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Dreams of Stardom (Hollywood SI)

Troy Armitage knows that he was someone else before his birth in 1989. Yet, that didn't help him much when he was dealt a bad hand in life. A chance encounter led him to path that would make him the biggest superstar in the world. A showbiz story starting in 1997 and (hopefully) going all the way forward to 2020s if the readers keep supporting. Patreon Link: patreon.com/fableweaver PS: I have crossposted it on RoyalRoad, AO3, and Scribblehub. If you find it anywhere else, it's not me.

FableWeaver · Movies
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57 Chs

Ch-28

We didn't win the award for the best TV movie/ Miniseries. [From the Earth to the Moon], a miniseries produced by Tom Hanks won that one. My parents didn't mind it much (or at least that's what they portrayed in front of me.)

Then it was time for the event for which we had initially come here. The after party. Most of the studios hold their own parties and they are open for most celebrities, especially the winners. Seeing my age, my parents had told me with certainty that we would only be going to the party of Warner Bros./HBO as they would be our long-term collaborators.

I certainly didn't have a problem with that.

The party was exactly what you might be expecting from a Hollywood party. It was full of booze and beauty.

In short, it was super boring for me. Sure it had good food as well, but you could only eat so much before you would be seen as an uncultured glutton. Moreover, most adults didn't want to talk with a little kid of all people after an initial congratulations. 

"Troy!" Dad walked towards me from the group of men he was conversing with, "Come, I want you to meet someone."

I followed Dad dutifully, waving at my mother who was gossiping with some other lady. It was the third time of the day that Dad had dragged me away to talk with people. The first two times, they were some hotshot producers and executives from WB.

I didn't expect much this time.

Dad guided me towards a 40-something man with a very genial face, wearing square-cut glasses over his nose with an immaculate black suit.

"Chris, this is my son Troy. Troy, this is Chris Columbus, the director of [Home Alone] and its sequel," Dad explained with a mischievous smile at the end that most people who didn't know him would miss. He knew how much I loved [Home Alone]. So much so that I had recommended him to direct Harry Potter.

While he didn't know about my past/future knowledge that led to me recommending Chris, I can't deny that I love Chris' work.

"Congratulations on the win, Troy. I loved your work in [Sex Education]." Chris smiled at me while we shook hands.

"Thank you, Mr. Columbus. I love your movies as well. [Home Alone] and [Mrs. Doubtfire]."

"Call me Chris." He smiled warmly at me, "Tell me, Troy, is it true that you asked Steve here to buy the rights of Harry Potter?"

"Oh yes," I nodded, "I just loved the first book. I was probably one of its earliest readers and recommended Dad the book."

His smile widened at that, "You know what they say about actors? A good actor is not one who acts the best, but the one who chooses the best script. I think you can go very far if you keep that up."

I looked at him and the knowing smile he was giving me and turned towards Dad who also had this shit-eating grin on his face, "Didn't you say that Warner Bros. had to okay my casting first?"

"They did," Dad shrugged, "The last person I introduced you to, Barry Meyer, is the current COO of WB. He told me, that as long as you clear a basic screening test, they won't hold an audition for Harry. As usual, you have to keep quiet about the whole thing until we sign the contract and make an official announcement."

I stood there dumbfounded for a moment. That was much better news than receiving a Golden Globe. Hell, even an Oscar. If we weren't at a party surrounded by so many people, I'd be screaming my lungs out. But unfortunately, we were, so I just stood there, numb, not knowing how to react to the news.

"Troy, hey Troy!" Dad called me out.

"I think you broke him, Steve." Chris snickered from beside Dad. That was enough to snap me out of my stupor.

"That's the best news I've heard all day," I replied with the widest smile I've probably shown him, "And I won a Golden Globe today."

Dad and Chris laughed at that.

"So," I turned towards Chris, "Are you directing the movie?"

"I certainly hope so," Chris crossed his fingers as he said that, a little worried expression on his face.

"As far as I am concerned, you'll be the director Chris," Dad affirmed while placing a hand on Chris' shoulder. Then he turned to me, "This guy here has prepared detailed storyboards and written his own version of the script. It's just a matter of convincing the Warner management. Good kid actors that fit all the criteria of a role are so few, so Troy, your selection was easy for them to make. Good directors, as we all know, are many, they'll just need some convincing."

Chris just nodded, but his embarrassment was unmistakable.

"I hope we can work together on this movie Chris," I said with my utmost sincerity, making the man smile once more.

(Break)

I was back in Philly a couple days after the Golden Globe event. I had to give a few interviews that were set up by Barry Mendel for the pre-emptive promotion of [The Sixth Sense].

Luckily, there were no talk shows involved so it took just one day to complete them all. I must have been interviewed by at least 20 reporters, if not more, about the same topics one after another. It was nerve-wracking if I'm to be honest, but that's part of my job and slowly but surely, I'm getting used to the back-to-back interviews, or press junket as they call it.

And just like that, life went back to normal. I don't know what I was expecting, but is an award even worth it? After a few days, weeks, or months, does it matter to anyone but you that you won an inconsequential award? No one on set treated me differently than before. They congratulated me, sure, but that was that. That makes me think, why would anyone pay to have an award as inconsequential as

"Cole," Night's voice brought me out of my inner thoughts, "This scene is crucial to establish the supernatural element of the story. You get up at night to pee when you hear someone in the kitchen who you think is your mom, you go there only to find that it's a ghost. There won't be anyone actually there, it will all be added in the post-production. You just have one dialogue, 'Mama' and then after getting scared you'll run back to the red tent over there and hyperventilate and cry a little." He pointed down the hallway where the tent in question was made by the set designers.

"You get that?"

