“As long as we don’t ruin anything on either side, if you know what I mean, then anytime. Anytime you need me, or want me, is fine,” I told him.
“Deal,” he smiled boyishly.