We finished shooting last night at ten and the male lead, not Ashton Kutcher, asked me if I wanted to grab a drink on the way home. We stopped at Noir Bar in Maison 140 on Lasky Drive, and by the time I returned from the bathroom, nAshton had two attractive UCLA premed students lounging back on those red cushions in front of the lacquered wall panels. Anne and Carole. I sat down next to nAshton and he introduced me to them and told me that he’d ordered champagne and did I mind? I didn’t.
When the bottle arrived, he immediately ordered another and we emptied the first before the second got there. The talk was small. In fact, it wasn’t talk, it was banter. Then, nAshton’s phone played a little tune, he answered, he spoke, he snapped the phone shut, apologized, and was gone.
“I’ve never met a star before,” Anne said. “Not to talk to, even though I grew up in Woodland Hills.”
“I shook Don Knotts’ hand,” Carole said, “but he was old and unwell.”
“Isn’t nAshton in a relationship?” Anne asked me.
“That wouldn’t stop him,” I said.
“I was already dreading the moment he made his move,” she said.
“It would have been painless,” I said. “You with several more glasses in you.”
They put down their flutes and eyed me.
“I’m older than your fathers,” I said. “I’m here for a drink.”
“What’s it like, working with the stars?” Carole said. “Are they different from the rest of us?”
“Probably not,” I said, “but I’m different when I’m with them. Sitting here with you, I feel almost normal.”
“So you were going to say no?” Carole said to Anne.
“Absolutely. Well, maybe take it one step further, but no more.”
“One step further and you’re in his house,” Carole said.
“Once you’re in his house, it’s hard to say no,” Carole said.
“He’s done this a hundred times,” I said. “Probably more. There is never a good moment to say no.”
“Then I guess we dodged a bullet,” Anne said. “Whew.”
We finished the second bottle and I ended up inviting them over to the lot to watch a scene being shot.
“The only thing is,” I said, “you’re both remarkably attractive, not to mention bright. If nAshton sees you there, he’s liable to ask you to do this again.”
“We’ll say no,” Anne said.
“He’ll be in costume. Made up. A very, very impressive guy on set.”
“We might go for a drink with him” Anne said., “but that’s it.”