Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The logic escapes me.

I miss so much of the off-camera drama when I day-play*. This may or may not be a good thing.

Today, I noticed that this particular show’s lead actor was listed on the call sheet under a fake name. Although I’ve seen this a few times on movies starring whichever unfortunate soul is the current paparazzi whipping boy (or girl), I’ve never once seen it on a TV show.

Of course, I asked my boss about it.

Turns out, said actor had a stalker who bluffed his (or her – the stalker’s gender wasn’t specified) way onto the lot and harassed the poor guy. So production, in an attempt to foil the stalker and protect the actor decided to give him a fake name on the call sheet (they also beefed up security and moved his trailer to a less accessible location).

Setting aside the fact that someone who’s savvy enough to be able to get onto a studio lot is going to be able to figure out the little bit of call-sheet subterfuge in about 15 seconds, is that the best you people can do nowadays? Have we, as a nation, really become so unimaginative?

Of all the people in the world to stalk, you pick an actor ? Come on.

I don’t have anything against actors per se (longtime readers will remember that I used to date one), but really – as a group they’re just not that interesting. Trust me on this one.

When I mentioned something to that effect, a co-worker asked which person I’d stalk, were I so inclined.

We got called to deal with some on-set emergency or other before I could answer, but after giving it some thought I’m fairly certain I’d stalk Henry Kissinger.

It would be fun! I’d sneak into his house and tape pictures of Cambodian children maimed by land mines to his bathroom mirror, call him up at 3 am and make some sort of bad wordplay using the word ‘junta’ (hey, it’s easier than Pinochet), sign him up for Noam Chomsky’s email list, maybe periodically FedEx him a box containing little models of the Eiffel Tower, tiny plush-toy condors (if Gund doesn’t make those, they should start) and a scrawled note on stained paper about knowing what he did last summer (or something).

Plus, I speak German so I can harangue him in his native language, too. You know, just to keep things interesting.

Everybody wins!

Yes, I realize this less of a stalking and more of a grudge (and/or terrorizing of a parenthetical war criminal with one foot in the grave), but really, are they all that different?

Both are emotionally unhealthy and a waste of energy which could be used for something productive.

On the other hand, SAG will soon go on strike and I’ll have nothing but time on my hands. All I’ll need then is a plane ticket, a tube of lipstick and a plastic wrapped…

Oh, never mind. I’d rather stay home and paint the kitchen.

*Day players aren’t permanent crew on any one show. They work a day here and a day there on different shows.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. JCW says:

    “SAG will soon go on strike ”

    What’s sad is that whether they strike or not, the damage has already been done.

    Once I’m through with hospital duty with my Ma, I suspect I’ll be glad I’m still non union as at least I’ll be able to work on things like Japanese TV shows – The World’s Most Astonishing News films up here in our area.

    Granted…. it’s not particularly prestigious work – but it’s work.

  2. Chris says:

    I was the on-set dresser on a TV show at Fox when we had one of these guys show up. He’d been around for a couple of hours, chatting with various crew members, and was finally unmasked when his phone went off in the middle of a take.

    I found the incident unsettling, especially given the gantlet we have to run to even legitimately get onto movie lots around town.

    The same show does the alias thing with the lead actor, though I don’t really understand what good it does.

  3. sal says:

    Agree with you about actors – most people who don’t know any imagine that they’re all completely fascinating. Some of the ones I’ve met are perfectly nice, some are pathetically grateful egos on sticks when you say anything remotely positive about them. Anyway I hope your lead guy manages to avoid the stalker – the whole stalking thing is just too scary

  4. Peter says:

    It’s odd that while actors get more than their share of stalkers, musicians and athletes don’t seem to get too many.

  5. When people ask me why I don’t date actors, I say, “I get paid to deal with them in their underwear; that’s not what I want to come home to.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

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