I had not planned on doing this, and in some recess of my mind had forgotten I had even written this, but someone asked me this week about Cannes and the long blind item I had written about Cannes. I wrote it almost two years ago which made me realize how long I have been writing this blog. The time has just flown by. Anyway, with Cannes just finishing, I thought this would be the perfect time to revisit this wild item. I have included the link in case you want to see what the original guesses were.
CR Goes AWOL
As you can probably tell from some of the other long blind items, much of my early legal career consisted of being a highly paid gofer or fix it person. It's not like I was the only one, there were several of us who when we were not wading through thousands upon thousands of discovery documents were assigned to make sure so and so got to court or to his deposition or went to homes to pick up legal documents and made sure they were signed. And when I mean signed, I mean signed by the actual party that was supposed to sign them and not someone's housekeeper because the actual party had been on a 72 hour coke binge and couldn't even hold a pen. This is the weirdest one of the getting someone sober incidents I have been involved in, but they happen everyday. Everyday. There is no difference between regular folks and celebrity folks except that when celebrity folks get trashed out of their minds they are often responsible for hundreds of jobs and there are millions of dollars involved.
Big film festivals were part of the daily grunt work. At a film festival, especially an international one, deals are done for new films and international distribution agreements are also hammered out. Usually these deals are done in a more intricate game of swapping then the guy who traded up from a paperclip to a house.
Whenever there are deals to be done there are attorneys, managers, agents, and the people to make sure all the copies are done. I suppose it would be less expensive for a minimum wage college kid to do it, but if I did it, then you could charge somebody $400 an hour. Remember film accounting.
So a few years ago, I along with my fellow brethren were sitting in Cannes. Ahh, movie stars, photo calls and big hotels. Well when you think of me at Cannes you have to imagine two guys, and sometimes three in a room designed for one very small individual. Added to the fact that I'm 400 pounds and sweat profusely when there is no a/c and you can see why my peers weren't too thrilled to be sharing a room with me. Did I mention I have IBS? OK, I don't, but that would have added to their fun no doubt.
So anyway, there is going to be huge movie debuting at Cannes with lots of stars and one hugely popular director. Not as popular in the States, but you know those French. They love this guy. The director has been away scouting locations in Poland for an upcoming film but was due into Cannes three days previously. No one knows exactly where in Poland he is, and the powers that be are getting anxious. Very anxious. As in anxious that millions of dollars could be pissed away because the whacked out hack of a director can't be found. (Earlier in the week he was the creative visionary who was eccentric)
One star of the film who has worked with CR before has been summoned to try and find the director but either she (former A list actress and hottie) doesn't know or isn't saying. At this point someone remembers that said star and I have known each other for awhile and that maybe she will tell me what she won't reveal to anyone else. Yes, I know her, but one forced six hour plane ride years previously is not the same as coming over for some 400 pound loving. She doesn't know.
Then one night, the director's long time assistant calls and says that the director is holed up in Krakow and has fallen in love. He doesn't want to leave and has decided to stay there. So, because of my two degree of separation which doesn't even exist I am sent to Krakow to meet up with the assistant and get the director to Cannes.
Well getting from Cannes isn't that easy. Of course I don't get a private jet. What I get is a 3 connection flight from Nice that gets me into Krakow at 3am. What was nice early summer weather in Cannes is actually some freezing late spring weather in Krakow and the assistant doesn't meet me at the dinky (sorry Krakow) airport and so I'm forced to find a place to crash.
When I call the assistant the next morning he apologizes for not coming to pick me up, but had been thrown in jail the night before for getting into a fight at a bar. When he picks me up in the early afternoon the swollen lip and missing tooth are a nice touch.
So, as we make our way to the new home of CR, the assistant filled me in on what happened. It seems that the director went to a bar in Krakow which was designed basically to remove as much money from a patron's pocket as possible while getting the patron drunk. Topless bartenders and waitresses sit down with the patron and get them to buy $25 drinks which allows the patron to spend time with the topless worker. Our director doesn't speak any Polish and his worker didn't speak any English, but somehow the director was convinced they were in love. The fact that that the director dropped several thousand dollars in one night probably didn't hurt in his quest for her love either. It certainly isn't his ravishing good looks.
Well, we get to the tiny apartment and the first thing that assaults me is the smell of sweat and stale urine. I also see the new girlfriend tapping a vein in her arm in preparation for her visit to H land. Turns out she had used some of the CR windfall to go on a major H bender. I want to make it clear that I didn't see CR using H or have any reason to suspect he did or does. I will say that he was a mess though. He was always a frenetic, frantic person but was at this point in some type of lets say drunken haze.
I told him basically that people were worried about him and then in my legalese told him that he had certain obligations and responsibilities which he needed to fulfill in order to avoid any possible consequences in the future..blah blah blah. It was a bunch of crap, but thought I would give it a shot. He started blathering and I do mean blathering which was babbling and drooling and spitting as he spoke about his new vision for a Polish cinema and how he was inspired and a whole bunch of other crap which made no sense. He mentioned that his H shooting friend and he were going to get married and become a great team. His future wife didn't look like she was going to make it through the week, let alone be a part of this great film making team.
He said that no one he had spoken to was familiar with his work and that he wanted to start a film festival there to show his works and those of other similar directors. I don't know where he got all this from because sitting in that very tiny apartment was a medium size television with a DVD player and about 30 DVD's at least one of which was a film by him. This guy was in seriously bad shape and because I didn't know him and didn't know if this was normal behavior when he got wasted I didn't know if he was going to die on me or be perfectly sober in a few hours. His assistant said he hadn't seen CR like this before but thought it was because they had been drinking homemade vodka and not store bought. Whatever. I could already see that there were no drugs involved, and that it was going to be some bad vodka he ingested while scouting for his latest film. Well that's what the story would be if something got out.
The problem I faced was how to get him out. He wasn't going to go if I said we needed to go to Cannes and there was no way I could carry him and I still didn't know if he was too sick to travel or what. What I suggested was that we go out for food and let his girlfriend have some time for herself as I looked at her sitting in a chair with these absolutely vacant eyes.
CR looked at the girl and I guess decided he was hungry and so we helped him up and out of the apartment with all of us ignoring the lovely urine stain on CR's pants. When we got outside, I swear there has never been a breath I have enjoyed taking more. I can still remember it vividly.
CR was basically compliant and we walked down the street for a good ways until we came to the central square and found a place with some heat lamps and ate outside. At first CR wouldn't eat anything but as we stayed there for several hours, CR began to eat and to regain some of his regular traits. Basically the three of us sat there people watching for the entire time although the assistant and I would make comments about some of the people and eventually even CR joined in. He still blathered, but it was more babbling, then blather and I knew that if I could keep him away from his “girlfriend's” place that I could get him to Cannes.
We started talking about his film that was going to be at Cannes at I got him to talk about it and try and remember what he loved about it and how people loved him in France and just became a bigger kiss ass than Larry King could ever dream to be.
At some point, I went to find a phone. (Yes, no cell) I made a call to Cannes and it turns out they already had a jet ready and waiting for CR at Krakow airport to bring him to Cannes. I explained the situation and they said they would handle it once I got him on the plane. When I got back to the pair, I suggested a taxi ride to see the city and CR agreed and the next thing you know, we are at the dinky airport and he basically just let his assistant guide him to the plane. I actually freaked out at one point about CR's passport, but the assistant had it in the backpack he had been carrying and had never let go of even when he had been arrested the night before. He said the police never bothered to search it or take it from him.
So the two got on the plane, and I got to go back to LA with not even a thank you and not even in Business Class, the cheap bastards. The film went on to be one of the highest grossing films of the year.