Adventures of Hollywood Jim Ch. 64byhollywoodjim©
San Francisco, the city by the bay.
San Francisco held a special memory for me. I'd first met Blake Lively there when she did the movie "Dreamer". Since the city had always been known for a populace that came and went, often via the ocean, I suppose it was fitting that we'd had a whirlwind romance that ended when filming ended. I guess some cities are meant for that.
Blake had moved on, she was a married woman now, was I mad? Nah, who am I to tell someone who to marry? When I heard about her marriage, I smiled.
"Congratulations to the lucky man." I said to myself.
Though when I later learned of the secrecy with which their wedding was handled, I wondered who was really calling the shots, and was glad I didn't receive an invitation. I was reminded too much of a wedding I was "accidentally" not invited to.
Now I was returning to San Francisco and a new project.
Mark Stein, whom I knew from several film projects he directed, was filming the concert scenes for the first season DVD release of the TV series "Nashville". One of the season's plotlines had been a co-headlining tour of major arenas by its two music stars, one of whom was up and coming singer Juliette Barnes, played by Hayden Panettiere. Hayden did all her own singing on the show so it gave her music scenes extra authenticity. Mark was given the task of filming performances of her character's that would be edited into episodes. For the DVD, all the songs would be combined into a full concert, with a few extra songs.
Mark's past work had given him enough clout and the legendary Fillmore West became the venue for country superstar "Juliette Barnes".
"Bring back a few memories, Hollywood?" He said to me as we walked around the building and he plotted out camera angles with the series director of photography while crew members set the stage up for "Juliette's" band. Mark had heard all the stories of the "Dreamer" production from the director of photography.
"Oh, you bet." I said "I think Blake was standing over there when they set off the flash bomb."
"I'm just glad she didn't fall off the stage, I've seen how tall she is."
"Her legs were probably insured for all we know."
Mark's phone buzzed
"OK, great...sure, why not?" he said
As he hung up the phone, he turned to me.
"You'll be happy to know our star has arrived." He said with a smirk.
"Three guesses, and the first two don't count." He said as we headed for the lobby.
As we walked into the lobby, the doors to the building opened and in walked a petite blonde with a mega-watt smile.
It was Hayden Panettiere.
"Hi, Mark! So good to see you again!" she said happily as she hugged him "So, is this your friend?" she said looking at me.
"Yes, this is Jim. He's the guy from Artists Unlimited."
"Hi, I'm Hayden!" she said with that electric smile and dressed in a purple Nike track suit combo, her hair pulled back in a tight bun.
"Hi, it's good to finally meet you, the guys in my office are very jealous of me."
"Oh, really?" she laughed "Why's that?"
"I don't know, maybe they remember you from Heroes."
She rolled her eyes in response
"Oh, god...everyone seems to remember that show."
"It made you a geek goddess with the Star Trek set, right?"
Hayden let out a boisterous laugh at that.
"Yes it did!"
Mark's phone buzzed again and he went off with Hayden to go over the staging of her concert.
That evening the audience at the Fillmore got to see the San Francisco debut of "Juliette Barnes". And I'll admit, if Hayden wasn't an actress, she could definitely have a future in the music business.
With the concert finished, I was wondering what to do next when Mark found me.
"Hey, feel like some dinner with a star?" he asked
"Promoting your self again, Mark?" I joked
"Very funny, I'm serious. The network's buying dinner for everyone."
"Not a bad idea."
"I know Hayden would be disappointed if you didn't come." he said with same smirk on his face.
"Oh, get real Mark!" I said dismissively
A TV star interested in me, that's rich.
The network sprung for dinner at a seafood place called Dirty Harry's. It was just the right blend of ritzy (in terms of the food) and rowdy (the décor, a mix of the city's embrace of the counterculture). Prominently displayed was a large poster for the movie of the same name, signed by its star. Mark told me of several projects he had in the works, chief among them a sequel to the "Hannie Caulder" film he'd directed Miley Cyrus in to be titled "Hannie Caulder: Diablo Trail". The only problem he had was getting Miley to commit to a sequel.
"Why would she hesitate, I got the feeling she loved the film." I said as I sipped a Corona beer and dug into my umpteenth crab cake.
