The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) Movie Script

(Stairs creaking)
(Door squeaking, slamming)
(Approaching footsteps)
(Amy sighing)
(Amy, whispering):
Oh, Jesus!
(Knocking on door)
John, it's me!
This is bullshit, motherfucker!
John, come on!
Answer the door!
I've got your box.
(Woman shouting in distance)
(Scoffing, sighing)
Oh my God!
Wow! Smells great in here!
Jeez! When was the last time
you opened a window?
John, where are you?
I don't have a lot of time.
It's dark in here.
(Train chugging)
(Echoing): Did you ask for the
place that Sid Vicious died in?
John, are you even here?
(Train horn blaring)
- What did the letter say?
- Honey, I don't know.
What do you mean,
you don't know?
You said you returned it
to the front desk.
- I didn't say I didn't know.
- You just did.
You said:
"Honey, I don't know."
Rupert, the letter
wasn't for you.
It was the front desk's mistake.
And sending it back down
without showing it to me
was just irrepressible?
Rupert, enough!
Mom, it's the first chance
I get to meet him
after all those years.
Honey, I know,
but you have a big day.
- You opened the letter.
- Yes.
Then you realized
it wasn't for me...
Yes, and I
already apologized.
- ...and just sent it back down?
- Yes.
Well, the front desk
couldn't have sent up
a letter that wasn't for me
if they didn't have
a letter that was
in the first place.
It's pretty clear they sent
my letter to the wrong person.
So there's a letter waiting
for me at the hotel.
Yes. Yes, probably.
All right, get yourself
something else to eat...
(Clearing throat)
...whatever you want,
and I will call them right away.
Look, we will go to the hotel,
and I'm sure there'll be
a letter waiting for you,
and you'll probably meet
later this afternoon.
Was it written in green ink?
Was it written in green ink?
I... I don't remember.
Honey, everything's
gonna be all right, OK?
(Siren wailing in distance)
(Woman on TV):
We have shocking breaking news
just now at 2:31.
We have word that TV idol
John Francis Donovan has died
at the age of 29.
The actor gained prominence
in the American
television industry,
first as Hellsome High's
Adam White on the WV...
(Woman on TV, indistinct)
(Patrons whispering, indistinct)
(Cars honking in distance)
(John talking, indistinct)
(John): The thing I've
forgotten to work on is myself.
This is ridiculous!
No reception.
What fucking year is this?
Oh, fuck's sake!
( The Blue Danube Waltz
by Strauss in distance )
(Exhaling sharply)
Hal, it's me.
You can't do this.
I'm on a flight to London
at 2:30.
Well, my appointment in Paris
got pushed, didn't it?
I got your email this morning,
and I couldn't respond
because my router's screwed, OK?
Just listen to me.
So, I've come here
to greet him in person,
because I'm a civilized woman,
all right?
But I'm not writing the piece.
You can't make me do it.
I don't care!
Just hire another journalist,
postpone the interview.
Robert fucking Turner's
not going anywhere, is he?
I don't give a shit
about getting his name right,
because I'm not doing it.
I haven't even read
his stupid book.
How am I supposed to conduct
an interview with someone
if I haven't read...
What, and I'm gonna write
about some actor du jour
who's unearthed whatever story
because he's craving momentum?
I've got standards, you know?
Fine! OK?
Yep, I don't wanna
talk to you anymore.
I'll do it.
Mm-hmm, one hour.
And if that little squirt
gives me one iota of sass,
I swear to God...
Yep! Fine, Hal!
Bye! Goodbye!
Can you believe they still
use these old pay phones
here in 2017?
I can see a coherence with
the rest of Eastern Europe.
Production pays
for some shitty mobile
while we're shooting here,
but it keeps shutting down.
I'll just, uh,
just use the phone.
I'll be with you in a minute
so we can start the interview.
I'm so excited.
I'll just, uh,
just be in there...
...while you
make your call.
(Muttering): September 2017,
"Turner publishes memoir
"composed of his entire
correspondence with Donovan.
"Donovan died of an overdose."
(Siren wailing in distance)
No, please don't rush.
Take your time.
My, do they feed you
at The Times?
Asking out of sheer
curiosity, really.
Please don't think me sassy.
"The sassy actor stormed into
the Art Nouveau decorated caf,
"his hair disheveled,
sporting a faded army jacket."
I'm feeling this!
I forgot they allowed
you to smoke in here.
Oh, but just for a few
more months, unfortunately.
So, what did you
think of the book?
As you're well aware,
I haven't read your book,
as I wasn't supposed to be
conducting this interview.
As we're both here now,
let's get started
so that maybe
I can catch my flight.
When they emailed me
yesterday afternoon that
it'd be you
doing the piece,
I read some of
your articles.
Yesterday afternoon?
You're quite versatile
for a political reporter.
You contributed to this
apocalypse piece I read.
The one about the, uh,
what is it? West Coast...
- The Juan de Fuca subduction zone.
- Yeah!
A 9.2 magnitude earthquake
will ravage the West Coast?
When is this supposed to
be happening, already?
We're half a
century late for it.
Could be now,
could be 10-20 years,
by which time we still wouldn't
have started this interview.
Oh, you're not recording?
(Speaking Czech)
And you want anything?
Double espresso, please.
She spoke in
foreign tongues,
and from then on,
he was enslaved.
Oh, I was anxious
you'd never get
to the use of
the 3rd person.
Now, I'd very much like it
if we could begin now
so that I can maybe
catch my flight.
Uh-huh, well,
if you miss it,
I'm pretty sure that thing
can fly you to London.
Do you want me to write
this piece or not, Mr. Turner?
Yeah? Good.
(Tape recorder clicking)
(Clearing throat)
I think everyone
remembers the scandal,
how the letters were revealed,
et cetera, et cetera...
Why don't you back up
all the way
to how things started
with you and John F. Donovan?
Well, we know
how they started.
He answered one of
your fan letters.
And then an unlikely
correspondence began.
- Mm-hmm.
- That's the fairy tale.
Why don't you rewind to...
When the fairy
tale ended?
If you like.
The year would be 2006.
I had turned 11
that summer.
I, uh...
No, I can still smell
the gas-like odor
of the felt-tip pen he used.
I can still hear the pen
scratching on
the sheets of paper.
We'd always handwrite every
letter, never typed or emailed.
For John, things started
to go wrong
when they were starting
to be great.
Everybody was starting
to pay attention
to the new kid on the block,
saying that he was about
to become the next big deal.
But to us, who had been
following him since day one,
it was very clear
that he already was.
He really was.
( Rolling in the Deep
by Adele )
There's a fire
starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and
it's bringing me out the dark
(Seagulls squawking)
Finally, I can
see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out
And I'll lay your ship bare
See how I'll leave
with every piece of you
Don't underestimate
the things that I will do
There's a fire
starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and
it's bringing me out the dark
(Camera clicking)
The scars of your love
Remind me of us
They keep me thinking
that we almost had it all
The scars of your love
They leave me breathless
I can't help feeling
We could've had it all
You're gonna wish
you never had met me
Yes! Yes!
