Amy Tompkins…..Helen Hunt
Frank Prescott…..Michael McKean
[ open on wide shot of a movie set, as actress Amy Tompkins enters with Gino the stagehand ]
Gino: You sure I can’t get you any breakfast, Amy? Coffee, or anything?
Amy Tompkins: No, nothing. I think I’m just.. a little nervous about meeting Mr. Prescott.
Gino: [ pours himself a cup of coffee ] Oh. Frank? He’s a great guy – best director I’ve ever worked with.
Amy Tompkins: I just love his movies! when I was a little girl, they showed “Beloved Stranger” on TV… and it really changed my life.
Gino: Great movie; great.. film.
Amy Tompkins: It made me want to become an actress. All of his films have this.. wonderful understanding of women’s emotions!
Gino: Absolutely. He’s kind of a man’s man in a lot of ways, but, uh.. he’s great with actresses, and I think you’ll like him. [ looks off screen ] And, I think.. he’s coming right now.[ Director Frank Prescott and his sheer presence enters the set ]
Frank Prescott: Hey, Gino!
Gino: Morning, Boss!
Frank Prescott: How ya’ doin’? Give me some sugar here! Ha ha! [ gives gino a bear hug ] Who’s your pretty friend?
Amy Tompkins: [ flattered ] Amy Tompkins, Mr. Prescott!
Frank Prescott: Ah, I know who ya’ are! I was just teasin’ ya’! You happen to be, in this ol’ hack’s opinion, one of the finest actresses workin’ today!
Amy Tompkins: Oh, Mr. Prescott!
Frank Prescott: Ah! Frank.
Amy Tompkins: Frank. Amy.
Frank Prescott: Amy. [ turns his head ] Gino!
Frank Prescott: Let’s get Peter and Skip to look at the line-up, alright?
Gino: Fly it in!
Amy Tompkins: I just want you to know what an honor it is to work with you.
Frank Prescott: Listen, I’d just like to thank you for giving me this chance. I know you pulled some strings to get me on this picture, and.. I.. I sure do appreciate it. [ he ambles over to his director’s chair in front of his crew ] Mornin’, boys!
Crewmembers: Boss! How ya’ doin’? Etc.
Frank Prescott: Let’s make a movie! [ swills alcohol from a metal flask in his jacket, then turns back to Amy ] O-kay. Now, the son of a bitch hasn’t called you in threee weeks, so you’re gonna call him because you’re afraid you might be knocked up and you’re pissed off! And, action![ Frank saunters casually over to his director’s chair, as Amy stands on the lighted set feeling a little overwhelmed ]
Amy Tompkins: Um.. could I just have a minute?
Frank Prescott: We’re just walking through it for the camera, honey.
Amy Tompkins: I know, I know. I just, um.. [ clears her head ] Okay. So, uh, should I enter from the kitchen and then go to the phone?
Frank Prescott: Oh, I don’t care where you come from, sweetie – my shot starts at the phone. Alright? Annnnnndd.. action! [ leans into his answering machine ] [ cut to camera perspective – holds on phone, then rises up as Amy picks up the phone and dials ]
Amy Tompkins: [ frustrated, sighs ] “Damn answering machine! You bet I’ll leave a message at the beep!”[ farting sound effect is heard off-camera; Frank’s surrounding crew breaks into laughter, as Frank turns to smile and laugh with them ]
Frank Prescott: One of you boys bring a tree frog with you to work with you this morning? [ continues to laugh, then gets serious ] Alright, alright.. let’s go, Peaches – from where you’re leavin’ the message! And, action!
Amy Tompkins: Uh, Frank? Could I start from the top, please? From the dialing?
Frank Prescott: Aw, geez.. [ to a stangehand ] Check that cable, will ya’? [ walks over to Amy ] Yeah, honey, uh.. the movie’s not about dialing, you see? It’s about your pretty puss. [ brushes her cheek ] Alright?
Amy Tompkins: Yeah.. yeah. I’d like.. I’d like to do it from the top, please! Please? It would.. help me get a handle on it!
Frank Prescott: [ looks at his crew ] Alright, the lady needs a handle on it. Well.. o-kaaaaay. [ makes another farting sound effect with his mouth as he returns to his chair ] From the top, then. And.. act-ion![ cut to camera perspective – holds on phone, then rises up as Amy picks up the phone and dials ]
Frank Prescott’s Voice: I got something with a handle on it for her![ Frank and his crew laugh off-camera, as Amy looks up confused ]
Amy Tompkins: What?!
Frank Prescott: I was talkin’ to my crew, missy! Tryin’ to find out if this shot’s gonna work or not. [ walks over to her again ] You know something? It’s 7:35 a.m. By this time, most professionals got a little something on film! Now, I know you’ve had a couple of hits in the past few years, but I’ve accidentally inhaled more film than you’ve ever had your face on!
Amy Tompkins: I’m not sayin’ —
Frank Prescott: Now, let’s just collect ourselves and take it again, shall we, little girl? [ returns to his director’s chair ] [ cut to camera perspective – holds on phone, then rises up as Amy picks up the phone and dials ]
Frank Prescott’s Voice: With a big handle on it!
Amy Tompkins: I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I can’t do this!
Frank Prescott’s Voice: [ walks over to Amy ] Uh-oh, uh-oh! Check your calendar, boys, I think we got a little female lunar inadequacy here! [ chuckles with his crew ]
Amy Tompkins: [ fuming ] Mr. Prescott! You are without a doubt, the most obnoxious, vile and stupid man I’ve ever encountered on or off the sound stage! I went out on a limb for you, and now I feel like a fool! I can’t believe I —
Frank Prescott’s Voice: Roll ’em, Gino!
Frank Prescott’s Voice: [ takes his seat again ] Amy! Action![ cut to camera perspective – holds on phone, then rises up as Amy chargedly grabs the phone and dials ]
Amy Tompkins: Damn answering machine! You bet I’ll leave a message at the beep! Eddie? Are you there? We’ve gotta talk about something, Eddie! Something that could put two lives on hold for quite a while! And we’ve gotta talk about trust, Eddie! And responsibility! And.. just call me, Eddie! You owe me that much! [ slams the receiver down, breaks into a continuous sob ] I’ll be waiting..!
Gino’s Voice: Annnnnndd.. cut![ the entire crew applauds Amy’s performance ]
Amy Tompkins: Oh, my God! I’m shaking!
Gino: That’s great, that’s a print.
Amy Tompkins: Oh! I never knew what that scene was about before! [ rushes over to Frank ] Frank! Thank you! Bless you! [ Frank doesn’t respond because he’s out cold ] Is he alright?
Gino: Oh, yeah. I don’t think, uh, we’ll get much more out of him today, though. Hey, uh, you want me to all your driver?
Amy Tompkins: Uh.. sure. Is he always like this.
Gino: Yeah. That’s why he doesn’t get more work. He’s great with actresses, though.
Amy Tompkins: Yeah.. he really seems to understand. I’ll be in my trailer.
Gino: Right. That’s a wrap, everybody![ zoom away from the movie set, and fade ]