"Aw, who knows?" Mark said with frustration as he took a sip of his drink
"Maybe you just need a new Hannie Caulder?" Hayden interjected as she sat across the table from Mark
"And whom would you suggest?" he replied
"Why not me?" she suggested confidently
Mark chuckled in response
"Well, I appreciate that but, well..." he said trying to find the right words
"I could do the part. I've been riding horses for a long time." She quickly added
"I think she's putting the moves on your film, Mark." I said with a smile as I took a sip of my beer "What have you got to lose for giving her at least a screen test?"
Hayden also smiled, like she appreciated my support of her.
"OK, well..." He finally said before quickly adding "It's just in the talking stages now. Miley might change her mind and do it after all."
"That's good enough for me." She said "Jim, let me buy you a drink."
"My Mom said I should never refuse the offer of a lady, so you've got yourself a deal." I said as I stood up
"Well! Looks like I've got some competition for you." Hayden laughed as she led me to the bar.
"White wine, please...and a...what are you drinking, Jim?" she asked as she turned to me
A pretty girl's buying me a drink in a place like this?
Skip the Corona this time, Jim!
"Oh, uh...a seven and seven, please." I said
"A seven and seven for the gentleman." Hayden said in an elegant, ladylike voice.
Hayden looked like a million bucks even in a pair of slim-fit black pants and a white cashmere sweater with a black shirt underneath. It made her blonde hair shine all the more.
"So, tell me something..." she began as we got our drinks and she leaned against the bar "Why do they call you Hollywood Jim?"
I was taken aback and tried not to swallow my drink hard.
"Well, it's just a nickname I got in high school. What did they call you in high school?" I asked, trying to be cocky.
"I wouldn't know. I was home schooled." She said with a smile that said "top THAT".
"I guess I lost that argument."
"I figure all those high school movies I've done since then make up for it." She added
"I never thought of that. Makes sense to me."
Hayden's manager came over and told her of some network big shots eager to meet her. She looked over her shoulder at me and waved. She had such an electric smile that I couldn't help but be infatuated with her as I watched her walk away.
I began to think of Hayden in that film, it didn't sound like a bad idea the more I thought about it. But Mark had the final say in this, not some geeky guy with a camera.
The party broke up around midnight and all invited scattered into the San Francisco night.
Mark and I walked back to the Regency hotel, he seemed deep in thought.
"What's going through that brain of yours?" I asked
"Oh, nothing really." He said "Do you really think she'd be good in that role?"
"It can't hurt to test her, right?"
"I suppose...the studio will have final say."
"How come you don't? I thought you directed the last one."
"In the eyes of the studio bosses, I've yet to prove myself as a director."
"Come on! You're kidding!" I said "Wasn't the previous film a hit?"
"Yes, but...I don't know...I think MacDonald still sees me only as his faithful sidekick and told the studio the same thing." He said as he looked straight ahead. I could sense his frustration, and I knew he was referring to producer/director John McDonald, someone else I'd dealt with, but had just as good a rapport with, in spite of his reputation as a taskmaster who could intimidate with just a look. I'd seen that "look" reduce a studio exec to a quivering blob of Jell-O.
"Aw, get over it." I now said "Just do the test and if it doesn't work, you'll move on."
There was a silence as we continued walking
"Maybe you could pull some strings." He now said to me.
"Me? How could I do that?"
"MacDonald likes you, maybe he'd listen to you."
"Hey, I know the guy, he's been nice to me but I doubt I can do that much."
"Well, there is another way, you know..." he said with a sneaky smile
"And that is...?"
"You can never have too many Producers on a film, you know."
I suddenly realized what he was implying.
"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You want me?"
"Why not, you've worked with me before."
"Yeah, taking pictures and keeping out of trouble, being a Producer that's just..."
"...the perfect job for you, Mr. Hollywood. See, you've already got the perfect name."
"Look, Mark, I appreciate the thought but..."
Mark put his hand on my shoulder and gave me that same sneaky smile
"You think it over...Hollywood Jim." He chuckled as he walked off
"Mark, I guarantee you'll never eat lunch in this town again!" I yelled back at him before realizing the absurdity of what I just said.
"Too many crab cakes..." I muttered to myself as I held my stomach.
As the elevator doors opened back at the hotel I could see Hayden's manager coming down the hall.
"Great party, huh, Jim?" he said as he patted me on the back
"Oh, one for the ages." I replied with a smile
"See you in Nashville." He said as he got on the elevator
But before I could ask what he meant, the doors closed.