Rolling in the deep
Tears are gonna fall
Rolling in the deep...
Great, John!
We got it.
No, just send me a synopsis
of this conversation.
You were great, hon.
We'll get photo
approval, right, Barb?
Yeah, and you're gettin'
a pony for Christmas.
What does that mean?
It's Vanity Fair, John!
Pretend it's wonderful and
stop being such a big bitch.
- Rhonda!
- Yes, darling! I'm here!
Hay stacks were genius.
- Thanks, doll!
- Thank you, Barbara.
Why'd they make me so oily?
Trust me, it's working.
That whole slutty
mineworker look is huge
in the Midwest.
So, Prada shipped the
suit to the office,
and Mel delivered it
to your place.
Miuccia says "break a leg"
and then some Italian shit
that I didn't understand.
(Crowd clamoring)
John! The season finale
was dope, man!
The hidden cameras,
that was the shit!
Thanks, man.
That's sweet of you.
Is it true you're
playing Jack Harvest?
He's my favorite
superhero ever!
Fingers crossed,
but I don't know for sure.
John, I love you so much!
(Crowd clamoring)
She thinks
you're so cute.
John! John!
Sorry, that's all for today.
I love you!
I'm having lunch
with Chris next week.
He knows you're George's choice
for Jack Harvest.
It's looking good, hon!
(Helicopter blades chopping)
You had my heart
inside your hand
But you played it
with a beating
Throw your soul
through every open door...
(Amy): It's not just
about me, John.
It would've meant the world
to Larry if you'd been there.
- You owe him.
- I was out of town!
- As grateful as I am to Larry, I can't clone myself.
- Thank God!
If you could, you'd never take
your dick out of your own mouth.
Thank you for that image.
Don't pretend like you haven't
thought about it before.
We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
We could've had it all
You're gonna wish
you never had met me
Tears are gonna fall
(Crowd cheering)
We could've had it all
You're gonna wish
you never had met me
Rolling in the deep
Tears are gonna fall
Rolling in the deep
You had my heard
inside your hand
You're gonna wish
you never had met me
And you played it
to the beat...
(Reporter talking, indistinct)
(Talking indistinctly)
John, tonight's the season
premier of Hellsome High,
Any hint on whether
Adam's parents
will accept him
for who he is?
I can't spoil it
for everyone.
Amy, you are glowing
with fuego! Who?
Giambattista Valli.
- Ooh, is that vintage?
- It is now!
You played it
You played it to the beat
I'm the luckiest
guy in the world.
(Echoing): Rupert!
(Students giggling)
(Hands clapping)
- Rupert!
- Sorry.
I'm looking forward to reading
your notes from today's class.
I'm assuming it'll
be comprehensive.
He was "gaydreaming" again!
Your preoccupation with
your classmates' sexuality
is becoming
alarmingly obsessive!
(Students laughing)
Stop laughing!
You must include
3 enumerations
and 4 figures of speech from the
list I provided last Tuesday.
And may I...
(School bell ringing)
Everybody, I'd like to
remind you that next week,
your presentations
are due on Monday.
And don't forget,
the object you bring in
must have emotional significance
to you in real life.
Don't tell me about
your weekend at Hogwarts!
(Older Rupert): School had
always been a refuge as a kid.
But I got older
and was introduced
to the meanness of guys.
Well, boys.
To survive the jungle,
you had to become an animal.
But for me, it was easier
to just sink into
my own head and TV.
(Audrey): Hmm!
Another occidental tale of
survival from bullying. Bingo!
Well, no, but for years,
all I cared about was John
and that TV show
in which he starred,
and around which my whole world
revolved back then.
Have you ever confided this
obsession in anyone else before?
Uh, what sort of interlocutor
are we talking about here?
I don't know,
I haven't seen...
What's the name of the show?
Anyway, just carry on.
What's your name again?
I, uh, I can't
remember your name.
Audrey Newhouse.
Yes. Yes, sorry.
Uh, that's...
just not a common
name, Audrey.
(Clearing throat)
You seem to think I'm here
to talk about some icon
or an extremely
honorable body of work
or to promote some
cultural happening.
But I came here thinking
we'd talk about influence
and identity and,
you know, TV.
So, if you're looking
for contrived notions
and dumb quotes on
the biz to mock me,
you'll be disappointed.
This isn't about business, OK?
This is not about art.
This... this is about a man
saving a child's life.
So, I don't care that
John was untalented.
I don't care that what
he did was ridiculous
or that what
he did was shit.
I don't care that his story,
in this time and age,
sounds abysmal to you.
I know I'm not
rebuilding Aleppo, OK?
We're on the same boat.
And that coffee's
decaf, Audrey.
(Clearing throat)
OK, moving on.
Honey, I couldn't watch
you suffer anymore.
(Sam chuckling)
I had to understand.
Mom, I'm 17.
Or 30.
Adam, just tell me
none of it was true.
None of it was true...
- What did I miss?
- Calm down!
I don't wanna miss
any more lines!
Shoes on the carpet!
OK, the mother knows.
She saw him using his
hidden powers. She taped him.
You could say hi.
What? Hi!
Mrs. White knows?
Of course! The hidden
cameras in the season finale!
Oh my God!
Did you see what he just did?
He used his powers
in front of her!
Look! Look at the keys!
Look at the keys!
The CGI is amazing!
Look at that!
Rupert, you have a package.
I think it's a poster.
I left it on your bed.
Honey, what are you?
It's just like you said, Mom.
I'm different.
The opening credits
are coming! They're here!
( Rock on TV )
Oh my God!
That's a new power!
That is a new power!
Oh my God, this is amazing!
This is freaking amazing!
Rupert, voice!
Keep it down.
The neighbors.
Oh my God! Oh my God!
Holy cow!
I'm so happy right now!
Mom, are you even
paying attention?
Come on, this is
Hellsome High!
I was born for this moment!
I came out of you just for this!
Keep it down.
- YES!
- Keep it down.
Yes! This is great!
That's the best power!
Thank you, God!
Thank you for Hellsome High!
Thank you!
I was born for this!
I've been waiting for
this moment all my life!
My father had left
when I was 2,
and since then, it had always
been my mom and me.
Leaving America had sort of
precipitated an unabashed
coming of age.
My mom and I,
we were barely speaking anymore.
Now that we had moved,
I was basically spending
all of my time in my room.
The kids at school
were mocking me
for either being the new guy,
the child actor and...
Yes! my own perspective,
all my dreams had disappeared.
The only one that
had survived was...
I'm not gonna lie to you.
It's been hard, of course.
He doesn't have a British accent
or the energy at all.
So we gotta look for projects
trying to cast
an American kid living here
or other very specific roles.
And I won't pretend it's made
the move easier for him,
but, hmm,
he'll... he'll find his place.
