Добрался и до мемуаров Сибилл Шеперд, которые вышли еще в 2000 году, но смог осилить только пару глав — стало очень скучно 🙂

Впрочем, главное, что меня здесь интересовало — это, конечно, сериал моего детства 🙂 И ему посвящена отдельная глава, в которую я вчера погрузился с огромным интересом.

Конечно, я хорошо знал детали этой истории — постоянное отставание от съемочного графика из-за невероятно плотных и объемных сценариев, конфликты между Брюсом и Сибилл, беременность Сибилл и ее конфликт с Гленном Гордоном Кэроном и многое другое — но то, что я прочел вчера, даже немного потрясло.

С одной стороны — любимый сериал моего детства — чудесный, тонкий, идеальный. С другой — совершенный дурдом, в котором это снималось — дичайший съемочный график, постоянные конфликты между всеми на свете, Брюс и Сибилл, которые в жизни весьма далеки от идеала, да и Гленн Гордон Кэрон — тот еще подарок. Удивительно, как в этой атмосфере удалось снять вообще сколько нибудь хороший сериал 🙂

Под катом — несколько (по правде говоря, довольно много :)) наиболее ярких фрагментов для себя и для истории.

О том, как все началось

GLENN GORDON CARON SAYS THAT HALFWAY THOUGH THE pilot of Moonlighting he realized he was writing the character Maddie Hayes as Cybill Shepherd. He asked if there was any way he could get a meeting with me. When my agent sent me those fifty pages, I immediately recognized the part I’d been hankering to do for a long time.

О том, как появился Брюс

City of Angels is run, none too efficiently, by a character named David Addison, whose creed is “Live fast, die young, leave clean underwear,” and who convinces Maddie to become his partner, renaming the agency Blue Moon after the shampoo for which she was a well-known spokeswoman in her modeling days. Addison is described as an emotional adolescent, cocky and sexually aggressive, whose humor and puerile charm ameliorate his obnoxious behavior and language. Apparently there were three thousand men who saw themselves with those attributes because that’s how many actors answered the casting call. Chemistry between actors is either there or it isn’t. I’m not sure you can act chemistry on-screen any more than you can in real life when your well-intentioned cousin sets you up on a blind date with a troglodyte. I thought it was imperative that the chemistry between Maddie and David be genuine, since the show was driven by snappy, overlapping banter and palpable sexual tension. I had casting approval, and when the pile of resumes from David-wannabes was winnowed down to a lean half-dozen, I went to meet them.

ABC’s offices were located in a tall glass tower in Century City, and the casting sessions took place in a long conference room with a wall of shuttered windows. Several candidates came and went, but nothing especially magical was happening. By mid-afternoon, I was weary, picking at bits of tuna arid lettuce from the salads that had been brought in for lunch, when Bruce Willis entered the room.

He was, I would later learn, five years younger than I, wearing an army fatigue jacket, several earrings, and what looked to be the compensatory three-day beard of a man with a receding hairline, the rest of his hair punkishly cut and moussed. There was a careless, desultory way he walked around the perimeter of the big table, keeping his distance from me and sauntering over to Glenn and Jay. His eyes were crinkled and his lips pressed into a mocking smile, a composite that was to become the signature David Addison smirk.

Bruce had been earning a living as a bartender in New York, sharing a walk-up in Hell’s Kitchen with large rats while playing mostly uncredited bit parts, like “courtroom observer” in Paul Newman’s legal drama The Verdict or “diner customer” in a Frank Sinatra movie, The First Deadly Sin, and he had just been turned down for a role in Desperately Seeking Susan that went to Aidan Quinn. Unlike the other actors who’d auditioned, he didn’t especially flatter me; in fact, he actually avoided eye contact, directing most of his vaguely smart-ass male-bonding comments to Glenn, like “Just got off my shift at the bar.” But there was definite chemistry between us, and it escaped no one—the temperature in the room jumped about twenty degrees. After he’d left, I leaned over and murmured, as much to myself as to Glenn, “He’s the one.”

“Are you sure?” he responded. Glenn knew it would require Herculean effort to convince the ABC brass that this quirky, attitudinous guy with negligible professional experience and rather unconventional looks was perfectly cast for a prime-time hit on their network, which was then third place in the ratings. The suits saw him playing “heavies,” declared he was “not leading man material” and asked me to read with better-known actors. The part was actually offered to a clean-cut actor named Robert Hayes, who turned it down in favor of I don’t know what. The only way Bruce Willis would be considered was if I agreed to do a screen test with him. With the camera rolling just as we were about to do the scene, he looked at me with perfect satisfaction and said, “I can’t concentrate. You’re too beautiful.” The suits were convinced.

