HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer returns just in time to cast his gimlet eye over the dream factory of Hollywood, turning his attention specifically to the figure insiders call ‘the pointy arse’: the Director.
Of course, many actors will tell you that what they really want to do is direct, and some of them are jolly good at it too: The Cable Guy by dear little Benny Stiller has got to be one of my favourite movies of all time! I never once imagined that I’d end up behind the megaphone myself, but when the chance came I seized it with both hands. The fee was simply huge, and having appeared in several of Bobby Altman’s films I thought it would be money for old rope and I was right.
Some people have written entire books to explain their theories about how directors work, but it really is quite simple. All you need is an attractive young lady in a nice frock, turn the lights on so everyone can see her, and that’s it! You really can’t go too far wrong.
I was fortunate to have the divine Jane Fonda as my leading lady, and she was good enough to wear her own clothes, so that helped ease the pressure on the budget that I’d accidentally spent entirely on champagne. We managed to film the whole thing in a single morning which was quite fortunate as I was meeting Jessica Tandy for lunch and neither of us were fit for anything once we got on the brandy.
We allowed a good half an hour for editing and post production, and I sent my tuxedo off to the dry cleaners ready for a star studded premiere followed by drinks and a game of Twister. To this day it remains a great sadness that we were never able to find a distributor with the foresight and vision to risk their shirt on a theatrical release, but when it went straight to video Jane Fonda’s Workout was the most enormous success. We did talk about a sequel, but sadly nothing ever came of it. The idea was that Jane Fonda’s Leotard League would see her team up with Diane Keaton and the one out of The Golden Girls who I thought was a bloke, to play a crack squad of crime fighting aerobics instructors.
But that’s another story…
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