As I got closer to my room, I could hear music playing out of another room. Its door opened and I saw Hayden putting out a room service tray.
"Hey! Jim, you've gotta see the sound system I've got here!" she said excitedly
"OK, whatever you're playing on it sounds pretty good."
"You're lucky" she said as I entered her suite "its mixes of my songs from the show."
The songs were good, I'll say that. She had a better voice than she got credit for. Hayden had an IPod hooked up to a portable Bose music system and she promptly cranked up the volume. She'd recorded a new batch of songs that had a rowdy, roadhouse feel to them.
"I wanna put together a tour soon and I'm auditioning songs for it. You don't write songs do you?" she asked with a giggle
"No, I'm just a listener, that's all." I replied "I'll leave that to the professionals."
"Well, if you're a listener you'd know a good song when you heard it, right?"
"Yeah, but I'm into older stuff."
"Oh, that's always the best. I really started hearing the classic stuff when I was in Nashville. You don't have an IPod do you?"
"You know...I just might." I said as I fished around in my jacket pockets. Sure enough, I found it.
"I was using it on the plane here." I said as I showed it to her.
"Cool! Do you mind if I...?" she asked
"Sure, go ahead." I said as I handed it to her
"I guess you can tell a lot about someone by what's on their IPod." She said with a laugh as she scrolled through it "Whoa, you've got some cool stuff here...Aerosmith...Bruce Springsteen...Joe Walsh...Pink Floyd...Julianne Hough? Demi Lovato?" she said with a look of surprise, as only she could.
"Guilty as charged." I said as I sheepishly shrugged my shoulders
"Well...you have diverse tastes. I'll say that...what's this song?"
She showed me a Linda Ronstadt song I'd recently downloaded from ITunes.
"Oh, "Only Mama That'll Walk the Line". That's a cool song, a classic."
"Let's hear it, then." She said as she clicked it into the Bose system.
Vintage Linda Ronstadt now filled the room as Hayden nodded her head to the music and started singing the chorus;
"You got the ohhhhnnlleee Mama that'll walk the line..." she sang "You're right, this is a cool song!"
"Juliette could really do something with it."
"She sure could!" she said enthusiastically as she went for a legal pad that was next to the Bose and quickly scribbled down the song title "Anything else that's good?"
"Let's see...oh, this McCartney solo song is good..."
I clicked on Paul's early solo song "Every Night". Hayden listened closely and nodded.
"You're right...very nice...OK, what else?"
"Well...lemme see...Dylan has some good songs." I said as I scrolled through the IPod "Ah! Here's one, "Tomorrow is Such a Long Time".
The quiet folkie melody of the old Dylan song was now playing.
"Oooh, I like this." She said with a smile added "You really know your music."
"Thanks, I guess I'm a frustrated DJ at heart. I don't think I've ever heard a girl do this song."
"Good, I can be the first then." She said as she added the song to her list. She looked at me with a sly smile "got anything else?"
"Challenging me, huh?"
Hayden nodded and gave me that electric smile she was known for.
"You think about it, I'll be right back" she said as she headed for the bathroom "If you want, there's some beer in the mini bar."
I looked around and found a can of Budweiser, that'll do. I'd just popped open the can when Hayden reappeared in a white terrycloth robe.
"Can I get you anything?" I asked
"Is there a Diet Coke in there?"
I looked around inside
"Ah, a Diet Coke for the lady."
Hayden tucked her legs in tightly underneath her and patted the cushion next to her, my cue to join her on the large white sofa.
"So tell me, what was Blake Lively like?" she asked as I sat down.
"What makes you think I know her?"
"You did that movie with her, that was a great film." she asked, referring to her film "Dreamer".
"Oh, well, she was really nice."
"Uh-huh. Was she pretty?" she asked with a curious look on her face, like she expected some bit of hot gossip from me.
"You could say that, I guess."
"If I met her I'd have to tell her how close I came to being on her show."
"I was this close to being Jenny Humphrey." she replied, using her fingers to emphasize how close she'd come to the part Taylor Momsen ended up playing for the run of the show.
"No way! You were almost on there?"
Hayden nodded as she took a sip of her Coke.
"I guess it was for the better someone else got it. You know, considering what she's been doing lately."
"Maybe, you might've redefined the term "little sister" if you did get it." I joked
"Ha ha, must've been a real stretch to think up that one, huh?" she said with a wiseguy smile added, like she'd heard lines like that many times before.