I'd left a lot behind,
moving to England,
but the letters had followed.
The same night I saw that pilot
of the show he starred in,
I wrote John a letter.
And to my great surprise, he...
He answered!
And what started as a one-off
carried on for years.
Until his death, actually.
"Style is knowing who you are."
Hold on a minute.
And your mother had no idea?
How could that
escape her notice?
I mean, she never saw any
of those letters in the mail?
I think a great deal of things
went unnoticed by my mom
back at the time.
I mean, she was...
she was overwhelmed.
She was never home,
and, well, I was in charge
of the mail, anyway.
(Older Rupert chuckling)
So you intercepted them?
I did.
Why? Weren't you proud?
I was, but more than proud,
I was scared,
scared that this
very special thing,
that it'd be taken away from me.
It was the only connection I had
with the life I dreamed of,
so I protected it,
until I thought the day
I'd leave that place,
become an actor...
work with John.
I knew there was
a whole world out there
and that in it,
John lived his life...
(Car honking)
...far, far away from mine.
(Laughing, echoing)
Amy and John grew up together.
They'd always been friends.
Amy was moving to New York
to become an actress
like she'd always dreamed,
and he tagged along.
They were surprised at
how people took for granted
they were together
since day one,
and they went on with it.
One thing led to another...
(Both talking indistinctly)
...for John, mostly.
He kept mentioning
the loneliness.
I knew it meant
there was some company
he couldn't afford having.
What do you mean by
"company he couldn't afford"?
Well, in a life like this,
in, like, his,
everything and everyone in it
becomes a risk.
Yeah, the attention
that you craved,
it becomes the scrutiny
that you're trying to escape.
(Dispatcher on taxi radio,
John often slept in hotel rooms.
I asked him in one of
the early letters why,
and he said it was because
it made him feel less lonely,
which seemed bizarre, a hotel
room being by definition lonely.
He later replied that
the feeling was, uh, alleviated
by the fact that most of the
people in all the other rooms
were alone at
the same time he was.
I mean, it's pretty big
for New York City,
and, uh, you know,
it's modest.
It's kind of a piece of shit,
but it's been home
for a little bit now, so...
It's not too... too
expensive, either.
When Amy and I first
moved into the city,
we lived in Queens off Flushing.
A total shithole.
We couldn't afford electricity
for the first couple of months,
so we had to light
the whole place with candles.
- Shit!
- Yeah.
One of the neighbors
kept complaining
that they smelled...
they smelled smoke.
When the firemen showed up,
I think they thought
we were sacrificing virgins.
We've never been into virgins.
(Car honking in distance)
(Grunting softly)
Um, are you
working tomorrow?
Are you shooting
something right now?
Uh, no. No, I'm not
working right now.
I got a 7:00 a.m. call
on Hellsome,
a crazy day full of stunts.
Oh. Yeah.
Um, yeah.
Oh, I'll just...
I'll just have another beer...
...and then I'll be on my way.
I gotta start studying anyway.
I have this audition
on Wednesday...
(Cars honking, sirens wailing)
(Talking, muffled
and indistinct)
(Sirens continue wailing)
(Will continues
talking, indistinct)
...I actually auditioned
for Hellsome.
I can't.
You can't?
Um, uh...
Uh, I've got an early
start tomorrow.
Oh, you...
Uh, yeah, I...
Dude, you should
get some rest, anyway.
You got... 7:00 a.m.?
That's early.
Yeah, sorry.
It's OK. I'll... I'll
just let myself out.
Um, thanks for the beer.
(Audrey): And you know
all this from the letters?
Not all of it.
John never put me, as a child,
in a position
where I'd read things
I wouldn't understand.
He would rarely mention
his private life,
not to me, not to anyone.
There were just rules, he said,
if they were broken,
that would destroy him.
( Jesus of Suburbia
by Green Day on car stereo )
I'm the son of
rage and love
The Jesus of suburbia
The bible of
none of the above
On a steady diet of
Soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died
for their sins in hell
As far I can tell
(Telephone ringing)
At least the ones
I got away with
And there's nothing
wrong with me
Mom, you up early
or you're up late?
(Grace): She'll be here Friday
if your schedule changes.
And I'm making my
Ina Garten Beef Bourguignon.
Your favorite!
- It's so not!
- Excuse me, since when...
Number 2, please.
I don't hate it. Beef Bourguignon not
your favorite meal, Jonathan?
Since you stopped
listening to people, Ma.
And please, please
don't call me Jonathan.
I'll make something else,
and just for you.
Fine. I'm happy with the beef.
And what is wrong
with "Jonathan"?
Anyway, I can make
something else, honey.
I'm fine with the beef.
( Don't Let Me Get Me
by P!nk on stereo )
I wanna be
somebody else, yeah
LA told me:
"You'll be a pop star"
"All you have to change
is everything you are"
Tired of being compa...
(Music stops)
(Crickets chirping)
(Dog barking in distance)
(Birds chirping)
(Siren wailing in distance)
(James): Let's go.
Let's see it.
Stop fucking around!
You didn't drive 87 miles
in the middle of the night
for the pleasure
of my company.
His name's Will.
- Is that what it is?
- Will Jefford Jr.
We met last summer,
hung out a couple of times.
I don't know,
I... I like him.
He's cute.
What? What, am I
supposed to say "hot"?
Why, that's a hot guy.
Don't see guys
that hot every day.
Oh, shut the fuck up!
So, what's his deal?
There is no deal.
How many more times
are you gonna come over here,
showing me pics with that dreamy
smile on your face like...
I haven't got
a dreamy smile.
Yes, you do.
You go like this...
What about Amy?
She's used to it.
Oh, she's used to it.
Still going with that?
We are. We're...
- We're used to it, James.
- Yeah.
- We're OK.
- OK.
You guys still
don't understand.
(Can opening)
(Cell chiming)
- Don't!
- Fuck off!
Jim! Jimmy!
Bitch-ass motherfucker!
Hey, fuck off!
You know how this ends.
What's the problem?
Will Jefford Jr...
This guy is gonna die at
least 4 minutes after me.
Shut up!
Look at all the seconds he's
collecting contracting words.
That is really something.
You're impressed by this?
He's really smart.
Oh, is he?
There you go, my prince.
"You" of course
spelled with a "U"
since we're contracting.
(Rupert): John had been going
to his brother's house
for their garage ritual
for years.
Jimmy told me that.
I think it was one of
the only things in his life
that actually made John...
- Good morning!
- Good morning! How are you?
( Silent Machine
by Cat Power )
Guys, this guy here,
this is Will.
(Rupert): Although we never
wrote it in the letters,
John and I had reached a point
of no return in our lives.
I think inviting Will into
his world was John's own way
of unconsciously sabotaging
pretty much everything
he had built.
Of course,
he didn't know that then.
(Audrey): And you?
And... Sorry, what?
And you?
You said John and
yourself were in...
that you'd reached points
of no return.
I'm curious to know
what that was
for a 10-year-old boy.
