tagCelebrities & Fan FictionIt's All About Jack Nicholson Ch. 02

It's All About Jack Nicholson Ch. 02

byBOSTONFICTIONWRITER©

I dedicate this story to Amanda, a fan of Jack Nicholson and a fan of Bostonfictionwriter. She asked me to write a story about Jack Nicholson with her in the starring role.

I agreed to write the story because I've always been a fan of Jack Nicholson's, too. Normally, as you can discern from my name, Bostonfictionwriter, I only write fiction, generally fiction about Boston, Massachusetts. Only, this time, I decided to sway a bit from fiction and from Boston to write the true story of my meeting with Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles, California, only reverting from non-fiction to fiction by changing the character of Jana, Marty Scorsese's real script assistant with Amanda's name and description.

Jack Nicholson's last starring role, the end of an era.


*

"So, again, I pose the question to you, Amanda," said Marty. "What attracts you, a young woman in her twenties, to a man like Jack, who is in his seventies? I've always wondered about that. He's never without a young woman on his arm."

"I don't know about the other women, but I can tell you what attracts me to Jack. He's older for starters," she said with a smile. "I like it that he's a bad boy but he has a good heart, that's obvious and I can clearly read that in him. And he seems pretty powerful. I don't mean physically. Not like he'd rough me up but maybe he'd threaten me and I like being made to feel submissive with my lover and relinquishing my control to him," she said turning a bright red, as soon as she said it. "I can't believe I said all that. I can't believe I revealed so much of myself to you two like that," she said averting her eyes from our stares. "I guess the excitement of meeting Jack Nicholson overwhelmed me," she said fanning herself with pages of my script. "I'm so embarrassed."

"Save the embarrassment for when you meet Jack," said Marty reaching out to pat her knee. "Without a doubt, he'll surely do something or say something to embarrass you more than you've ever been embarrassed before," he said with a laugh. "That's just how he is," said Marty with a shrug of his shoulders.

The limo pulled up to the building where we were to have our meeting and we all got out of the car and walked inside. Thank God for air conditioning. Going from the air conditioned car to the air conditioned building, it was unbearably hot this time of year in Los Angeles and the early morning smog didn't help the air quality either.

Just when we thought we were too late and would keep everyone waiting, especially Jack, just when we thought the elevator door would close and we'd be further delayed and tardier for the meeting than we already were having to wait for another elevator, Jack stuck his head out the elevator door waving for us to hurry.

I couldn't believe it. There he was, Jack Nicholson in the flesh. He was looking at us. He was looking at me. He was holding the elevator door open for us and he was smiling. My hands were shaking, my pulse was racing, and my heart was pounding. I was so nervous that I couldn't stop smiling. I must have looked like an idiot. Yeah, sure, I had met a few celebrities in my life, but nothing like this, nothing so up close and personal and not with such a big star as he obviously was.

And Marty was right. Even though meeting Martin Scorsese was an exciting, unexpected, and an unimaginable pleasure, it was nothing compared to how I felt now when about to meet Jack Nicholson and I pondered the why of that. Perhaps I didn't feel the same way about meeting Martin Scorsese because he's behind the screen and Jack Nicholson, between writers, directors, producers, and a cast of dozens is the conduit of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes for him to appear alone in front of the screen.

He's the one who stands in the spotlight. He's the one who takes the bow and receives the applause when the movie is a hit or the abuse and bashing when the movie is a flop. He's the one, more than anyone else who is such a big part of the movie and who has his career and reputation on the line. He's the face of all those who worked so hard to make the movie happen. Just as one can't work without the other, so much depends upon the writers, actors, director, et al to work as a team for the artistic sake of making movies.

He looked exactly as he does on screen, only shorter and with a few more wrinkles but, unless he lost weight since his last movie, he didn't look as heavy as the camera made him appear in The Bucket List when he played Edward Cole with Morgan Freeman who played Carter Chambers or in About Schmidt when he played with Kathy Bates and Hope Davis. Maybe it was the makeup that they had on him to make him look older, appear more tired, and seem sicker, but he certainly didn't look that way now. He looked good. He looked energetic and vigorous.

He looked better. He looked more rested. He looked younger. Certainly, he looked like a man more in his fifties than in his seventies. In the way that he carried himself and held his head up high, he looked like the star that he truly was. He looked so good that I wondered if he had some plastic surgery done. Nah, not Jack, he'd never do that. I hoped that I looked as good when I was his age, 71-years-old. Suddenly, when one of his lines popped in my head from the movie, The Bucket List, and only in the way that he could say it in his slow drawl; I knew he was my new muse.

"We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round." I don't know why I remembered that one specific line from that one specific movie, but I think I remembered it because, to me, it sounded like something Kurt Vonnegut would write when he wrote, "And so it goes...tweet, tweet." On the same note, it reminded me of a Peggy Lee song, "Is that all there is?"

