Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My movie star crush.

Yesterday, even though I was sick, I went to an advance screening of HAPPY ENDINGS and met the actor Jesse Bradford, who was in SWIMFAN and BRING IT ON. And, um, pardon me for a second, but I have this huge, huge, huge ridiculous crush on him. (Look how cute he is, though.)

Don't worry, though. Despite what you read in the post below, I behaved myself and didn't go all SWIMFAN on Jesse Bradford, even though he talked to me. And stood right next to me. And autographed one of my videos. And, with the buttons of his shirt undone, crouched closer to me and told me a secret about his next movie, which I won't be able to share until it appears in the trades.

HAPPY ENDINGS is the new Don Roos movie. Don Roos is the guy who did THE OPPOSITE OF SEX, which had the brilliant Lisa Kudrow and Christina Ricci in it and totally rocked, and BOUNCE, which had Gwyneth Paltrow and that dumbass Ben Affleck in it and may be the only movie that left its key, central, pivotal, plot-changing scene on the cutting room floor.

Bradford is one of about a dozen stars who appear in the movie, which is one of those ensemble, everyone's-connected-in-some-weird way movies like NASHVILLE, MAGNOLIA or CRASH. The movie's pretty good, and Lisa Kudrow, Bradford and Maggie Gyllenhaal are really, really good in it. Oh, and it's got Christopher from GILMORE GIRLS in it (and he's playing gay!), but he doesn't ever get naked - so I didn't get to fulfill my WB wet dream.

Anyway, after the movie, Bradford (who I'm not calling "Jesse" ... it's not like I know him) came down the aisle past me, sat next to my friend Jim the theater manager (who got me in after I confessed my crush) and took part in a 20-minute Q&A. I asked the third question, I think, though my voice was severely jacked up from the head cold I've had all weekend. I told Bradford he was a great actor, mentioned Soderbergh's KING OF THE HILL to him (which he starred in when he was 13) and then asked him who he'd worked with that impressed him.

Bradford mentioned working twice with Adrien Brody. He also said he was impressed by Jason Ritter, who's John Ritter's son and also in HAPPY ENDINGS. And he said his favorite director to work with was James Ivory, who made A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES with him.

Someone asked him about Soderbergh and Spalding Gray, but he mentioned barely being able to remember KING OF THE HILL. Then, he said he was too young when he made that movie and that it was like watching old footage of yourself in Little League.

At that, of course, I held up my VHS copy that I'd brought with me - like a complete dork, and he saw it.

"There it is ... There it is ...," Jesse Bradford said to me. "Hold it up, and show it to the rest of the class."

So I held up my video, and the remaining audience turned toward me for a second.

Then, Bradford said with mild sarcasm into the microphone, "I have a feeling I'll be signing that in about 10 minutes ..."

"Sorry," I said out of habit.

"No, no, it's fine," he said. He was so completely cool. One guy in the next row asked me to hand over the video for a second so that he could see it.

Later, he talked about the other movie he's got coming out this summer, HEIGHTS, which opens at the Tara on Friday. In it, he apparently gets seduced by Glenn Close.

The Q&A ended - shortly after he admitted he had a girlfriend, incidentally - and I walked my video down to Bradford, who was walking toward me and the only other guy asking for an autograph.

"You really don't have to if you don't want ...," I said to him.

"No, it's completely cool," he said. "I want to sign it for you. What's your name?"

"Benjamin," I said.

"Um, mind if I put 'Ben?'" he asked.

"No," I said.

And, of course, my gel pen didn't immediately work against the video's glossy case. So he signed the other guy's notebook, then turned back toward me.

"It doesn't look like it's gonna work," he said.

"Sign it here," I said, pulling the video out of the box and showing him the white label tape underneath it.

So he signed it there, drawing a little peace sign on the video label next to his name.

Then, of course, he closed the box and then tried to sign the box again. So he gave me, like, three autographs. I felt like a schoolgirl.

In the meantime, of course, I asked him again about his next movie, which he couldn't tell the Q&A group because he said he didn't want to tell the whole group. He said he'd get into trouble. He only mentioned for them that it was a "war movie."

I asked him, when he was talking with me, if he'd gotten a part in Tarantino's long-planned WWII movie INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. When I mentioned the title, Bradford said he didn't even know what that was.

Then Bradford whispered to me and the other guy getting an autograph what his next movie, the "war movie" is. And it is big. Pretty damn big. And he has one of the leads.

So I told him, "Congratulations." And I said thank you. And I walked down the aisle toward Jim.

Jim asked me, "So, are you dying?"

I stood next to Jim and said, "Omigod, omigod, omigod ... he talked to me. He's so, so cute. And really nice."

Jim said, "Yeah, he's really nice. No ego at all."

And then I went home and went crazy, not about this, though.

Anyway, the video is wrapped in a newspaper in my car. I didn't want to endanger it by walking it to my apartment. It was raining, after all.

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