О съемках финальной сцены пилота

In the pilot’s climactic scene, we were being chased by a diamond thief onto the roof of the historic Eastern building in downtown Los Angeles, where I was suspended from the minute hand of a clock face twenty-five feet above the fourteenth floor. I’m a gung-ho girl, and I declared that I wanted to do enough of the stunt so the audience believed it was really me. Half a dozen crew members were lined up single file on the narrow plywood platform of a steel scaffold that was swaying in the Santa Ana winds. The hairdresser was terrified of heights and had declared in the lobby, “I’m going to have to do your hair down here,” but my makeup man, Norman Leavitt, gamely came up to the roof, passing powder puffs and lip stick stuck into a Kleenex box out to me from his precarious perch. The director of photography, Michael Margulies, was communicating via miked headphones to the four camera crews. Suddenly I panicked, and grabbing two handfuls of Michael’s brown leather jacket from behind, I screamed, “I can’t do this! I can’t do this!” But he couldn’t hear me. When he felt the tug, he turned around and said, “Did you say something?” “No, I’m okay.” And, having momentarily vented, I was.

О том, как все чуть было ни случилось 🙂

For two weeks of shooting, Bruce was upbeat, lighthearted, fun. But it wasn’t long before his mood darkened, particularly during visits from his girlfriend, the former wife of Geraldo Rivera, who sat in the wings with her arms crossed, looking as if she had smelled something bad. (“She disapproves of me doing television,” he confided one day.) Her visits became less frequent, eventually ending altogether, but he remained cranky and aloof. Almost automatically, we had off-camera spats just before our scripted ones, but they seemed like a harmless way of working up to the emotion of the scene. It did not escape me that the growing attraction between Maddie and David mirrored what was developing between the actors who portrayed them. After one particularly heated rehearsal, I walked off the set with him and said, “Are we going to do something about this or what?”

He looked startled but not unpleasantly so, and then squinted his familiar half smile. “Why don’t I come over to your place tonight?” he said. There was a bottle of Gentleman Jim in his hand when he knocked on the door of my apartment, and it wasn’t long before we were passionately sucking face. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this,” I said, feeling ambivalent and aware of the potential complications. “We might be working together a long time.” But we were quickly too far gone in a lusty, missionary embrace, leaning halfway back on a La-Z-Boy lounger that tilted almost to the point of toppling over.

Suddenly he stopped, arched his back, and looked at me with lines creasing his forehead. “Maybe you’re right,” he said, grabbing the wide arm of the chair for support as he pushed off and stood up. Rearranging himself as well as his remaining clothes, he announced, “I think I’ll go to the bathroom.” When he returned, he picked his jacket up from the floor where it had landed, mumbled something about getting a good night’s sleep, and was gone. Maybe Bruce liked the chase better than the catch. Maybe he preferred the character to the real woman. We never did finish what we started in private, but anytime we had a kissing scene, he stuck a big camel tongue halfway down my throat.

О съемочном графике, съемочном процессе и выгорании

I left home at 5 A.M. each day. Moonlighting scripts were close to a hundred pages, half again as long as the average one-hour television series. Almost from the moment the cameras started rolling, we were behind schedule, sometimes completing as few as sixteen episodes per season and never achieving the standard twenty-two. It became customary to make up time with a “tow shot”: loading a car onto a trailer and pulling it. Since we were just sitting in the car, there was no need to rehearse or “block” our places during the scene. We literally cut up the pages of script and taped the scraps to the dashboard—no time to memorize. The only respite was when the writers gave long speeches of “exposition” to guest stars, but Bruce and I were so exhausted that while we listened we often looked as if we were sleeping with our eyes open. Some of our highly touted innovations—like “breaking the fourth wall” and speaking directly to the camera in a prologue or a postscript—were born of necessity, to fill time, since we spoke the dialogue so quickly. <...>

