The world awaits; the lights are flashing, the fans are screaming, the photographers franctically yelling, the stars posing according to their directions, and the security guards, seemingly calm outwardly, but furtively glancing left, right, up and down behind their pitch black wraparound sunglasses. It’s a windy evening; a gust blows out the long tresses of the actress currently in the paparazzi’s spotlight (err…what’s her name again?), causing her to giggle and pat it down while pouting for the photographers and waving to fans behind the cordon. Behind her, on the red carpet were other movie stars milling around, exchanging greetings, engaging in enthusiastic banter (mainly for the cameras) and conducting interviews for the major networks, as my limo pulls up to the entrance of the 81st Academy Award ceremonies.
I sigh. Heavily. So, this is it. Finally, what I’d spent the better part of my 33 years working for was finally here. A nomination for Best Actor for what was undoubtedly one of the greatest movies of all time. And yet……I didn’t feel what I had always believed I would feel.
The critics had loved the movie, giving it high marks in their reviews; the audience even more so. For a movie that was more about reality, with little blockbuster tendencies, it had surpassed even box office standards for a ‘successful’ film. And now, as lead actor, my name was everywhere, “Adam Delaney delivers one of the most magical performances in cinema history- The New York Times “. Yeah, that was my personal favourite. Everybody loved the film, and everybody loved me…..and that is what I had wanted. For me to be recognized, and have my name in neon lights; my talent universally recognized on the world stage. I had been fully prepared to pay the price of fame…..or at least what I thought was ‘the price of fame’. But now I realized, I had no idea.
It had started with the paparazzi stalking; the endless interviews and photo shoots; the sudden appearance of unnecessary appendages in my life, calling themselves ‘security’, ‘consultants’, ‘stylists’, and what not, all paid for by my agent, who was so proud of his newest star. Hitherto, I had lived a quiet life, barely above the Hollywood radar, even though I was known for some of my previous film roles. But this was THE role, that would take my lifestyle from normal to a blitz of international headlines. And I had accepted it all in good faith.
Now, as I sat in the ridiculously cushioned back seat of the limousine, mulling everything over, I asked myself if it was worth it. Losing my life and my identity to the Hollywood monster; even my publicist had talked about ‘creating events to jazz my life up’, ‘making me more interesting’. His handsome but firm Hollywood-publicist face flashed in my mind as he said “Look son, this is Hollywood. The only way up is to keep yourself in the news. Bang some singer, have a child with a stripper, i dunno, SOMETHING. This artist-hermit lifestyle ain’t gonna cut it, son. It’ll only look good in a Vanity Fair story when you die. And it sure as hell ain’t time for that yet” he finished, flashing me his dazzling Hollywood-publicist smile.
The presenter at the entrance was talking into his camera and gesticulating toward my limousine, no doubt announcing that Adam Delaney, Hollywood’s new wonder boy, had arrived at the Oscars. But, it was too much, too much, TOO MUCH.
I took off my dark glasses and rubbed my eyes. Nah, i wasn’t coming out. But I had to keep my name in the news, hadn’t I? Well, that would not be much of a problem. The chauffeuer looked back, an ever so slightly impatient look on his face and said “aren’t you coming down sir?” I looked straight back at him and said “No. Please take me back to my hotel. NOW”. Bewildered he stared back, then pulled the gear lever down and moved off from the entrance. I glimpsed the confused looks on the faces of the fans and t.v presenters before the limo completed its full turn. And i could see tomorrows headlines ‘ADAM DELANEY SNUBS ACADEMY AWARDS’. There you go Mr. Publicist. My name’s in the news.