- Well, it can be many things.
- Mm-hmm?
But that isn't the point.
Then what is the point,
please, Mr. Turner?
The point is a lot
of children are told
that they or their dreams
don't exist or matter
simply because they're young.
And you know what?
Most children will believe you
if you tell them that.
They kept telling me
again and again.
But I decided
not to believe them.
Hello, little girl.
(Fist thudding)
(Thunder crashing)
Rupert! What are you
still doing out here?
My mom's late.
What happened to your face?
I fell.
Oh, I see.
"I can't let you on the boat
"without your parents,
young man!
"There's another boat that
leaves for America in 3 days."
So cruel!
God, I love it!
There, take some.
You're good.
Please, I'm terrible.
Carry on!
"Please, sir,
"I know you're not supposed to
let people on without a ticket."
"I most certainly am not!"
Oh, sorry, I dropped it.
No, it's all right.
Is this a friendship necklace?
I used to have one of these.
No, certainly not friendship.
My mom has the same one.
I got the first letter
of her name.
She's got the first
letter of mine.
Oh, how beautiful!
Party's over, I guess.
(Knocking on window)
Where were you?
I was worried sick!
You were late,
so Miss Kureshi drove me.
It's no trouble. I stayed late
for some marking myself, so...
Thanks, Miss Kureshi.
- What happened to your face?
- I fell.
Go inside. I'll take care
of you in a second.
It's my turn to get
a scolding, Rupert!
No, not at all.
It's no trouble dropping him.
I don't live very far away.
You know, I teach Rupert English
in the afternoon, so...
I know who you are,
Miss Kureshi.
Well, thank you so much
for looking after Rupert.
I want names, Rupert.
Who did this to you?
You know, a little less
eye-rolling would be nice.
You don't even
know what happened!
I can see what happened.
I'm not blind.
What difference does it make?
Well, you know what,
if you tell me
who these kids are,
I can give their parents
a phone call.
Mom, that's pathetic!
This isn't anything new.
I'm small, I'm new, I act.
A taller dude
who's got 3 girlfriends
and is on the soccer team
bullies me.
I marvel at the originality.
And Miss Kureshi says ignoring
people is our strongest weapon,
by the way.
Miss Kureshi
should write a book.
Miss Kureshi does
what she loves in life
and is a perfectly
reliable adult.
Well, Rupert, if I'm not
cool enough to help you,
help yourself, OK?
If you're scared of something,
you gotta stand up and face it.
Alan Parrish's dad
said that to him,
and then he got swallowed up
into Jumanji.
Well, then, you're next!
What would you know about
standing and facing things?
You're the first one
to run away!
That's what
you did with Dad,
and that's what
you did with acting!
And that stuff you put
on my lips tastes like piss!
(Doorbell ringing)
(Grace): Oh!
(Grace laughing)
Look at you!
Am I being served?
Just kidding!
Sorry we're late.
Oh, what a nice surprise!
I didn't think
you guys would make it!
Faith, come up!
Amy and I were supposed
to go to that thing,
but it got canceled.
Ma, I don't like it
on the neck!
I can't help it.
You smell so good!
That Swiss Army!
Oh, Amy, feels like
it's been forever!
I stopped wearing Swiss Army.
You know that.
- No! When?
- When I finished puberty.
Oh, shut up and
give me another hug!
I already gave you a hug, Ma!
I know, but I'm not counting.
Come here, you!
Oh, you smell so good too!
You both smell so good!
What's your perfume
tonight, Ma?
Oh! L'Air du Temps.
Did you bring me some
from Canal Street?
I told you all those
perfumes spoiled.
Oh, who cares?
Nobody can tell.
- Whoo!
- There's my favorite aunt!
Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
- Shit!
- Are these ghosts?
(Faith laughing)
Are you Adam White?
Now, you're not gonna cast
a spell on me, are ya?
(All laughing)
Hey! Oh!
Be careful!
He doesn't like too much
hugging or touching!
- Good to see you, Anne.
- Oh, you too, honey!
Oh, you smell so good!
Thank you.
Oh God, Amy!
Look at that coat!
Dressed for success!
Oh! Grace, I thought you said
they couldn't make it.
Bet he did it on purpose!
"Look at me, look at me!" Huh?
But then when was he ever
on time for anything?
Story of his life and his dad's!
- Oh, wonderful!
- I'm gonna open this wine!
Looking so fancy-shmancy...
And so it begins.
Fee, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of
a Beef Bourguignon!
- Oh!
- Whoo!
Back by popular demand,
my Ina Garten
Beef Bourguignon...
la Grace.
John's not having any
because it's not fancy enough
for him anymore.
But you guys should all
just help yourself,
and I'm gonna go back
and get the potato gratin.
I'm heating something up
for you, honey.
Ma, I told you not
to make anything special.
Don't worry,
it's not special.
It was just gonna be
some Bolognese
and some broccoli and bacon.
You know, like what you used
to have when you played hockey.
Oh, Faith?
Would you please tell me,
though, if it needs more salt,
because, you know,
I don't salt.
John, I drove by
State College's arena
a couple weeks ago.
I was just
wondering, you know,
do you ever think
about hockey, any regrets?
Excellent question.
Let's get to the bottom of this.
Do you regret the life that's brought
you fortune and fame? You gotta, right?
You could have a concussion
right now! Think about it!
Pat, you heard the story
100 times. He got hurt.
You were a great
hockey player.
You're naturally athletic.
I didn't say anything, Ma!
- Faith?
- Uh, it needs salt.
- Ugh!
- But just a little bit.
I knew it,
I knew it, I knew it!
Oh, do we need wine?
A little bit more?
We're good? No, I'll get some.
I'll get some.
So, John,
what's the big news?
You're ruining the timing
for the sauce, Johnny.
Well, now, nothing's
official, so I...
He's gonna be
Jack Harvest.
Jimmy, what the hell?
Who cares? Who cares?
The universe cares, man!
I said I didn't wanna jinx it.
So, then, don't jinx it.
You're a fucking stud!
This Jack Harvest,
who is he?
I bet he's some sort
of famous Democrat
that they're making
a bio-documentary on!
Pat, Jack Harvest is
a comic-book character,
a sort of superhero.
Oh, I see!
Oh, John, that's so good!
These kinds of movies are
popular right now, aren't they?
But it won't last, will it?
Is everything
going well so far?
Nothing's going anywhere
for now. I'm not cast yet.
- Director loves you. It's done.
- The director chose me.
The studio is most likely
gonna approve me too.
- We're just waiting on some...
- The universe! Fuck yeah!
but nothing's sure.
You got it, man.
It's done. It's yours.
I screwed up the sauce.
It's too runny. But it's good.
(Drumming on table)
Bon apptit!
(Grace and Patrick laughing)
Oh, but Don doesn't know
that Sissy's secret lover
is hiding in the closet!
So, he comes home early,
all, you know, pumped up
to go on their ski trip.
