The original chapter one is here. This one is the re-write, which is much better, in my opinion. Please let me know what you think. You can also read the new one on FFnet if you wish. (It’s taking awhile to replace the chapter there so you might have to wait a few minutes) xxx
Steph shook my shoulder until I woke up. My legs felt numb from the position I was sleeping in on her couch and my black, Salvador Dali hair was in my eyes when I blinked them open.
"Morning." She smiled. "Ready for the audition today? You should look over some stuff before you go. I didn’t get the book, but…-" She kept talking as she walked out of the room to get something, then back in. I stopped listening, not quite awake enough to pay attention yet.
I sighed, my mind clicking the days and events together. Today was the “Twilight” audition. An audition for a perfect vampire boyfriend with a chiseled body. Perfect.
I still hadn’t spoken a word when she came back in and slapped the script on my stomach. I wasn’t much of a talker in the morning and my night of sleep was less than pleasurable, only making me more mum.
"I’m driving you there at seven tonight. You’re the last one. It’s ten in the morning now… do your homework!" She laughed to herself as she left the room, telling me she was going to run some errands.
I got up quickly after, scared that if I closed my eyes again, I would fall back asleep.
I sat on the couch with my shoulders hunched over for a minute, listening to the ragged breaths of my hangover. I went out the previous night, mourning yet another failed audition. Nothing was coming together. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I grabbed a cigarette from the coffee table and lit it up, taking it out on the porch with my laptop and the script.
I hadn’t done any research for this audition because it was so out of the realm of possibility, but I thought now was as good a time as any to start.
First, I looked up Catherine Hardwicke, the director. She had made a couple of indie films that did generally all right as far as critics went. I didn’t feel like watching any of them, but they didn’t look bad. Teen movies, mostly. I also looked up an interview and photos of her. She seemed eccentric and, in her interview, highly energetic. Almost like she took a few too many hits from the crack pipe. I liked her.
She’d called me one time to personally ask me to come in, but it was before I was considering it and I was drunk, so I couldn’t really add anything coherent or interesting to the conversation. She talked enough for the both of us, though.
Catherine had me pretty sold on going to the audition by that point, but I wanted to see who the main actress was, so I typed her name into Youtube. I wanted to see an interview first, if there was one. Kristen Stewart I whispered to myself, my cigarette dangling from my lips as I typed, then pressed enter.
I clicked the very first interview. She was blonde, well-spoken, kind of… quiet. But there was something there, behind her eyes. She was really thinking.
I clicked another interview. They were both for the same movie, Into the Wild, and as soon as I was finished, I went and purchased the movie on iTunes. Firstly because I wanted to see what she was like as an actress and secondly because I was genuinely interested in this girl’s work after hearing her speak about it.
About halfway through the film, she was introduced. In her first scene, she sang. She had the sweetest voice. And she was playing guitar as well. When the scene was over, I watched it back. The mark of a good actress is usually when they can do a lot with such a small role and she had me after being on my screen for three minutes.
I continued watching and continually kept replaying her parts, trying to pick up on her acting style, anything.
It ended up taking me almost three hours to finish the two hour movie.
I called Stephanie when I was done. “Steph, can you get back here quick? I want you to read through this thing with me.”
"Um, sure?" She sounded hesitant, but enthused at my newfound eagerness.
I hung up the phone and got in the shower.
I started pacing around the living room once I was dressed, with the script. I was reading the lines, trying to imagine some way that this character was portrayable, but couldn’t.
I tried picturing him as a crazy person. “Maybe their relationship is all completely operated by him. He’s controlling her with his mind control. She doesn’t even know it!”
Steph shook her head. “No, Rob. I don’t think they’re going to like that… I think it’s supposed to be lighter than that. A love story.”
After talking it out with Stephanie for a couple of hours, I couldn’t grasp any concepts that made sense to me. I was terrified. And now, on top of being worried about my performance, I was also getting jittery about meeting Kristen Stewart.
My phone rang while I was pouring myself a bit of cereal. It was almost four o’clock and I didn’t have to be there until seven, but it was Catherine calling.
"Hello?" I answered, nervous. Was she going to tell me that got their guy? I didn’t need to come in? I felt like I was going to cave in on myself. I was suddenly so interested in getting this job, meeting Kristen, finally doing something with my career, and she was going to deny me the chance? Fuck.
