My good friend Joe is one of these guys who has these amazing experiences and never tells you about them. I discovered that he was a character in a Mickey Spillane novel some weeks ago and he had never said a word to me about it. Now I find out he's in J. Eszterhas spell-binding memoir Hollywood Animal:
Page 214: "He [film producer] picked the phone up, said, 'Get in here right away,' and within moments a very pale [subordinate] was standing there as [the producer] said to him, 'I'm making a deal with Joe. If you fuck with Joe . . . if you get in Joe's way in any way, if you get near this project in any way, I'm gonna throw you out this fucking window."
You see the kind of respect he gets? It's amazing. I wish I got that kind of respect. And he keeps me in the dark about all this stuff.
You’re right. It all started with being character # 2 in Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author”, which landed me a role in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. I was the picture and was accused of copying an original work of art, but was never indicted because I was obviously framed.
My most embarrassing work to date was as the thief on the cross. I was excited about getting a role as a Bible character but it wasn’t fun at all.
I was the other thief on the cross, the one who couldn’t shut his trap and kept yelling at Jesus saying, “If you really are the Son of God then get yourself and us down off these crosses!” I didn’t get the free pass into paradise like my buddy did, and things got a lot worse after the crucifixion.
I had another role in a work of art as the “Child” in “Madonna and Child” from 1183 to 1543 AD, and then got bumped because the artists simply got better. It makes sense.
And you’re also right that I did intentionally keep you in the dark, I confess. I wanted to protect you and anyone else who may be reading this from what surely has dawned on you by now. I really like you guys, but you and everyone else in the world are just supporting characters in my biography, which is not really going the way I’d like it to, but it’s not your fault. It’s the author. So, there you go. This is why censorship is such a touchy subject.
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