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Day out of Days

Century City, April 12, 2001

First shooting day on "Scorcher". I've found some glasses that will "make" the part, I think. In the role of President Nelson. I have to wear suits of course. I'm still a bit insecure at the moment of approach.

In makeup we pick hairdo and looks. I have three scenes today. The role is written as a commander. There are indications in the script that he is more of a thinker.
He is surrounded by Army and Navy generals. In most of my scenes I'd rather leave the ordering to them. Of the many ways of portraying leadership I'm interested in a sensitive but solid character who has no need to boss people around.

The first paces are a gentle struggle because the director is young, not shy of what he wants. He is very open and doesn't necessarily listen but it's his first day with me too. He might be intimidated, scared or just not ready.

In the few fast dicussions we have, he seems oversensitive about the written part. Although his name is not on the screenplay I figure he probably did more on the last draft than I know.

I do like to toss the lines around before I nail them. I also love cutting lines if I feel I can show what doesn't need to be said. Later I will find out that he re-wrote the whole thing, which explains his attachment. Maybe it's brilliant. I feel it can profit by a little help.

A part of the U.S. is in a state of emergency. Because of possible dangers 20 million people are being evacuated from the Los Angeles area. The President and his Chiefs of Staff discuss strategy.
As the President looks up from the map he says: "We have to proceed as if the team's been eliminated. In a city without order, chaos rules the day. God knows what kind of madmen are running loose outthere."
I ask him to cut the speech and just let me do a look...


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