"Rob!! Hey! How are you? Did you forget about us yet?" She laughed maniacally. My hair stood up on the back of my neck.
"Um…" I paused a minute. "The audition is at seven, right? I’ll be there." I said, putting the box of cereal back in the cabinet.
Fuck fuck fuck.
"Actually, the others went short and Kristen and I wanna get this thing going so come as soon as you can and bring your A game!!" She laughed again.
"My what game?" I asked, confused.
"Your… oh forget it! Just come as soon as you can. Cool?"
"Yeah, yeah…I’ll try to leave within the hour." I was so caught off guard, but I didn’t want to say no. I was planning on having more time to freak myself out.
As soon as I hung up the phone, my mind started racing. I had no idea how I was going to play it and Kristen was so good, she would probably give me one look and know that I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
"How many others auditioned?" I asked Stephanie, who was sitting on the couch.
"I think she said two… three maybe, I don’t remember. Why?"
"Do you know who the main actress is? She’s really, really good. I wish I’d checked sooner. I wanted to watch more of her films, but I didn’t have time today…"
"Kristen - yeah." She smiled, as if she knew her.
"You’ve met her?"
"No. But, I like her work too."
I nodded. I took a bite of cereal and then poured the rest into the trash. I was too nervous to eat.
"I heard you on the phone. Do you want to leave now?"
I felt a bit of sweat on my forehead. It wasn’t hot. I was just in the beginning stage of a panic attack. Normal, standard procedure for me before auditions, but this was even worse than usual.
"I don’t think I can go through with it." My next stage, the stage where I doubt myself so much and try to get someone to agree with me. Then, when they do, it motivates me to prove them wrong.
Steph never agreed, though. She encouraged. It took longer, but it worked too.
I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and, while in there, helped myself to one Valium from the medicine cabinet. I had done it before auditions in the past and Steph knew it. Though it had never worked, I thought I would embarrass myself completely in front of Kristen if I didn’t take it at all.
The car ride to Catherine’s was too short. Her house was in Venice, not far from where Steph lived. I was freaking out by the time we pulled up.
Imagine if I hadn’t taken the Valium.
I clutched the script in my hand as I walked up to the door. I thought to myself that it was good how worn it had looked from my one day of prep. I was clawing at it all day and it looked like I had really gotten into it.
I knocked on the door, Steph lagged behind me.
Catherine shouted from inside the house. “It’s open!!!!!” Her voice was even more loud and energetic then it was in the interview I watched of her.
I awkwardly made my way through the front door. “In here, baby!” She screamed.
All right, now this was getting a little weird.
I made my way to the source of the echoing, screechy voice and she was standing there, in her dining room, setting up a camera.
"HEY!" Her voice boomed.
She shook my hand and then wrapped her arms around me, into a hug. “Rob, nice to meet you.” I said, smiling.
“Great to meet you too. I’m Catherine.” Her smile was gigantic and wicked, but kind.
"I’m just settin’ up here. Kristen’s out back, right through the sliding doors. Go say hi and then come on in here and we’ll get goin’!"
I returned her smile and grabbed a chunk of my hair from out of my eyes, pushing it back as I walked out the back doors.
Kristen’s back was to me. I heard her voice as I walked down the three steps. I tried to make more noise as I walked down them so she wouldn’t get startled, but she didn’t hear me.
She was on the phone. Shit.
I cowardly went back inside and spoke to Catherine. Kristen didn’t see me.
"She was on the phone, I didn’t want to interrupt her."
"Oh, please!" She laughed and I laughed along with her. I felt slightly more comfortable with her huge energy in the room, but I knew it would change once Kristen joined in. I would be too intimidated.
After a few minutes of small talk, I asked Catherine why she had sent me the script and wanted me to audition. I was curious because I didn’t look the part and I had never played anything similar that would justify considering me.
"We got you from the Harry Potter series. You’re hot, dude! And you were awesome as Cedric!" She flipped one of her pig tail braids behind her shoulder and then averted her gaze to the sliding doors as I heard them being opened.
"Hey. Sorry. Why didn’t you come get me?" A soft voice asked, looking at Catherine.
