My Week With K
I guess it is time for another long story. Thanks for being patient as it takes a great deal of time to make sure not too much is revealed, but at the same time making sure everyone is still entertained.
This story revolves around an A list actor. I know we have arguments about who is and who is not A list, but this actor who is 60+ (very broad here, but think more on the + side) is A list forever. Many, many movies, some television and awards and accolades from everywhere.
Litigation usually involves many documents and in this case both sides had demanded and produced tons of documents. K and I went through many of the relevant ones together so there would be no surprises at his deposition or at trial if it came to that. Having K there to help sift through all the documents was supposed to be helpful because he was aging and so looking at the documents again was supposed to refresh his memory and he could also advise me if something is missing, etc.
For one solid week I had this actor in the same room with me and thus learned way more than I wanted to about him, his social life, his vices, his hygiene, and his women. I am not predisposed to be awestruck by any celebrity, but this actor’s presence screamed "you will notice me and bow down before me."
The very first thing I noticed about K was that he enjoyed swearing and did so frequently. He was extremely fond of swearing loudly while I was on the phone or while I was trying to get something completed and needed to concentrate. His words were not limited to the basics, but were part of a much larger association of words that all flowed together into one large cuss word. The swearing was usually interjected with how K was smarter, funnier, better looking or thinner than the offending party.
K wanted to start each morning by about 7am and he was drinking steadily by about 7:40 or so. He kept a flask on him and would start each day with a swig straight from the flask and then just use it as "cream" for his coffee the remainder of the morning. Generally at lunch he would wander out of my office, look for the closest person and order them to the liquor store for a bottle of Midleton Very Rare whiskey. Never heard of it? Well neither had any of us. It is about $140 a bottle and is not easy to find. Of course K did not offer any money at all to the poor person assigned this task. I guess he assumed it would be added to his bill. In any event someone would get it for him and all afternoon he would give up any pretense of a flask or "cream" and just drink it straight, although from the coffee cup instead of a glass. Incidentally when I went to his hotel room one evening in response to a call which I will discuss shortly he had 4 or 5 empty Glenfiddich 40 year old bottles lined up on a desk. Each of those is about $2500 and I hate to think who paid for those.
Beginning about 2pm or so, K would start using the phone. He was looking for who he would "get the honor of sleeping with him that night." Well apparently no matter how much he paid, the honor was not something most of them wanted to repeat, hence the calling which often lasted several hours. I should clarify that as far as I know he actually never exchanged sex for money. In fact, most of the time women wanted to sleep with him the FIRST time. It was after the first time that he would end up having to buy them gifts or something else to convince them to join him again. K did not have a Blackberry or a cellphone. K had a big black book. A very big black book with all types of comments and notations next to entries. He either made very good notes, had a great memory or was full of shit, because he always had a comment about each person in the book. There were several hundred names in the book and considering his shaky memory, handwriting, and drinking it astonishes me to this day to think he could remember them all. His comments were not the "oh she was a nice girl who loved the opera." They were all related to the various parts of their anatomy and how they behaved in bed. K was and is married, but as he put it the first time I asked how his wife was, he said she is great but her pxxsy is not.
K’s calls also included those to everyone he ever knew on any movie no matter where they were located in the world. He would start telling a story about someone and then forget a detail and have to call that person to get the detail and then would call back the original person to finish the story. If someone was unavailable to take his call, he would harangue them to the extent that whoever was on the other end of the phone always gave in and did whatever they could for K. Calls were made to his bookies. He had more than one because he enjoyed them competing for his business and also if one did not accept his call immediately, he was on to the next bookie.
Since K did not live in LA, this week with me was his time of freedom as he put it. He needed something fresh and new as he was tired of what he was currently getting. When women would come into the office it was so embarrassing watching him and listening to him, but most of the women seemed to enjoy the attention at least the first time. It was not even that they enjoyed his attention. They loved it and were very flattered at first. As the week wore on though, everyone grew weary of his behavior and after 3pm everyday the women all knew to stay out of his reach as well.
After 7 hours of drinking, he was not generally very quick, but he was still strong. If he caught you, you were going to spend some time sitting on K’s lap enjoying his eau de whiskey and his horrific body odor. At the end of the week, the office needed to be cleaned. He would change clothes everyday (his clothes and tailoring were impeccable) and that was about the limit of his hygiene as far as I could tell. K acted inappropriately almost every second of the day, but because of who he is and was, no one was going to say anything.
The problem, especially in his case is that times have changed but K has not. All celebrities to some extent suffer from this issue. The higher on the list you are, the more you suffer from it. Celebs just become so accustomed to having their whims granted and it is constantly reinforced after years and years that they really know, no other behavior. Combine that with how Hollywood was when K was in his prime and the problem is just magnified. When K was in his prime he could do anything, commit any crime short of murder and probably get away with it. When the roles stop coming, the learned behaviors do not also stop and so what was tolerated before becomes almost offensive. K had age on his side and his legacy which really helped.
While he was in LA, K felt free to call me at anytime of the night. He continued this habit even after returning home which resulted in a cell phone change which I have said before is not unusual for me. On his third night in LA, K called me in a panic at about 1am. He told me I needed to hurry over because he had a big problem and had no idea how to fix it. I tried to ask him what was wrong and if it could wait until the morning, but K would have none of that. He wanted me over there now and started to swear at me and only stopped when he took a breath.
As I got dressed and drove over my imagination was in high gear. Had he killed the girl he was with that night or did he have the cops there? What was I going to see when I got there to the hotel? The drive only took a couple of minutes as I lived very close to this hotel choice unlike his choice of the previous night. On this particular night he was staying at the Wilshire Grand. K changed hotels every night depending on what he was hungry for. On that night he had wanted Korean food so had stayed there because they have a Korean restaurant in the hotel.
The previous night he had a craving for snails and Norwegian salmon and there was only one place to satisfy his craving. The problem was it was in Malibu. This would not normally be a problem for me. However, K hated limos and thought they were pretentious. (He of the $2500 bottles of whiskey) He wanted someone to drive him from the office. He was dissatisfied with his first driver and so he volunteered me.
For those of you not familiar with LA and who think Malibu is right next to everything, you are wrong. It is a really long drive from downtown LA and made so more by the fact that every hour in LA is rush hour. I spent many, many hours in the car that day with him and still wake up sweating thinking of it. He had comments about every person and car he saw and how they reminded him of so and so. He never wavered and just kept talking non-stop. The only bright spot was in the afternoon, he wanted to sit in back and sprawl out because he had been drinking all day. The next morning, everyone in the office was under instructions to talk about food and hotels within a 5 mile radius of my place.
When I arrived at his suite he was wearing only a robe, his hair was wild, and he had for him a terrified expression on his face which was really pale. The girl of the night was not to be seen which only raised my anxiety about what was going on here in the middle of the night..
To be continued...
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
My Week With K