When I got the call to do a cameo appearance in the film “Kickass “I was very excited. First, because it was a great character role in a very cool script starring Nicholas Cage (although sadly, none of my scenes were with him). Secondly, it was based on a comic book, and I hadn’t worked on an adaptation of a comic since “Witchblade.” I love working on those characters. And thirdly, I was finally going to London. I say “finally,” because ever since I was 20 years old I had wanted to go. I remember my parents got together with my grandparents to give me about $2,000 as a graduation present to enable me to travel to London. After I graduated, I got a job almost immediately in a “Law and Order” segment and then started working on MANN AND MACHINE soon after. I never was able to take the trip.
With all the traveling I’ve done for work and pleasure in my life, it wasn’t until November of last year that I first set foot in this incredible city. I was to be there one week; costumes and make-up one day and filming for the three days following…. thus having three full, glorious days to explore. Even better, I was to do only one scene a day out of the four that were scripted so I would hopefully have the time and the chance to prepare and to do some really good work.
The company booked me on an overnight flight that arrived in Heathrow at about 9:30 am. Most of the flight was spent going over the new rewrites I had gotten on the script, but my excitement of going to London took over. I ended up pouring over tourist books and highlighting the places I wanted to see while visiting: Notting Hill, the Palace, the London Bridge –these were only some of the choices. I got very little sleep on the way over.
I arrived at the hotel at around noon and had barely taken off my jacket off when I received a call from the production office that a car was waiting for me downstairs to take me to the set for hair and make-up tests. Clearly, they weren’t wasting any time. I took a five-minute shower and headed for the elevator. Driving to the set, which was in a suburb approximately 45 minutes away, I was thrilled to see the city streets whizzing by. I couldn’t wait to see it all.
For the next five days, I was picked up early from my hotel, was driven the same route to the set, was put in full costume and make-up, and then I would spend the next 10 hours waiting to go to shoot my scenes. I ended up going in front of camera the final day I was supposed to shoot. All my scenes were shot back to back which was fine; the unforeseen delays of production are ironically expected and definitively universal.
I was scheduled to leave the very next day, which happened to be Halloween. This is the one holiday that affects my travels into NYC and Greenwich Village where I live. There is a huge and wonderful parade that occurs on this night, a parade that blocks off traffic and most of the streets. Thankfully, they agreed to let me fly home the following day, November 1st.
Realizing I only had one day to actually sightsee, I … got on a tour bus! Yes, I admit it. I bought a ticket and went on the bus. And it was absolutely one of the best times I had ever had. As we drove past Notting Hill, The Palace, Kensington Park, I saw the Eye Ferris wheel and decided I had to ride it. And it was here where I got to see everything I had wanted to see. On top of the Eye. Not how I envisioned it all these years, but then again, life is so rarely how I think it will be.
Sometimes it unfolds beautifully.