"You were on the phone! But it’s ok, we had a good talk." Catherine winked at me. We hadn’t talked about much at all, but we were getting along, which was important for actor/director relationships. I was starting out all right.
Kristen gave me a smile and offered a hand. “I’m Kristen.”
I reached my hand out and met her gaze. I hadn’t noticed how green her eyes were in Into the Wild. They were much brighter in person. She was beautiful.
The handshake was weak. We both let our hands fall quickly.
With that, Stephanie came into the room. She was smiling in from the doorway and after greeting Catherine and Kristen quickly, she left, telling me she was staying close by to get me whenever I was finished. I felt like a little school boy.
"You don’t drive?" Kristen asked.
I pushed my hair out of my eyes to look at her, but found it hard to keep eye contact because of my nerves, so I probably looked like a crazy person. “No… well, not in America. Barely in London either, but not at all here.” I rambled quietly.
"Right." She gave me a small smile.
"Come here, both of you!" Catherine said in her shouty voice, interrupting us.
We walked over to the two chairs opposite each other in the dining room and Catherine sat at the head of the table, between us.
I grabbed my crumpled up script from the table and showed them both some things that I’d annotated in the margin.
"You think he’s a psychopath?" Kristen asked.
"Well that… I meant to get rid of that." I laughed nervously. I really did think he was a psychopath, but I thought that would be a deal breaker for getting cast in this thing.
"No, man. Stick to what you think."
I was startled by her sudden sternness. Before that, she was very softly spoken about everything I’d written.
I spoke a bit more about what I really thought of Edward and Kristen agreed with me. Catherine, for the first time, was silent. She was letting us go back and forth. We were in agreement on almost everything about the characters. Interesting things that I hadn’t even realized about them, Kristen was bringing to my attention. I was becoming even more interested and invested in wanting this part as the minutes went on, because of Kristen.
Catherine cut us off mid-discussion, which was good, because I felt like I could have gone on talking to Kristen about new ideas forever. It was a great feeling, one I hadn’t had about a film in a long time - or ever.
"We’re going to move to the bedroom for a chemistry test." Catherine gave an evil laugh. Kristen shook her head. I felt like I was missing something.
"The kissing scene." Kristen muttered. She was walking in front of me. I followed close behind and for the first time realized what she was wearing. My eyes traveled down her back which was covered with a grey t-shirt, knotted in the front. She had on skin tight jeans and a pair of blue sneakers.
In a strange way, the thing I was liking the most about her was how cool she was. She was quiet, but not because of shyness, but in a laid back way. She welcomed all of my crazy ideas, adding in her own insights. She was reeling me in second by second. I was too intrigued by this girl.
When we got into the bedroom, my mind came back to the present space. I was going to get to kiss Kristen in just minutes. I started getting nervous again.
I grabbed at my hair and started moving around anxiously.
Catherine grabbed both of our scripts and flipped to the page.
"I don’t need it." Kristen said.
"Oh yeah, you’ve done it a whole bunch before this." I looked up just as Catherine winked at Kristen, who responded with a shake of her head.
I was getting jealous and I wanted so badly to make this good. I wanted this part more and more. Or Kristen. Or something, anything.
Kristen got onto the bed and Catherine focused the camera on her. I got onto the bed next, going over the first line in my head in an American accent.
"And… ACTION!" Catherine yelled from behind the lens once Kristen and I were ready.
"What are you doing here?" Kristen asked, crawling toward me. I inched closer in time with her.
I imagined what Edward was feeling in that moment, with her in such a close proximity, and acted out as I thought he would, ignoring the line in the script before the kiss. He wouldn’t be able to resist the girl in front of him and I couldn’t either.
I leaned in quickly, grabbing Kristen’s wrist. I pulled her hand around my neck and maneuvered myself on top of her on the bed, kissing her harshly. It wasn’t the way that I kissed. It was needier. Quicker.
I pulled her back up again, letting my hands feel around over the top of her shirt. Catherine quickly called “CUT!!” as soon as she saw my hands.
"W-O-W!!" Catherine screamed, annunciating every letter. "That was… something. But I can’t show that to anyone at the studio. Are you crazy?!"
I laughed nervously, fiddling with my hair. I looked to Kristen who was staring at Catherine and fixing her shirt which had ridden up on her stomach. She was still catching her breath and I was too.