I remembered reading a biography about Jack Nicholson once and reading that his biggest fear was of dying, as is most people's biggest fear. Certainly, it's my biggest fear. Who wants to die? Unless you are depressed and suicidal, no one wants to die. We all fear the unknown. No one has returned from the dead to tell us what happens when you die. Maybe, in the words of Jack, "We live, we die," and in the words of Vonnegut, "And so it goes," and like the song of Peggy Lee..."Is that's all there is?"

Only, in Jack's case, maybe dying is a bigger fear for him because he doesn't believe in God. He was once quoted as saying, "I don't believe in God now. I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience."

Apparently, by not believing in God, religion wasn't a soothing experience for him and that made me wonder what was. No doubt, with all the women he has gone through, women were, but were they? Maybe, it was just his work. Maybe his work is what soothed his savage soul. Certainly, I don't think it was money. You can't do what he does just for the love of money. Once you have money, you need more to motivate you to do greater things, as he has done in winning three Oscars and dozens of other awards.

Only, regardless if he is a religious man or not, a spoiled actor or a mature adult, he has had one Hell of a life. Wow! What a ride? An icon in Hollywood, he knows everyone and everyone knows him and he is loved by all.

The three of us walked towards the elevator while Jack held his fat hand at the door jam to prevent the elevator door from closing.

"Well c'mon, c'mon, I don't have all day," he said with the same impatient attitude as he would have shown while acting as a character in one of his movies.

His smile quickly gave way to a stern look. He always seemed annoyed. Remembering bits and pieces of his irritated dialogue and holier than thou attitude, I couldn't help but picture him in a Marine Corp uniform as Colonel Nathan Jessep in A Few Good Men while delivering his lines on the stand of a courtroom with Tom Cruise questioning him.

"Maybe he was an early riser. Maybe he didn't have any friends. I'm an educated man, but I don't know the travel habits of Santiago. Are these the questions I was called here to answer? I hope you have something more."

I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, but that was a good movie and he did a good job, especially with the exchange that he had with Jack Nicholson. The entire courtroom scenes were great scenes and they glued my eyes to the screen. Once a Marine always a Marine, I can watch that movie again and again.

Marty snapped me out of my daydream about the movie, A Few Good Men and about Jack playing Colonel Jessep, and returned me to what was happening now when he started talking to Jack again.

"Thank you, Jack, for holding the elevator," said Marty with a big smile.

Already having worked with Jack and having met him numerous times, he was the obvious spokesman of our odd looking trio. Marty with his big, black rimmed eyeglasses that still weren't thick enough to cover his bushy eyebrows and with his grayish white hair that so contrasted with the black frame of his eyeglasses that the contrast between the two was startling, looked more like a barber or a doctor than a famous movie director. I could just picture him wearing a white coat.

Amanda, tall, shapely, and beautiful, with her coiffed brown hair, hazel eyes, and high cheek bones, and in the way that she carried herself, looked much more like a super model in her high heels than a script assistant. She was so tall and Marty was so short that his eyes were at her chest level, which wasn't a bad thing, as she was appropriately endowed with full, shapely breasts that were highlighted by a low cut top. Nonetheless, it was obvious that she was intelligent and more than qualified, as anyone who worked as a script assistant for Marty Scorsese had a talent for reading, comprehending, and interpreting scripts and imagining movie scenes.

Nothing like Roman Polanski in the heyday of his sexual appetite for young, pretty things, Martin Scorsese wasn't the type who employed women for their looks. He preferred surrounding himself with smart people, people who were smarter than he was or just as smart. When you think about it, that was a smart philosophy on his part.

Then, there was me, casually dressed in my usual writing attire of wrinkled jeans, dirty sneakers, unbuttoned shirt, and my never without worn, Boston Red Sox baseball cap, I looked more like a student than a writer. A subscriber to the rule of not only being at the right place at the right time but also being prepared, as they taught me so long ago in the Boy Scouts, I always carried a completed script in one hand and briefcase full of script changes in the other, along with a forgotten pencil tucked behind my ear.

Adhering to that rule and a believer that there is a reason for everything is how my script was discovered in the first place when Marty Scorsese's car bumped my car in a parking garage and we struck up a conversation while exchanging papers. He wanted nothing to do with me or my script. He just wanted to exchange insurance information and leave. I imagined he's attacked by budding writers all the time.

I showed him my screenplay and something caught his attention after he read only the first paragraph, actually, after her read just the title of my screenplay. I gave him a copy. Within the week his people called me, they set up this meeting, arranged for my airfare and hotel, and here we are. It all happened so fast that I feel like it's all a dream. I still can't believe it. One day I'm in my home office writing fiction on Literotica and the next day I'm sitting in a limo with Marty Scorsese and his beautiful assistant.