I shrugged my shoulders in response
"Actually you're kinda right, the casting people really liked me but thought I was still a little young for the part...and too short" she said before adding "but it all worked out OK, I got Heroes not long after."
"That's true. You got to be a cheerleader too."
"I'll bet that's your fantasy." she said with a smile
I wasn't sure what to say, so another shrug of my shoulders was all I could muster.
"Come on, admit it." she said
"Well, I guess I'd be lying if I said it wasn't." I finally said
"Do I win something?"
There was a silence between us
"I don't know" she said a little slower before adding in a softer voice "...what would you want?"
Hayden looked at me with a soft smile on her face, it wasn't the mega-watt one seen everywhere but one of a quiet, relaxed lady who deserved to be treated right.
"I-I'm not sure what I'd want...I suppose it might be..."
"Me?" she replied with that same look.
"I guess that would be..." I started to reply but before I could finish, she moved over and softly kissed my lips. She felt incredibly soft, I could still smell her beautiful perfume. I leaned in and kissed her a little more fully. She did the same and my arms now wrapped around her. As we parted, she gave me her mega-watt smile.
"You're a good kisser." she said softly
"Um, so are you."
"Good things come in small packages, you know." she said with that playful smile of hers.
Hayden reached behind her head and gently tugged on her hair, letting it fall onto her shoulders, all while she looked at me with a small smile. Like she knew exactly what was on her mind.
"C'mere, babe..." she said softly
I cautiously made my way over to her side and we kissed again.
"That feels nice." she said in a near whisper
I nodded, words escaped me at the moment but I loved where I was at this moment.
Hayden wrapped her arms around me and I did the same. Her hand began to slowly rub my chest as we kissed. She looked at me with a sweet expression on her face.
"You feel nice...would you like to...take your shirt off?" she whispered
"I would..." I replied in the same tone.
I started to unbutton my shirt, then Hayden stopped me.
"Let me...I like to do this." she said with a smile
Hayden soon had my shirt unbuttoned and she lightly traced a pattern on my chest with her fingers making me shudder, and her giggle.
"That's why I like to do that." she said between giggles.
I sheepishly smiled
"Your turn." she said to me
My hands were practically shaking as I reached for the belt that held her robe closed, Hayden gently placed her hand on mine.
"You don't have to be nervous, let me do it." she said in a calming voice before softly kissing my lips.
Hayden loosened the robe's belt then took my hands and placed them on either side of the robe, and slowly drawing it open, revealing her beautifully shaped breasts. I tried not to act like a nervous kid, but I couldn't help it. Especially when it was with someone who looked, well, like a kid
"It's OK, hon...you can touch me..." she said in that same soft, calming tone.
I could see her nipples were already erect as my finger lightly touched them. She breathed in slightly and her eyes closed just enough to show she liked what I was doing, as simple as it was.
"Babe...that feels so good...so nice..." she said in a breathy whisper before her eyes opened fully and she smiled at me
"You like that, huh?" she said with a naughty smile
I gave her the same smile as I nodded back.
She leaned in close and whispered in my ear
"I like it too..."
Hayden and I kissed deeply and I felt her hand on my pants, she knew I'd been getting super hard the whole time. Our lips parted and she smiled at me.
"Want me to do it?" she asked
Again, I only nodded
"OK...just relax, hon..." she said as I felt my zipper go down and her hand slide inside my khaki pants.
"This is gonna be nice." she said in a playful tone as I felt her soft hand slide inside my underwear and touch my dick.
"Oooh...you've got a nice one." she said softly to me
Hayden slid down onto the floor and I instinctively opened my legs as she pulled my dick out and held it in her soft hands.
"It's beautiful." she said softly as she looked up at me.
She gave my dick a few soft kisses around the head, then teasingly licked around it with her tongue. All the while she gave me that mega-watt smile she was famous for. Then her mouth swallowed the head of my dick and I felt her wet lips and warm tongue as it enveloped me. Her tongue swirled around the head, then more of it went into her mouth, she added her hand to slowly jerk me.
"That feel good, Jim?"
"Yes...very good." I said in the same tone
Hayden smiled, then slowly slid my dick into her mouth again.
My eyes closed and I breathed in sharply, she knew what she was doing. I could feel her tongue on my balls, then sliding back up the length of my dick.