"All right. Well, is there anything in particular that I should be changing?"
"No." Kristen answered quickly. "That felt good." She paused a minute, smiling when she realized how that sounded. "I mean, it felt right. It was good.”
I looked at her, raising a brow, then to Catherine.
"I’m sure it did, Kristen." Catherine laughed. "But, this is going to be PG-13! Not NC-17! Tone it down a little. Other than that, it was fantastic. Chem-is-try!" She laughed. "Let’s go again, from the top."
Kristen and I positioned ourselves on the bed for another take. This time I didn’t get on top of her. I stayed on my knees and kissed her slower, more gently, carefully.
Catherine seemed to like that, so I did it again the next time and she liked that even more.
"Ok, that one was great!" She chimed. "I think we can move on to the next scene."
Well, fuck. If I had known we weren’t going to do it again, I would have kissed Kristen how I wanted to for the last one.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed and hung my head, thinking for a minute. Catherine had already left the room, but Kristen was just getting to the doorway. “You all right?”
I wasn’t all right. I was overwhelmed. It felt good and right, like Kristen said, which was making the audition all the more nerve wracking. I hadn’t ever wanted a part so badly.
I looked up to meet her gaze and pushed my hair back. “Yeah, I’m good.” I paused. “You?” I asked, to be polite.
"Yes…" I was definitely weirding her out. Not good.
There was a pause. I was looking down, but I felt her looking at me. “Catherine’s waiting.”
I laughed nervously, apologizing, and got to my feet, then followed her down the hall, back to the dining room.
This time Kristen sat beside me and Catherine remained at the head of the table. She was laughing a lot and she would rub her arm against mine when she did. My laugh was guarded. I didn’t know how to act. But, her laughter was reassuring. Everything in this audition was seemingly too good to be true, and from past experience, I was trained to believe that meant it was.
After we talked for awhile longer, Catherine brought us outside to do the ‘garden scene.’
I played Edward the way I did in the last two takes of the kissing scene, imagining Kristen as a tiny, breakable thing that he had to be careful not to get too close to. Catherine loved it and Kristen seemed satisfied with each take, eyeing Catherine for more. I didn’t know if it was good or bad that she wanted to keep doing it, but I wasn’t going to complain.
"All right, Rob. It’s been over four hours, I think we’ve got enough!" Catherine said, smiling.
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to leave, not knowing if I’d done enough to get the part. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Kristen. It felt wrong to say goodbye to her. I wanted to know her and I was unsure if I ever would get that chance.
I said goodbye to Catherine reluctantly, thanking her for her time and the opportunity politely. She promised that she would be in touch, regardless of the outcome. “I really like you; you did great.” She assured me. It was always awkward in auditions because, though Catherine had a lot of say, the studio had to also agree with her, so she couldn’t tell me one way or the other immediately.
I lingered in conversation with Catherine for as long as possible, trying to show her my interest, and then turned around to say goodbye to Kristen.
"I’ll walk you out front. I’m leaving too." She nudged me and then hugged Catherine, whispering something in her ear that I couldn’t hear. Catherine smirked at her and tapped her butt when she walked away.
"Ready?" I asked. Rhetorical. We started to walk. "Do you see all of your eligible candidates off to the front door?" I laughed.
"You would be the first." She smiled.
"Am I the last?"
I grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket and started to dial Stephanie’s number.
"I could give you a ride." Kristen offered, before I could finish dialing. "Where are you staying?"
"I actually wouldn’t even know how to get there…" I laughed.
I finished calling her, realizing what a dumb ass move that was. We could have drove around aimlessly until we found Steph’s place. I wouldn’t have minded the extra time, but I was an idiot, and I spoke too quickly for my brain to register the possibilities of that scenario.
When I hung up the phone, Kristen started talking, asking me questions. I thought this was a good sign. Why would she want to get to know me if I wasn’t going to be getting the part?
I asked her about Into the Wild, telling her how much I liked it. I left out the part where it was the final thing that made me come to this audition even though that’s what I wanted to tell her. She wasn’t good with taking my compliments, but I think she knew I was being sincere.
