On the train into the city today, I was really excited about meeting R, the director of this feature film. As I got closer to the city I was increasingly nervous and as the train approached my stop I was wriggling in my seat with nerves and anticipation. And I thought to myself "wow, I haven't been this nervous in ages. This is going to be great!"
And it was. R found me at the station and I was immediately really comfortable with him.He bought me a drink at a cafe and we chatted for a while about the script and his plans for the film, as well as about me and him and films we like and our partners.
Then, back to his parents' office nearby for the actual audition. The office was a complete mess and we just fitted ourselves in amongst hundreds of boxes of stuff, picked out some scenes from the script and R set up a camera on top of a pile of books on a table. All the while we chatted about films and actors and directors and the film script, and then finally got around to reading a few scenes. When I named the character I preferred, M, he said that everyone says that and that he was having trouble finding anyone for the other female lead, S, because nobody likes her. I said I was happy to read for both and let R see what he thought.
We started with M, the main character's love interest. He then proceeded to heap me with praise, saying I did great, that I'd really captured the character, my accent was perfect (she's English but he wanted only a subtle accent) and he loved my eyes. I felt very flattered (and said so!). We did another scene for M and again R seemed really impressed.
We then talked a bit about the other girl, S, and read one of her scenes. When I said what I thought about the character, it was obvious I'd seen her differently to what he envisioned but he said "oh wow, I hadn't seen it like that. You've made me see her a bit differently". I thought that was cool - he could easily have said "no, she's not that, she's more this..." but he wasn't like that at all. He said that he actually liked me better for M, but that what I'd said about S had really helped him to see where he needs to go with her (in terms of writing more of her).
R did say at one point that as a director he firmly believes that the character belongs to the actor - that he writes them and offers direction but he'd never make a character do something the actor didn't think was right for them. He always takes close notice of what an actor says about their character. I like it. :)
We chatted about Pirates, Plunkett and Macleane, The Libertine, The Godfather, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, offensive jokes (there's one in the script), round-the-world travel, shooting schedules, ... I had a great time. I left feeling incredibly positive.
The short film audition, after that, was a big contrast. The location was ridiculously difficult to find, and the director etc were rather uncommunicative and disorganised. I think that one went pretty badly but I don't mind at all. It just felt all weird and difficult.
In all though, a fantastic day.
Much happiness. :)