Casper and I both got offers to do a film.
The glitch is that our characters are both married to other people. My husband is Zeus, and his wife is Medea – who traditionally goes crazy and kills her children, but unfortunately for me – does not in this modified version of the Greek myth. Instead they go off happily into the sunset. To make matters worse, my character sees his character be all lovey-dovey with his screen wife. Puke!
(How immature do I sound right now?!)
At first, I was really excited at the prospect of working again – it’s been a while since I have done any acting– and, I like working with Casper.
He and I met on a film, we got engaged on a film, we have had many adventures working together around the world.
The character I have been asked to play is Hera, Queen of the gods. This would be a reprisal for me. The 1st time I played her was for a Lexus commercial in 1998. I will never forget my audition – I tripped on the hem of my long white dress and did a face plant! I was mortified!
I started off reading the script – I was loving my character, loving the dialogue – the writer/director had written this character with me in mind, and he had gone a fantastic job. This dialogue fit me like a glove. This was such a great role. It would be so much fun to play the goddess of them all!
And, then, all of a sudden, I got to a scene where Casper’s character has to smooch his wife, (not me!) in front of my character and tell her that he loved her. My heart sank. Ugh. I don’t know if I could stomach watching that without freaking out.
In previous films, where we have been confronted with similar situations, things have not worked out so well. In one film, I was so traumatized, that I froze and could not, for the life of me, remember my lines. It took me 30 takes. It was awful for me and for everyone else in the scene. In fact, that might be why I decided not to act for a long while!
I wish it didn’t bother me. But…it does. I am embarrassed to admit it. It doesn’t sound sophisticated or mature.
It sucks because I would really have loved to play this character. On top of that, how do I tell the director, who is a friend of Casper’s, the reason why I can’t be in his film? How professional does that sound?
I sound so silly. I keep telling myself – It’s just a job! – Why can’t it be just a job? I don’t know. I am a very visual person and I have a hard time erasing images from my memory. I tend to torture myself by regurgitating and reliving these flashbacks.
I didn’t always admit to being so messed up! I did try to be the supportive wife, dutifully attending every premiere, pretending that it didn’t bother me. But, deep down, it did. And, eventually, I had to be honest and decided that I had to take care of myself. It was better for me not to see him ‘acting in love’ with other women. Even if I knew intellectually that it wasn’t real, my nervous system and my heart couldn’t tell the difference. So, I stopped going to his screenings and I still change the channel when one of his films is on TV. Not all, just the ones where he has a romantic interest.
I feel like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand – As long as I don’t see Casper kissing or making out with anyone else, I can just about handle it.
We have a policy that our children don’t watch many of his films for the same reason. It is too confusing for them.
Over the years, Casper and I have gone through a lot of negotiation, figuring out what types of roles we could and couldn’t do as a married couple – and as parents.
We came to the conclusion that it would be best if we didn’t do love scenes with other actors anymore. It is just too weird and creepy.
I know that there are plenty of other married actors who say that it
doesn’t bother them at all – It is just part of the business. I really wish I were like that!
After reading the script, I went through some serious thinking last night, and, before I definitively say no, I am going to ask the director if he can stage the scenes so that I don’t have to see anything I don’t want to see (This is taking ostrich theme to an extreme!) We have a meeting on Thursday – let’s see what he says…
I want to make it work, i want to be brave, I just don’t know if I can!