And he goes to the closet,
and he opens the door
to get his ski stuff out
and go skiing!
(Anne and Patrick laughing)
Oh, Sissy said she still
remembers the look on his face.
The boyfriend just slalomed
right out of there, of course!
Oh, God, Faith!
That reminds me of when
you caught that son-of-a-bitch
husband of yours
when he was in the cabin
with what's-her-name!
Oh God, I never trusted him,
but that was a real
hell of a "I told you so"!
Oh God!
(Faith): I think I need
a glass of water.
(Grace laughing)
That's a good idea.
Ma, why don't we hop off Jimmy
and help Auntie Faith
get everybody a glass of water?
Oh, Jonathan,
don't patronize me now.
I am absolutely not
patronizing you, Grace.
Yes, you are!
Anyone, water?
What are we, at church?
Anne, water?
Yes, please!
Maybe no one else
wants a drink, Ma.
Yeah, I think
we've all had enough.
We're all grown-ups here.
OK, so, um,
everybody wants whiskey
except for Anne and John.
Boo! And Amy.
(Bottle clinking)
Oops! Boo!
Uh, anyway,
you probably shouldn't.
Because of your medication.
- Let's call it a night, Grace.
- Why?
(Patrick): There's still
whiskey to drink, Jimmy!
Thanks for having my back!
Hey, fuck you!
I know! Why don't you guys
spend the night?
'Cause I have cinnamon rolls
in the freezer for tomorrow!
I think we're gonna
hit the road.
Oh, is this a hotel night?
You know, Patty,
John loves to go
to a hotel sometimes.
I thought you guys just moved
into a new billion-dollar place.
Well, they have,
but, you know,
sometimes he needs some peace.
Peace? For what?
Oh! Careful, Amy!
Yeah, the apple doesn't fall
far from the tree.
Enough, Ma! Enough!
Gracie, I'm gonna get going.
Can you pay attention
to people, Ma?
Your sister? Jimmy?
Me? Anything but
that fucking bottle!
I'm not a child!
All I ever do is
pay attention to you!
And everybody else likes
my Beef Bourguignon!
Everybody else likes my coffee!
So why don't you stop being
such a snob and just sit down!
You're embarrassing
yourself, Ma.
(Patrick): OK, easy.
Just relax there, Brad Pitt!
Shut the fuck up!
- You watch your fucking mouth!
- (Anne): Stop!
Jesus Christ! Where did you
learn to speak to your elders?
You don't get to tell me
to shut the fuck up!
And you don't get to talk
to your mother that way.
When I think of what
you put her through,
the medications, the bills,
the doctors, the shrinks,
the scuffles at school...
You and your goddamn hockey,
and that piece of shit
you call a father!
I've never been one
to really believe
in synchronicity
or destiny or horoscope
or anything like that.
(Audrey): No?
But, uh, that night,
something in the universe,
yeah, must have just gone...
What exactly are you implying
with that sound you made?
That this sort
of synchronicity
isn't just a coincidence.
I actually knew nothing
of John's life,
and could never have guessed
that the mistakes
we were both about to make
would so dramatically coincide.
( Sulk by TR/ST )
Fold your heels
and skip them wise
Honestly, I can't
take tonight
Fold your heels
and skip them wise
Honestly, I can't
take tonight
(Bartender): Hey!
(Both talking, indistinct)
Here's living proof
on my fingertips
When you melt beside
I know you're it
(Talking indistinctly)
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted scenes
That's the guy from
the fucking show!
(All cheering)
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted scenes
(Crowd cheering)
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted scenes
I'm safe with my sulk
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted me
(Crowd chanting, indistinct)
Moving your hips too literal
Deem him high
He's bound to fall
Heart and soul
like I knew you would
When you say "love"
it sounds so good
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted scenes
I pray to my sulk
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted means
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted scenes
I'm safe with my sulk
Everybody wanted calm
Everybody wanted means
Now I fill up
without weight of warmth
It's not too wrong
to let it blow
Ride the radio
and dance to fall
(Cars honking)
(Knocking on window)
(Thunder rumbling)
Oh! Oh my gosh!
(Sighing, exhaling sharply)
Um, my heart might explode.
I promise it won't.
So, you don't
remember me, do you?
From before we met last summer,
before we hung out.
I... I'm from,
uh, Pleasant Gap.
(Thunder rumbling)
That's near
University Park.
No way!
You studied there, right?
You were playing for
the Badgers, the Raging Badgers.
Well, I've been, you know,
following all your exploits,
and I read up about you
in the newspaper, and...
until you blew up,
and then I, uh...
Actually, you kind of...
You kind of inspired me
to become an actor.
I broke up with my boyfriend.
Well, ex-boyfriend now.
That was pretty bad.
But, yeah...
I never ever thought
I'd see you again.
It's funny.
Yeah, it's funny.
(Chuckling softly)
Why didn't you tell me?
I... I don't know.
I thought...
I don't know.
Uh, you wouldn't remember me,
or you wouldn't want me
to remember you or...
I don't know.
How's your mom?
I remember she used to
come watch you play.
She had a really,
really loud laugh.
It was... it was fun!
Yeah, she's fine.
And your brother,
Jimmy, right?
Yeah, I... I...
I can't...
I can't do this.
Look, Will...
You're nice, but I...
I mean, you're really nice,
but I...
I can't.
This is... This is...
This is wrong.
This is trouble.
This is, uh...
I can't afford this.
You're so sweet.
You too.
I mean, you're nice, but...
Thanks for the coffee.
(Rupert): I didn't really
understand John's rules then.
- But I think I do now.
- Mm-hmm?
How can someone live
a constant, permanent lie?
I mean, you have to escape!
There is a moment
when the mask...
cracks, right?
I'm sorry, Mr. Turner.
I'm just back from Islamabad.
I go to Nigeria next week.
This whole conversation
just seems out of this wor...
out of my world.
This must be hard
to bear, right?
It is!
Yes, it is! It is!
I just... How do I
put this diplomatically?
With all due
respect, honestly,
as much as I would
love to commiserate
with Mr. Donovan's
problems, it's...
To me, they're just mishaps
from the First World.
You know what I mean?
What are you
doing in Prague?
Well, I... I live
between here and London.
Oh no, sorry,
I meant your real home.
Aren't you from the Congo,
the DRC, originally?
I thought I read
that last night.
It's hard to know
who the interviewer is
with you, Mr. Turner.
Yeah, I was born in Bukavu.
We're digressing.
I'm trying...
No, I think we're
cutting the bullshit.
Do you feel like you and I
come from different planets?
'Cause we don't.
Sorry, why would you be
fighting for truth
and I for, uh, for shit?
We're taking this just
a little bit personally.
No, you think
stories don't travel?
Some kid telling a story.
But you're not
a kid anymore,
and you keep referring
to yourself as one.
So stop treating me
like a fucking child!
This is a story
about intolerance.
