- Mom stars in son’s movie about love & sexuality – 01
- Mom stars in son’s movie about love & sexuality – 02
My mom and I both found ourselves at life’s crossroads.
I had recently graduated from film school and was lucky enough to land a job doing video production work for an independent movie studio. It was a small start, but one that I hoped would lead to my dream of being a director of my own films. I had spent an entire summer working hard on a script that meant a lot to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luck needed to put the whole thing together.
On the other hand, my mother was an accomplished actress in her own right. In her younger days she appeared in many theatrical plays and musicals, as well as headlining a few of her own. But in her later age, she switched careers and became a real estate agent in order to live a more normal lifestyle. She recently became single again after breaking up with her boyfriend and was looking for another place to live.
So there we were, two people looking for the next step in life. I lived on my own in a small apartment, and my mother recently bought a new home which was still being remodeled. So, I did what any good son would do in that situation and I let her stay with me for a while.
Pleasure & Taboo
We sat in my living room and my mother briefly flipped through the pages of my script.
“So this is it,” she said. “This is the story you’ve been busy writing all this time.”
“Yep. I’m not saying it’s the best thing ever, but I’m proud of it. I think it’s pretty good.”
“I sure hope so. If I remember correctly, you were so busy writing this thing that you avoided having lunch with me quite a few times.”
“Well, that’s the price of success I guess. At least this is my attempt at success.”
“I think that’s great,” she replied. “I didn’t mean to sound disparaging or anything, but I hope you know that I’m very proud of you for pursuing your dreams. I’m right behind you 100%.”
“Thanks mom. That’s probably the first time I’ve ever heard you say that,” I joked.
She smiled and her eyes flipped through the pages again. “So what’s it about? Have you had any luck with finances or distribution? I have the number of a good agent if you need one.”
“Well that’s the thing,” I sighed. “I know some people, but the rest of the process is a mess right now.”
“I’ve talked to my bosses at the studio and they think the script has potential. The main problem is finding the right lead. I need a good actress who can do this part and is willing to get naked a lot. Once I have that, I’ll need to do a few screen tests to convince them to give me the support I need.”
“You mean to tell me that in a city like this, you can’t find any beautiful women to get naked for a movie?” she asked skeptically. “I find that very hard to believe.”
I shrugged. “Obviously tons of women would get naked in a movie for free, but none of them can act, which is really important to me. When I actually do find women who can act, they think I’m making a high class porn video or something. They look at me like I’m a creep when I try to pitch them the story.”
“Well I can’t really blame them for thinking that. I mean, you’re a handsome young man armed with a video camera and no movie deal; what’s a girl to think?” she smiled.
“Very funny. But seriously, I’m thinking about giving up on this whole thing entirely. Or at the very least get started on something totally different.”
“Now wait a second,” she said sternly. “You’ve made a commitment to yourself and I fully expect you to carry it out. Do you think I would be where I am in life, or have the success that I’ve had in acting if I gave up after the first few times people have said ‘no’ to me?”
“Thanks again mom. I guess you’re right. I wasn’t really thinking about quitting anyway.”
“Good. So what’s this story about anyway? I’m sure it must be something interesting if you’ve invested so much of your time on it.”
“It’s hard to explain,” I replied. “It’s better if you read it and get a vibe for it yourself. Besides, it’ll sound sleazy if I try to explain what it is.”
“See, there’s your first problem.”
Her eyebrows raised. “Have you ever heard of the elevator pitch? If you’re trying to sell yourself to someone for a job interview, you have to make sure your presentation is short, refined, and to the point, so it can successfully be pitched in a short amount of time. Here’s your opportunity to work on it; so what’s yours story about?”
“Hmm… In short, it’s about a woman who basically gets in touch with herself. The movie contains a lot of nudity. The age of the actress isn’t really important since the script can be adjusted for anyone.”
“How elegant,” she said sarcastically. “No wonder so many talented actresses are flocking over to be in your movie.”
“Maybe that wasn’t the best way to describe it.”
“That was a horrible synopsis you just gave me,” she smiled. “Try it again.”
“Okay. Well, it’s about a woman with a lot of life experience. She catches the attention of a budding author who’s interested in using her life story as inspiration for a novel he’s writing. They eventually start having sit down interviews together and he wants to know as much about her as possible. He finds her endlessly fascinating, and vice versa. The topic of conversation eventually turns to her sexual history, to which she has no shame in revealing her likes and fantasies. Without spoiling it too much, they eventually fall in love at the end. It’s something of a love story combined with an examination of human sexuality.”
“Now that was so much better. It certainly sounds like something I would be interested in seeing.”
I smiled, “You can see my dilemma now. This was definitely written for a talented actress to star in or else the movie wouldn’t come out right. It’s not worth the effort if I can’t make it perfect.”
“I’m sure you’ll find someone soon. Your problem was that you didn’t know how to sell it. If you just repeat what you’ve said to me, I have no doubt you’ll find who you’re looking for.”
“Thanks for the encouragement,” I replied.
My mother stood up and patted me on the shoulder. “Thank you for letting me stay at your place for a little while. I’ll take a look at this script, and if it’s as good as it sounds, I’ll send it to a few friends of mine who are still in the business to see what they think. In the meantime, let’s go get dinner.”
*** LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! ***
I was watching tv in the living room while I ate breakfast the next morning. One minute I’m focused on watching the news, the next moment my mother shuts off the television and sits right next to me. She was dressed in nothing but her silk bathrobe. Her hair was still soaking wet and slicked backward.
“I read half of this last night,” she said, slamming the script on the couch. “Then I read the other half this morning while in the bath.”
“What did you think?” I asked nervously based on her reaction.
“I absolutely love it and I want to star in it.”
All of a sudden there was an awkward tension in the room, at least from my end. My mother had a beaming look on her face as if she had just found something she was longing for. She looked determined and refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. On the other hand, I knew what it would mean if she actually did star in it.
“Are you serious? You want the lead role? Did I give you the right script yesterday?”
She nodded. “I know what you’re thinking, that this would be weird between us because of the sexual content involved. But you’re an adult and so am I. We can be mature about this because we’re both dedicated artists in our own regards. That’s how I see it.”
“But mom… You’re my mom. I mean, you’re my mom.”
“You don’t think I know that?” she replied with an eyebrow raised. “The point is that you need a lead actress who’s willing to give you everything she has on screen in order to make this story mean something special. That’s what this story is to me, something special. I truly love this script because it reminds me of myself at a younger age. Acting has always been my passion and it’s been forever since I’ve done it. Trust me, we can make this work.”
I gave her a skeptical look. “You realize that a large majority of this script contains sexually explicit dialogue and a number of nude scenes right?”
“You realize that I’ve done nudity on stage before don’t you?”
“This is different. This is on film. Once it’s recorded, then it’s recorded. It’ll be sent to a small studio and everyone there will see it. If this film gets approved and made with a bigger budget, then they’ll expect you to star in it. Once that happens, then EVERYONE will see you naked. Do you know what most guys do to themselves when they see a woman get naked in a movie?”
“But you don’t have any problems filming this with some other actress, right? How about when I was about to recommend a friend for the part, would you have given her that same exact warning? I don’t think so mister.”
“All I’m saying is that this is going to be really odd doing this with you. I mean, you’re my mother.”
“I know I’m your mother, you keep on reminding me,” she quipped.
“It’s obvious that you won’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” I replied. “Maybe we should give this a couple of days for us to think about. Then we can make a better decision about all of this.”