He [Glenn Gordon Caron] often went to the studio before dawn to write a new scene, handing us pages of dialogue when we showed up later that morning. The writing was inspired and edgy, and I’ll take last-minute changes that good any day. But the routine was grueling. We’d start on Monday at 7 A.M. and work until 9 P.M. Union rules stipulated the length of time actors need to break before reporting back to work, and we had to be paid an extra $1,000 if we didn’t get a twelve-hour turnaround—it’s called a “forced call.” To avoid that expensive penalty to the producers, we’d start on Tuesday at 9 A.M. and go until 11 P.M. Then on Wednesday we’d start at 11 A.M. and go until 1 or 2 in the morning. And I’m not a night person. Plus there was a different director every week because the previous week’s director was in the editing room. It took me ten long years to make my comeback and only one to feel trapped by my success. <...>

BURNOUT IS A GIVEN IN SERIES TELEVISION, BUT IT doesn’t come with a warning label, and my experience is that it doesn’t bring out the best in people. I’d recover a little less each weekend until finally I never recovered, feeling the kind of fatigue that depletes every resource, including civility. <...>

Angela Lansbury, my esteemed colleague from The Lady Vanishes, was starring in Murder, She Wrote, and I asked her to dinner, seeking wise counsel from someone with a similar daily grind. “There’s no way to survive an hour television format unless there are some ground rules,” she said. “I come in at six A.M. and I leave at six P.M. Period. And I never start the season with fewer than eight scripts.” But when I went to Glenn with this supplication, he just laughed. “You might as well forget that,” he said, “because it’ll never happen.” <...>

You can get pushed over the edge of exhaustion on a crappy job too, but when the material is good and the people are passionate about it, everyone tends to be in even more denial, making excuses for their bad behavior. You tell yourself: This is so clever, so classy, so valuable, that it’s worth the sacrifice, and meanwhile a little voice inside your head is screaming for sleep, sanity, salvation. In scientific studies, too many rats in a cage will attack and eat one another alive, even if they have enough food. It’s an apt metaphor for the Moonlighting set, and we were all under pressure. <...>

О беременности

My pregnancy further widened the chasm between me and the producers, who reacted as if the news was a thoughtless inconvenience. Other television actresses had been allowed to work real-life pregnancies into plotlines and production schedules. When I suggested a similar approach to Glenn Caron, his response was a tepid, “Well, you don’t leave me much choice.” Despite the fact that I developed gestational diabetes and was forbidden to work during my last trimester, I occasionally went to the studio against doctor’s orders. But Glenn continued to act as if I were personally, purposefully screwing him over (and would later claim that my pregnancy had destroyed Moonlighting). He attempted to accommodate the situation by having Maddie meet a short, stocky man on a train and marry him three days later. When I strongly voiced my objection that the character we had created in Maddie would never do such a thing, Glenn said words to the effect of “Just shut up and do your job, you’re not producing this show.”

О том, как все начало меняться, и о грустном финале

THE YEAR 1988 BEGAN PROPITIOUSLY WITH A ceremony in which I was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it only cost me $4,322. Bruce Willis sent a telegram saying, “Sorry I can’t be there, but one of us has to work.” During this season of Moonlighting my dissatisfaction grew with the inimical atmosphere and changes in the way my character was written. Not only was she a virago, but she was starting to act bipolar. <...>

Bruce became disenchanted with the classic David Addison smarminess, sometimes throwing a script across the room and calling it shit. Actors make a mistake when they act superior to the material. Good acting is like a tennis match. But somewhere along the way it felt like Bruce disconnected from what I was doing. It seemed as if he had already figured out all the moves, and it was far less exciting when the match between us was over.

One April day in 1988, I arrived for work fifteen minutes late to find an all points bulletin out for me. An assistant director approached my car as I drove onto the lot and said, “Cybill, don’t bother getting out.” Then he told the driver, “Take her right to Glenn’s office.” I felt like an intractable student summoned to the principal after sliding down the school banister — a bad acid flashback, and I’d never even taken acid. Jay Daniel and several people I didn’t recognize were sitting in Glenn’s office; Glenn was standing in front of his pinball machine and his jukebox loaded with 1960s rock and roll and every song by Tammy Wynette.

“You don’t give a fuck about your work,” he screamed the moment I walked in the door. “Your standards are down, and your ideas are crap.” I could hardly respond, his rage was so vehement. And while he screamed, Jay sat silent, not uttering a word in my defense. <...>

In the fall of 1988, Glenn Caron left the show, stating that it was him or me and he didn’t think the network would choose him. What had begun as an alliance between Glenn and me, as well as a newcomer named Bruce Willis, had turned into Glenn and Bruce against Cybill. Not only David Addison but Bruce Willis had become Glenn’s alter ego and I became the troublemaker, the difficult one out to get them (whatever part I had in creating this I will forever regret).

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