Picture this: Mohonk Lodge upstate NY at the beautiful Mohonk Mountains and Lake. I was called to audition for a movie up there about an hour from my home. Almost got lost, finally found the place, not thrilled to be parked at the edge of a cliff. But an actor never turns down an opportuntity so I checked in and waited for my name to be called. Read the one line I’d driven all the way to read. Read it many times; tried it this way and that. I heard my name. Smiling, I rose, listened to directions, read several times adjusting to directions again each time. And left.
A week later, I got the call. Not the part but a month of work on the Road To Wellville starring Anthony Hopkins. A month’s work, union pay, good deal. Long drive in the chilly fall, got lost every time. But oh the costumes! a period piece about Doctor John Harvey Kellogg and his health resort, fresh air, Kellogg corn flakes, the baths and so on. Lots of fun with the few union actors and the the moment. Are you ready?
One day as I sat in a hallway waiting for lunch to be called, the great actor strolled by and stopped short in front of me. Another actress stood near me spoke to him. “Oh, Mr Hopkins, how do you do what you do. You’re so wonderful. . .” and on and on she gushed.
He said, “I learn my lines and manage never to bump into the furniture.” Then he turned his back to her and extended a hand to me. “I’m Anthony Hopkins, my dear. Call me Tony. Join me for lunch, will you?”
I thought, yes Tony I’ll follow you anywhere especially to wherever the stars dine. I merely smiled and said my name and I’d be pleased to dine with him.
He introduced me to the other stars; Bridget Fonda, Mathew Broderick, John Cusak and Dana Carvey as we dined on filet mignon with red roasted potatoes carved to look like mushrooms. A major coup for the girl from Chicago who had a dream. Later when I wrote my first book, To Be Continued, I used the the menu as part of a fancy dinner.