This is a story about how
a business has been so scared
to lose a public it claims
illiterate and small-minded,
that it's basically kept it
illiterate and small-minded
for decades!
This is about us...
as a society,
what we want,
what we seek!
What in there sounds too
unreal or unworthy to you?
OK, I didn't
mean to upset you.
No, you're putting your
life in peril for truth,
and we're strutting around in
our First World problems.
God, that notion
of privilege
and what people can
say or cannot say
if they haven't gone
through enough shit in life
to be able to commiserate,
it's a fucking disease!
That's where I come from.
You and I want
the same thing:
Change, impact on
the fears of people,
ignorance, bigotry,
sexism, racism,
homophobia, name it!
What, did you think you had
the monopoly on those battles?
(Cars passing by)
(Chuckling softly)
(Clearing throat)
Where were we?
I said:
"Where were we?
(Miss Kureshi): Well, Rupert?
We are all ears.
(Exhaling sharply)
I started to do research
on John F. Donovan
about 5 years ago.
When I discovered that we both
have many things in common,
like the fact that we both have
complicated relationships
with our fathers
and dreamed of acting
since a very young age,
I wrote a letter to him.
It was rather foolish of me
to think he would answer,
but he did.
Because you're both gay boys.
(Students laughing)
Cedric, warning number two.
He did, and that is the object
I've chosen to talk about.
For almost 6 years now,
John F. Donovan and I have been
writing to each other
about once or twice a month.
He tells me everything
about his movie shoots
and the art of cinema,
as well as
the complexities of it.
He tells me about
his premieres, press junkets...
a junket is a press conference
with a lot of journalists...
the way he met his wife, Amy,
and how hard it's been
with his mother
and how she's reacted
to his career.
But that was before
he became real famous.
He never stopped
writing ever since.
Now, I'm only 11 years old,
but, later, I'll be like him,
and we'll act
in movies together.
John, but I like
to call him "J,"
often quotes Gore Vidal,
an author, critic and essayist.
Who cares?
"Style is knowing
who you are."
Well, John F. Donovan knows
exactly who he is,
and I know who I am.
I'm an actor, and I'm
John F. Donovan's friend.
Cedric! That's it! Out!
Miss, you must admit
it's total bullshit!
It isn't bullshit, fucker!
(Students): Ooh!
Stop with the foul language!
You lying little girl!
I got the letters
in my backpack, dickhead!
- You're just jealous!
- Shut up, bitch!
(Students laughing)
Cedric, out now!
I think what she's really
saying is piss off, Cedric!
(School bell ringing)
Rupert, stay a moment, please!
Cedric, you'll be
punished tomorrow.
I won't have rudeness
in my classroom!
Come on!
(Hands clapping)
Rupert, come here.
Come on!
Rupert, you are
aware of the fact
that I'm gonna
have to fail you?
- Why? Wasn't it good?
- It was excellent.
And it would've been great
for your story exercise
back in September.
You have great
writing skills, Rupert.
But I couldn't have
been more specific
about the criteria
of the exercise!
- It had to be real.
- But John F. Donovan is real!
Yes, he is, but you
made up that story.
I... I didn't!
You know I appreciate
how creative you are.
But, Miss Kureshi,
it is true!
- Oh, Rupert!
- I swear!
I brought the letters,
but the bell rang, and I just
couldn't show 'em to the class!
May I see them?
Nice letters!
Thank you so much!
Beautiful! Bye!
(Cedric and father
talking, indistinct)
Dad, are you even
listening to me?
Um, hold on.
Yeah, OK.
I'll see you...
(Car door handle clicking)
(Broken glass crunching
and tinkling)
(Door creaking)
Helena Bonham Carter!
Who are you?
Hey, Phil!
How are you?
Good weekend?
- Good!
- Yeah?
Gil, how's it going?
Nice to see you.
I think we're
good here.
(Man on hand radio):
OK, great.
(Radio beeping)
(Woman 1): I know!
I don't know what's going on.
OK, I heard that
they met in a bar.
(Woman 2): They've been
together for months.
This has been going on
for a while.
- Oh my God!
- You've met him!
The blond guy
he brought on set.
Apparently, there's
actually a story online.
- Really?
- I haven't read it yet...
Looking good, Johnny!
(Telephones ringing)
It's great! He sees an
opportunity to perform.
Hey! You don't have the right
to read the letters!
Don't worry, mate,
we will respect
your privacy.
And my most basic rights,
thank you.
Yeah, I mean, do you want us
to gift-wrap them for you?
Uh, excuse me, sir?
Um, my son was arrested?
Listen, Liz, Liz,
can I talk to you for a second?
I was going to craft.
- Yeah, the thing is...
- Yeah?
I need a coffee too.
Come here.
What's the deal?
It's probably just spam.
I mean, you weren't even with
Will Jefford Jr. this weekend.
Were you?
How you could disappoint me
in so many different ways
in the course of
a single evening
is nothing short of
extraordinary, Rupert Turner.
I am pretty impressive.
You lie to your teachers.
You drag me out of work
to come pick you up
at the police station
after you've been arrested for
breaking into someone's house!
What the hell, Rupert?
I'm sorry, Mom.
No, sorry isn't good enough!
I want an explanation now!
I've been exchanging letters
with John F. Donovan.
The actor from...
from the show?
Yes. I've been writing
letters to him for 5 years now.
He answered the first one,
the one we wrote together.
He wrote back?
You never told me?
What did he
even write you?
Nothing, just stuff about
movies and family and friends.
How many letters?
Like, how many?
Five, 10, 20? How many?
100, give or take.
Holy shit, Rupert!
What's the matter with you?
How much do you hate me?
- Why would you lie to me?
- I never lied.
Please! You're a compulsive
liar just like your father!
I just didn't say anything!
Excuse my poor
choice of words!
You lied, Rupert,
and you lied for years!
And I won't be treated like
a stranger in our own house.
I'm your mother!
Are you?
Because you never ask!
You never ask anything about
my acting or my auditions.
It's just bullshit, Mom!
It's embarrassing, OK?
It's embarrassing that
we left America to come here.
For what? For who?
Dad doesn't even have
the time to see me,
so what's the purpose
of coming to England
except lying to yourself
about this whole great, new life
that you can have away from
my friends, my life, my school!
Just because you suddenly
realized you failed!
So, no, I never talked
about the letters
because you probably
would've freaked out
and forbidden me to write
to the only person
that seems to care about me
in this utterly stupid, banal,
point-fucking-less life
I can't wait to get out of,
away from you,
away from this place
and your small dreams
and your smallness!
Well, you just said goodbye
to that audition in London.
Big frickin' surprise!
You couldn't have it,
so neither can I.
(Doorbell ringing)
Oh, it's probably
Scotland Yard!
Ma'am, how long has your son
been writing to John F. Donovan?
(Reporters clamoring)
Does he write often?
Do you know
what your son writes?
Ma'am! Ma'am!
(All clamoring)
Oh, fuck!
And now Tom with a frankly
bizarre story out of Harrow.
