Friday, November 9, 2012

(My) Secrets from Skyfall

One of my very first posts from my Hürriyet Daily News blogging gig was this funny piece about Skyfall. And now the time has come for me to tell you all the things I didn’t tell them.

First of all, you should know that I was picked up more than a cranky two-year old on that set. And for the record, no, I don’t want to see your tattoos, ride on your motorcycle, go to your house in Bodrum, protest something with you or hear your Michael Jackson cover band, but thanks for asking. Actually, the first three “offers” came from the same guy who called himself Eddy. When you’re working long hours on a film set with lots of people standing around waiting, chit chat is normal. I was chatting with a lot of different people, but Eddy had an agenda. I had only shown polite interest in him, but I guess he liked me – or more likely, wanted to get into my pants – so he proceeded to show me the tattoos on his neck and on his forearms. When I didn’t show enough interest, he showed them to me on his cell phone because, you know, in New York we never really get to see tattoos, do we?

Eddy had also chatted with my former roommate Gennady that day and Gennady is the kind of guy that can talk to anyone about anything. I kept trying to tell Gennady not to encourage him, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. When Gennady left to do his scene, Eddy gave me several backhanded compliments including how I did not dress like an Italian (Yeah, because this is my costume. We’re on a movie set, remember?) and the all-too-accurate guessing of my age, which I found less than charming. (For the record, a woman likes to think that she can shave 5 – 10 years off her age on a good day – and dude, if you want her to like you, feed her vanity. That’s like womanizer rule # 1.) He had told me he worked in the resort/hospitality business, which translates into a womanizer’s playground – but he was the absolute worst womanizer ever. When he insisted I take his phone number, I found it easier just to put it in my phone under “AnnoyingEddy” and not pick up the next day when he called and the next day after that. Thankfully, he got the message. And you know how it is when someone’s annoying they’re usually not just a little annoying, but a whole lot annoying? Eddy was a whole lot annoying. He couldn’t even just be normal in the scene, but had to ham it up with double and triple takes. The next break we got I went over to where Gennady was and hung out with Tom and Jeremiah who were grad students. Tom was reading Delueze or Guattari or quite possibly both. It’s funny they don’t come up more in real life (Delueze and Guattari, not Tom and Jeremiah) because they say things like desire is a machine. You know on a good day desire is a beautiful machine and on a not-so-good day (like around Eddy) desire is a bad, bad machine.

Actually, sometimes it is a funny machine, like the guy who wanted me to protest with him at the Hilton.

“What will we be protesting?” I asked him.

“Art,” he replied.

I kinda really like art, so I asked, “But what about art?”

“It’s a protest about art and it’s at the Hilton,” he replied.

And yes, the guy did have a good command of the English language, we had spoken at length the day before. If only he had said we were going to protest against Paris Hilton I would have been all over that in a hot second.

But my favorite guy was Kurdish Peter Lorre. Like his name suggests he was Kurdish and looked like Peter Lorre (Peter Lorre in M or Peter Lorre in Ninotchka, but most definitely not Peter Lorre in Casablanca.) When we met we had the usual broken English/Turkish conversation where he told me he was Kurdish and I was Italian and American. The next day for no explicable reason he started speaking to me in French. I know I did not mention I spoke French and yes, it is a Romance language, but not one that I speak. He went on and on and when he was done I smiled and said, “İtalyan.”

But he just kept speaking French. Unfortunately, everything I know in French just leads to french so that was of no use whatsoever. For the first few days I just smiled and nodded, but then after a while I learned the be-distracted-by-something-on-the-set-after-you-wave technique.

I met a lot of people on the set. Here’s a photo of some of the non-Turkish extras.

Ok, and here is a contraband photo of the waiting area for the extras.
And the restaurant at the Sirkeci train station – we all had breakfast there at 5:30am every morning.
I took it as a good sign that we breakfasted under the watchful gaze of Sean Connery (even though it was in Murder on the Orient Express and not To Russia with Love) and there was also a picture of one of my all-time favorite actresses Wendy Hiller who was also in the movie.
So stay tuned for my next two posts in the James Bond Series: Bang, Bang, Vroom, Vroom (or What He Wore) and I Was A Bond Girl, Kinda Sorta (or What I Wore) coming soon to an RSS feed near you.

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