I nod slowly, getting in the mood of the scene. From what I remember about the scene, the ghost was a lady with her wrists slit. I can guess why they don't want to show that to a young kid.

For this scene, I was wearing a pair of tighty whities and a white vest, probably Cole's sleeping attire. It was weird moving around the set in just your undergarments, but then again I've done the shower scene in Sex Education so this is pretty tame compared to that.

As soon as I heard 'Action', I was in my character. I peeked a little from behind the door of my bedroom in the hallway, shivering a little. I opened the door while crossing my legs over my crotch and walked weirdly towards the bathroom because of the mounting pressure of pee.

I stood in front of the toilet with my hands on my crotch when I heard the sound from behind me, "Good Cole, now slowly turn with a slightly frightened face."

This scene was meant to have voices added later on so any commentaries from the director would be deleted in the post-production.

"Cut." Night's voice rang "That was good but could be a little better. Cole, bring in a little more uneasiness in your expression. Do it like this, think of the most horrible monster you've ever seen in a movie or somewhere else. Imagine it is standing right behind you. Can you do that?"

"Okay," I gave Night a nod and went back in my character when I heard Action.

Thinking of a frightening Lovecraftian creature standing right behind me, I slowly turned my head and looked at the person standing behind me. Or rather, the creature.

It was a hairy beast with a big snout and long pointy teeth. I did the thing that any sane person would do in the situation.

I screamed my lungs out in panic and fell back. Unluckily for me, behind me was the toilet and I kinda fell ass first into it.

"Hahahaha!" Laughter rang around the set as most of the crew including the director and even my mother were laughing at my reaction.

The said creature in question removed his costume mask to show it was Bruce Willis who was also laughing but he had the decency to come forth and get me out of the gross situation I had fallen in.

In retrospect, it was a funny prank. But I didn't feel like that at the moment.

"You all are bloody wankers!" I shouted at Bruce. That did nothing to lessen his laughter though.

"Language! Hahahaha!" Came the laughing rebuke from my mother.

Bruce just placed a hand on his chest, "Woah, sorry little man. They planned this." He pointed towards the crew and then asked in a somewhat serious tone, "You didn't hurt yourself, did you?"

I shrugged off his hand from my shoulder and turned towards Night and asked in a clipped tone, "Are we done for the day?"

"Yes, although…" I didn't hear what else he had to say and walked steadily in the direction of my trailer.

"Troy! Wait! At least wear something warmer before going out."

I didn't even look back at my Mum who was calling me again and again. And while it was indeed very cold, I just powered through it and soon reached my trailer. I ignored all the weird glances that people around me were throwing at me on the way. In my trailer, I quickly changed out of the ruined clothes and wore something cozy.

"Troy Armitage! That's no way to behave on the set!" I turned towards my mother who had a disappointed expression on her face.

"Oh really?" I gave her a bland look, "You always said you didn't want me to become an actor right? Guess what, you won. I quit. I won't shoot anymore."

"What!?" She exclaimed gobsmacked, "You're not making sense Troy. Just because of a prank? That's way too extreme a reaction."

"I don't think so," I replied nonchalantly, "I'm going to tell this to Night, you can come along if you want."

I started speed walking back towards the set where I knew Night and Bruce would be present as Bruce had a few scenes today as well. Mum tried to block my way to talk some sense into me, but I just took a detour around her.

"I quit!" I announced loudly, stunning everyone present on the set from Night to Bruce to even the crew members roaming around.

"As per my contract, I can quit filming if I find it to be detrimental to my health, physical or otherwise. Earlier when I fell over, I think I bruised my hip and the whole situation was very damaging for my mental health, so I quit." I stopped my rant to see that almost everyone was staring at me in shock.

Surprisingly my mother was quiet this time and didn't comment on my declaration.

"Come on Cole…" Night began.

"My name," I cut him off loudly, "Is Troy Armitage. As I have quit filming, you can go back to calling me that."

"Look Troy," Bruce stepped forward with his hands held high, as if in a defensive position, "we all are very sorry for what happened earlier. I didn't know that…" He trailed off at the end.

"That I would behave like a total lunatic and quit acting over a prank gone wrong, right?" I asked sarcastically.

Bruce winced and that was all the confirmation I needed.

"Troy," Night slowly walked towards me, "It's my fault. I had planned the prank, but it was only to lighten the mood on the set. It was no intention of anyone to harm you in any manner. Please forgive me. As a director, I shouldn't have encouraged nor initiated any disruptive behavior on the set."

Then Night joined his hands in an apology and bent at his waist.

sigh

They couldn't even let me have a little fun. I turned towards Bruce who was eyeing me curiously to see my next reaction.

"You're right of course. Only a lunatic would leave a movie over a prank." I retorted with a devilish grin, amused at the sudden realizations all around, especially the director, "Or do you think you guys can pull a prank over a helpless 10-year-old boy and expect no retribution?"

Night heaved out a loud sigh of relief and fell down to his knees, "Oh my God! I thought we'd have to shelve the movie! You scared the crap out of me kid!"

I shrugged my shoulders, "There's no such clause in my contract, I just made some shit up!"

"Language!" Mum smacked me on the top of my head lightly, "And for the record, I had realized that a little late, but I did. I negotiated your contract after all and there wasn't such an easy exit clause."

Bruce laughed heartily at our dynamics, "Glad that's all sorted out then."

I gave him a deadpan look and turned towards Night. Had he not asked for forgiveness so pathetically, I wouldn't have caved in so early.

"So, is my scene really over or is there something left?" I asked to break the awkwardness.

He coughed loudly, "Oh yeah yeah, your first take was great. You can go back if you want."

"Come on Mum," I motioned towards my mother who gladly accompanied me back to our residence.

___________________________

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