Tell us, Tom, how a TV star
and an 11-year-old are connected
to an incident involving
the local police?
Can you give us
any clarity on this, Tom?
Hey, are we sure about
the age? I mean, 11 years old.
That's a load of bollocks.
Come on!
Run it, Rhys.
Richard wrote it.
Bloody hell!
How do you like them apples?
I'm an 18-year-old girl.
I have needs. I need you.
I keep having
those visions.
The ones from
when I healed you?
Sarah, this...
That's normal.
The day I saved you,
our souls were linked forever.
I can't explain why, but...
- Aw, shit!
- What?
Busy weekend,
huh, Johnny boy?
(Ears ringing, John groaning)
Busy boy, right, Johnny?
Uh, yeah.
- Billy!
- You all right, my man?
Billy, we're running lines.
Sorry, Miss Jones.
That guy is such
a douche. Jesus!
Um, Adam,
what about Diego?
He's starting to ask questions.
He knows.
We'll just get Bella
to visit him in his dreams,
erase his memories.
Ah, fuck me!
Give me a fucking break!
John, do you want me
to call a set medic?
Uh, yeah, to the ER, please!
More press!
Hey, Johnny! So, what's this
whole letters thing?
- Speak up, James.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
Johnny, what is going on
with, uh, the letters?
What letters?
You're writing letters
to some kid?
That's cute, uh...
OK. Um, yeah, just keep
running your lines.
We got time.
They are setting up the rig.
- You've got, like, 20 or...
- Thank you.
What did he say?
I couldn't hear a word.
(Cell vibrating)
(Cell ringing)
(Cell chiming)
Uh, Liz, could you read
this link Barbara sent me?
My eyes are killing me.
Loud, but not
too loud, 'cause...
"Letters to a child actor
and risky sex
"lead to JFD's
biggest secret ever."
John, we should be rehearsing.
"The affair went public
"after a schoolyard quarrel was
blown out of proportion today
"in Harrow,
Greater London, England.
"An 11-year-old boy
named Rupert Turner
"broke into private
property to steal back
"what he claimed were letters
stolen by a schoolmate,
"letters apparently written
by John F. Donovan himself.
"This comes shortly
after the news broke
"of his involvement in
an already viral affair
"involving male prostitutes
"and fellow actor
Will Jefford Jr.
"Any connections
with the letters..."
- Do you have any meds?
- What?
Meds. Clonazepam, Xanax?
You don't have any, uh...
lithium, do you?
- What?
- Meds, Liz.
I need some fucking meds.
Do you have any?
- I only have natural things.
- Oh, fuck me!
(Ears ringing)
Do you want Rescue Remedy?
Hey, Johnny!
John, John!
Scale of 1-10,
what do you give me?
Huh? What am I?
These fucking morons say you
won't give me more than a 5.
Fuck that, right?
OMG, Billy, you are
so annoying right now!
Hey, what's, um...
What's with this
Brit-kid bullshit?
You writing letters to this kid?
Wow, busy weekend, huh?
John, are you all right?
Jesus Christ!
Busy boy, right, Johnny?
How do you like them apples?
(John roaring)
(John grunting)
You wanna know
about my fucking weekend,
you son of a bitch?
You think I wanna tell you
about my fucking weekend?
Don't you fucking touch me!
- Oh my God!
- Don't you fucking dare!
Johnny, I'm sorry.
You fucking call me Johnny?
Who the fuck do you think I am?
Who the fuck are you?
Uh, Brian, get over here.
Johnny has flipped his shit!
Shut up!
I thought
we were friends.
No! No, we're
not friends, man!
We're not fucking friends!
I come here, I say my fucking
lines, and you don't know me.
You don't know my life.
You don't know my past.
You don't know
my fucking secrets!
And I say hello, and I tell you
about my fucking weekend
because if I don't,
you're gonna go out there
and tell everybody
what a pretentious piece
of shit I am, right?
Yeah? Yeah?
"Don't tell us this bastard
never takes a shit
"like the rest of us!"
Well, he sure does, Billy!
He sure as fuck does!
And he's so grateful,
and he's so nice,
and he's so fucking happy
that he's gonna tell you
all about his fucking weekend!
- Next!
- Next is "pen pals," I believe.
This one's my favorite,
maybe ever!
It's so good.
It's so good, I wanna hear you
ask me the question.
All right!
(Audience laughing)
OK, do you have a pen pal?
Child pen pal.
Do your job.
(Audience laughing)
Do you have a child pen pal
in England?
I mean, why not?
Why not England?
They speak English.
I speak English.
I mean, it's a match made
in heaven, right?
Keep going!
(Audience laughing
and applauding)
Do you have
a written correspondence
with a British child actor?
And have I had it for years?
I mean, in the article I read,
and I read 'em all...
I gotta!
I mean, I gotta! How else would
I know what I've been up to?
I mean, and I've been busy, man!
I've been really busy!
(John on TV, indistinct)
(Man and Barb
talking, indistinct)
That's just awful.
Yeah, it wasn't great.
And then did he write back
to say he was sorry,
to explain himself?
No, of course, he did.
But, you know, being
ignored that night
wasn't what hurt most.
I knew he didn't have
a choice. I understood.
And it hurt to understand.
But, no, the consequences for me
with the boys, my teacher,
back at the time,
were gonna be terrible.
Are you gonna
miss your flight?
You know, we can do the rest
by email, if you'd like.
No, don't worry.
It's fine.
How much do I owe you
for that smile?
Piss off!
Can somebody call
an ambulance?
I'm sorry, excuse me.
Is there... is there a
doctor on this flight?
I'm reporting
unusual behavior.
This is the first
signs of a stroke.
Audrey, look at me.
Are you smelling burnt toast?
Are you OK?
(Both chuckling)
All right,
back to business.
Back to business.
So, what happened then?
(Knocking on door)
(Rupert sighing)
You guys are visiting
the retirement home today.
And I read in your agenda that
you have to be formally dressed.
So let me help you.
(Rupert sighing)
It'll be fun, Rupert.
(Rupert sighing)
Fun and healthy.
You get to do something
nice for someone else,
and it will give you a break
from all of this insanity.
He said he never
wrote the letters.
They're gonna kick my ass.
They're all gonna
make fun of me.
I wanna stay here
with you, Mom.
Please don't do this to me.
Please don't let me down.
You are never to write
to that man again.
Do you understand?
Whether it is true
or not, I don't...
It is true!
Do you see what
he has done to you?
He... he wrote you off
in a heartbeat,
and he would do it
again if he needed to.
And that's what this
entire business is about.
Look, I know you love this.
But I need you to
come down to earth, OK?
Focus on your grades.
You can make a girlfriend.
- Or a boyfriend.
- Eww!
Rupert, you have to
forget about this.
Today's audition could've
changed everything.
For once, they're casting
an American film.
Rupert, you can audition
again when school is over, OK?
In the summer.