When Steph pulled up, I quickly handed her my phone and asked her to put her number in it. “I’m not exactly Edward-looking, so I know it’s likely I’m not going to be approved by the studio for this thing…” I trailed off. “I still think we should work together, though.” I laughed.
She got the point and put in her number. “I do too. Don’t be so down on yourself, dude. I have a say too.”
With a cheeky smile, she waved goodbye, and that was that.
If I didn’t grow balls for five seconds and ask for her number, it would have been the most defeated moment of my life, but instead, I was feeling better than I had in ages.
~Middle of the night/Early morning~
The light from the laptop was making my eyes squint.
I’d read over my e-mail a million times before I finally sent it. It was desperate to e-mail Catherine, almost begging for the role, but I had to do everything I could or I’d never forgive myself.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Kristen. There was no moment in the audition where I felt a connection to her; I felt it the whole time. From the moment I saw her out in Catherine’s garden with her back to me, to the minute I said goodbye. There was something there and I wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
So I sent the desperate e-mail.
And I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night, constantly refreshing my inbox. Unfortunately, Catherine was probably sleeping much easier than me; and therefore, would not see it for at least a few hours.
At five in the morning, I went for a jog to kill some time, and because I was going to have to start getting in better shape if I actually got this thing.
When I got back to Steph’s house, she was sitting at the table, with coffee ready for me. She was really motherly - or more like an aunt or something. She was too cool and young to be my mother.
"Do you want to talk about it or just wait?" She asked when I sat down. She knew that I often didn’t like discussing auditions, usually because I felt so horribly about them.
"I feel really good about this thing. Not like I definitely got it, but for the first time, I really think I should get it.”
"Hopefully they make the right decision. You and Kristen seemed to get along well." She sipped her coffee, looking up to me.
"She was the best-" I paused for a moment, searching for what I wanted to say. I never usually got tongue-tied, especially with Stephanie, who I was completely comfortable with. "I never auditioned with anyone as good as her. She was amazing. If I don’t get this, I’m going to audition for every movie she is in from now on, no others." I laughed.
"I think that might get you a restraining order."
About an hour passed. I took a shower and tried to stay away from googling Kristen’s name and finding out more. I thought it would be strange if I ever did hang out with her and was up to date on every interview and film she’s ever done, but it was hard to resist.
My phone finally rang just after noon. I saw Catherine’s name and let it ring twice before I picked up to brace myself, even though the phone was glued to my hand since the audition.
"Hello?" I answered.
"I have some news!"
I waited, unsure of how to reply. She sounded enthused, but she always did, so that wasn’t a sign of anything particularly good.
"Drum roll…" She made weird noises with her mouth. Very strange. "…You got the role! You’re going to be our Edward! Waaaaoowww!" She laughed and I started to laugh too.
I stood up from the couch and started to pace around, a smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it.
"Catherine, thank you so much…”
"There was more than one brain in on this decision, baby! And it was unanimous after that chemistry test." She laughed again.
I laughed nervously in response. “Did you get my e-mail?”
"Yeah, but we knew it was you well before that. I think Kristen would have murdered me if it wasn’t."
Kristen wanted me to get the part. Fuck. Me… literally.
"Kristen?" I asked, trying to get her to talk about her more.
"Yeah, you know, the girl you almost devoured in my bedroom yesterday? Her!" She laughed.
"But let me tell you something, kiddo. She’s seventeen and we have a law here and her boyfriend is one of my good friends, so you better keep it professional. I don’t want you getting arrested!" More laughter muffled through the reciever.
"Um…" I felt sweat on my forehead and I started to grab at my hair. I wasn’t expecting anything like that out of her mouth. "Of course, yeah… I wasn’t going to… try anything."
"Sure, sure — Anyway, I gotta go! I’m driving. I’ll be in touch!"
With that, she hung up the phone.
Stephanie congratulated me with a hug as soon as I hung up and took me out for lunch to celebrate.
I wanted to text Kristen to thank her, or call her, but I didn’t know if it was appropriate. And I was too much of a pussy. It was easy to pussy out of contacting her now that I knew I was guaranteed to be spending so much time with her.
Her having a boyfriend rung in the back of my head, but I shut it out as much as I could. Would he be at the shoot? Would it be obvious that I was already infatuated with his girlfriend? I honestly didn’t care.
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