None of us looked like what I imagined were the typical Hollywood movie types. Certainly, I wasn't a player, but I was about to become one should Jack Nicholson decide to do my movie, a movie that would be directed by Martin Scorsese. It was all dependent upon Jack. He had the final say. We couldn't do it without him. Sure, we could hire a stand in, someone who resembled him, sounded like him, and somewhat acted like him, but it wouldn't be the same. Besides, Marty would never disrespect him by doing an unauthorized movie on his life, that is, while he was still alive.

He never told me but I think I got Marty's attention when he saw my screenplay was a loving and living tribute to Jack Nicholson. That's what did it, I think. That's why I'm here, I think. It wasn't so much the writing ability or lack thereof, as it was the subject matter. As soon as he saw the title of the screenplay, "It's all about Jack...Jack Nicholson, that is," for some reason, I had him hooked and he wanted to read it. After he accepted my screenplay and left, I was so excited. I couldn't believe that Marty Scorsese was reading my work. First, it was my dream and then it was my reality.

Surely, he knows the popularity and the fan base that this one actor enjoys. Surely, he knows that nearly every movie made with Jack Nicholson starring in it is a guaranteed box office success and more so if the movie is about his life with plenty of tidbits that would satisfy even the most curious of fans, who want to live vicariously through the actor. Everyone is hungry for the inside dope of Jack Nicholson's life and I wrote what I knew about Jack and filled in the rest with a creative biography of fiction. I left it up to him to include whatever priceless tidbits of information that he wanted to include about his own personal life in the script, if he agree to do the movie.

Now, after Marty's insightful confession in the limo about this perhaps being Jack's last movie, maybe now I know why he chose to make my movie. Maybe he wanted to do this movie about Jack and his life as a tribute because he felt that Jack was going to die and this would be his last and fitting farewell. If that's the case, then definitely, I was at the right place at the right time. I know it sounds so mercenary to profit on someone's death, especially someone so famous and who has brought so much pleasure to so many people, but if not me, someone else would do it and this is my lucky break. No one would even think of doing a movie like this, before the actor dies.

Only, would Jack do the movie or would he find it morbidly depressing to make a film that showed his career from beginning to end and one that ended with his demise? It's never been done before, that is, doing an autobiographical film and killing someone off in the film, especially a real live celebrity before they even died. Sure, it's been done plenty of times with the actor playing a character of someone else, but never to my knowledge of the title actor playing himself.

Maybe that was the hook for Marty, Jack being Jack while playing Jack. I have no idea. Directors don't openly share their thoughts with mere writers and mere actors, unless they are directing them. Even then, they'll never give anyone the full picture, only bits and pieces that come together once the film is done.

"Oh, so that's why he did that. Now, I know and now I understand."

I don't know how he'd change my script for his creative interpretation of the movie and what role Jack would play in making changes, too. I don't know and I don't care, so long as they do the movie. I'm just thrilled beyond words to be here in this serendipitous position, to have my name appear on the movie credits as the screenwriter and to be inline to receive a very large paycheck. I have my fingers crossed that Jack will say, "Yes," to do my movie.

"I'm late for a meeting," said Jack impatiently pushing the close door button more than once while stressing the t of late with as much impatient hostility as he showed when playing Jack Torrence in the movie, The Shining, and when talking about writing his infamous novel to his wife, Shelley Duvall, when she played Wendy Torrence in the movie.

Now, he showed a similar and appropriate amount of annoyance in being delayed by our late arrival as he did then when being interrupted in his work and disturbed in his thoughts in the movie. Again, Jack's way of talking, and in the way that he carried himself, lulled me back to the movie and to his insane character in the movie, The Shining, with him interacting with his wife Wendy.

"...let me explain something to you. When you come in and interrupt, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me...and it will then take time to get back to where I was. Understand?"

"Fine."

"We're making a new rule: Whenever I'm in here...and you hear me typing...or whatever the fuck you hear me doing in here...when I'm in here that means I am working. That means don't come in. Do you think you can handle that?"

"Fine."

"Why don't you start right now and get the fuck out of here?"

That was Jack at his best. Then, again, he's made so many movies showing Jack at his best with so many memorable scenes that I feel like I know the man, especially seeing him act a bit like that now. Suddenly, I felt like a stalker. Again Marty's voice jolted me back to present time and from recalling any more of Jack Nicholson's movie scenes.

"I know you're late for a meeting, Jack. We're late, too," said Marty with a chuckle. "The four of us are having a meeting with—" said Marty Scorsese, as the elevator doors closed behind us and the elevator started silently climbing up to the top floor. Obviously, Jack wasn't listening. He gave Marty a heavy albeit confused look and interrupted him before he could tell him that we were all attending the same meeting.

"Do I know you?"

In the next chapter Jack continues teasing Marty.

*

Thank you for reading my story. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. Please take a moment to vote, make a public comment, and/or give me feedback. Your support is why I write. Your feedback will motivate me to write a better story the next time.

If you haven't already, please take moment to add me and/or this story or any other of my stories to your list of favorites. Thanks, Freddie, Bostonfictionwriter.

To be continued...

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