Naked Lunch

Following the clothes-changing debacle, I thought I’d never hear from Marcus again. Instead, I got a text message the next week.

“New script. Call me.”

He must be paying by the letter.

The inevitable message-decoding attempts ensued. Does he just want to share some good news about a project? Does he need actors for a read-through (unpaid, no doubt)? Or could it be that there’s a part for me? More likely he had sent the text to the wrong person. But I had to call him; besides, this could be a chance to overcome the Swiss Miss setback.

We agreed to meet for lunch at The Couch on Dean Street. I hoped it wasn’t a prelude to a casting couch. We caught up on the gossip from the Cannes crowd. Cannes is like summer camp for the film set – only with more money and booze. Marcus said he was almost done editing his documentary. I told him Cheri couldn’t come out in daylight for a few more weeks. It was two drinks before he explained his text.

“We want to make a movie about the Kennedy’s and we need a Marilyn. You’d be perfect.”

Wow, I couldn’t believe it. All of those crappy auditions I’d been on and here, quite possibly, was my big break on a platter. Unless – oh my God – what if I sucked at playing Marilyn? She’s a legend and I’m the girl who couldn’t even get a KFC ad. My mind was racing, but I pushed my doubts aside.

“Sounds fabulous. I’d love to do it.”

“There’s only one thing – “

The catch.

“Lots of nudity. Gratuitous nudity – let’s not pretend to be artsy. That’s not a problem, is it?”

“Umm, well…”

“It would all be shot very respectfully.”

“Uhhh…” I downed the rest of my Bacardi. “Well, you did see that I have some trouble taking off my clothes,” I tried to joke.

Marcus chuckled. “Not a problem. We’d start the shots with you already naked.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said, when what I really meant was I’ll think about how many hours I’d need to spend at the gym and how many expensive lotions and creams I’d need to remedy, improve or at least cover up even my slightest imperfections.

“Good,” he said, and then ordered another round.

“Make mine a double,” I said. Body double, I prayed.