You disappear for a few weeks,
you disappear forever.
You did.
I did.
And it would be great
if you didn't remind me
about that all the time.
I know you think that
I have no ambition, Rupert,
OK, and no strength.
Are you happy?
But if some kid makes fun of you
or touches you
or... or some grownup mocks you,
I will have to be that... that
boring woman who's so small
and come and protect you, OK?
I never was scared
of not succeeding
or losing your father.
But I will always be
afraid of seeing you hurt.
And not today,
not tomorrow...
probably not for
a very long time,
but one day,
you're gonna
understand that, OK?
Good morning, Olga.
Hello, Catherine.
Timothy, Rodrigue, Kamal.
- Celeste, nice dress!
- Thanks, Miss.
Cedric, Giant Shark...
Missing anyone?
Where's Rupert?
Rupert Donovan's missing!
(Students laughing)
Warning number one.
- Ah, come on!
- Rupert?
Sarah! Sarah!
Come here!
Oh God!
(Knocking on door)
Oh my God!
Oh no, it's
absolutely fine.
Um, do you mind
if I come in?
OK, sure. Why not?
Rupert dropped this off
at school this morning.
"Dear Miss Kureshi,
please don't worry.
"I'm off to London
for an audition."
I forbade him from going
to that audition, Miss Kureshi.
Miss Turner, I...
I'm sure you did forbid him
to go, and I...
I know!
I'm not stupid, OK, I just...
Rupert's safe, right?
He has a cell phone, doesn't he?
- You can contact him...
- He wanted to.
But he's... he's just a boy.
He... he knows
the city, though.
He visits his father
once a month by himself.
Well, he...
He used to.
OK, well, I have a conference
in Bracknell this afternoon,
so I'll have to
call his father,
and he will put him on
the train back to Harrow.
- All right.
- Hmm!
Thank you, Miss Kureshi.
Of course!
Um, I'll... I'll see myself out.
- Miss Turner?
- Yes?
I see Rupert,
and he has such a brilliant
future ahead of him.
You know?
Which is more
than I can say
for most of
the students I've taught.
I mean, I can see
a future for them,
but I rarely see a...
And I guess that's why I came
here today instead of calling.
Mm-hmm. Well, I... I know
my son is special, OK?
I... I'm not blind.
Rupert must be pretty ashamed
of me, isn't he?
He's probably telling you
all sorts of things about me,
isn't he,
just mocking me
to all his friends.
Rupert is a lonely child.
He doesn't open up
much to others.
Oh. OK.
He... he...
Well, he used to.
I was going through
the children's homework
the other night,
and I realized you hadn't signed
this paper by Rupert,
the one about role models.
Well, Rupert's had
a correspondence
with a 30-year-old man
for 5 years with nobody knowing,
so I guess it's no surprise
that he didn't wanna
share his essay with me.
I can't understand why.
Good day.
(Young Rupert): To choose your
mother or father as a role model
is probably unoriginal,
but I reckon there isn't
a person I know better,
nor admire more,
than my mother, Sam Turner.
(Bus honking)
Over the past few years,
her and I sort of
grew apart, but...
you'll tell me that's life.
( Stand By Me by
Florence + The Machine )
(Thunder rumbling)
When the night has come
and the land is dark...
Sam got pregnant with me,
and my father left her
for another person shortly after
and moved to England.
So she raised me on her own.
And for a while,
we were a pretty good match.
Excuse me!
My son Rupert Turner had
an appointment at 1:30.
I would take care of her,
even call her "love,"
which made me feel
like an adult.
But the truth is
we were simply best friends.
So darling, darling,
stand by me...
She called me Larry
instead of my real name,
and we watched movies together.
I think we've seen The Secret
Garden a billion times.
As she quit acting,
I started to audition
for small parts.
I thought she'd be proud of me
for doing something
she had once been
striving to do.
If the sky that we look upon
should tumble and fall
Or the mountains
should crumble to the sea...
As the years went by,
Sam became disappointed
with how her dreams faded,
and we moved here
in search of new ones.
I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Excuse me, sir,
my son is there...
It's been hard for me,
but I understand why Sam needed
to become someone else.
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
It's just hard to admit I do.
I know I'm responsible
for the distance between us.
Sometimes, I wish
all of our problems
and the invisible wall
between us vanished,
that it'd be just
the two of us again,
with nothing else
to worry about,
with no pride and no lies.
Then I'd tell her the truth.
I'd tell her just
how much I love her.
Darling, darling
Stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Oh stand
Stand by me, stand by me
Whenever you're in trouble
Won't you stand by me?
Oh, stand by me...
- I'm sorry!
- I'm so sorry!
I'm stupid!
- You're not mad?
- I'm so stupid.
You're not stupid, Mom!
Your teacher came.
I knew I'd made a mistake.
- But then I read your essay.
- You did?
I didn't wanna
hurt you, OK?
I didn't wanna hurt you,
and I'm so sorry that
you think I'm small-minded.
You're not!
I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
We'll do it, OK?
Rupy, you'll do it,
the acting.
And I'm gonna be
there for you, OK?
(Barb): I think you knew
this was coming, didn't you?
this can't be serious.
We've been through
so much together.
I need you, and...
Say it.
I need you, John?
I don't need anybody.
That's a position I've been
avoiding putting myself in
for the past 40 years.
John, darlin'...
Look around you.
Look at the art on the walls.
Look at the rug.
Look at that chair
you're sitting in.
I chose this life.
Oh, it could've been different,
much, much different.
I could've done it all.
You have no idea the
opportunities I turned down
to work with extraordinary
actors, just artists,
become a partner in agencies
you'd never imagine me
working in...
I don't doubt you, Barbara...
I'm not finished.
I chose this life, John.
Not for want of ambition.
I like money and all the stuff
you can do with it. I do.
But I chose this life
because it's the one I can live
and in which I can feel
that I'm doing right by my job.
I just can't manage the careers
of business people.
It's not 'cause I don't
like 'em or respect 'em.
I mean, I can be
around 'em and among 'em.
But I can't be them.
I'm not a liar.
And if you're gonna be
that person, John...
if you're gonna hire models
to be seen with them
strolling out of restaurants
and going to your charity balls,
if you're gonna be the person
that dismisses people...
tells kids they don't exist...
I won't go down
that road with you.
That's a dead end,
and I know it.
I'm not dumb.
I know you can do it.
I'm sure you can do it.
If that's what you want.
But I'm not doing it with you.
I've just seen too many friends
just get lost in that spiral,
that bullshit black hole.
It's just...
It's just a waste of talent
and time never redeemed.
I'm finished.
(Intercom beeping)
Barbara, I have Eileen O'Neal
for you on line one.
You'll find yourself
another manager, Johnny.
It's the best thing
for you right now.
I'll tell everybody
that you fired me.
Put her through, Melanie.
What if I don't wanna change?
That one's for your shrink.
Eileen, how are you?
I know, I know!
I've been meaning to call.
I've been so busy.
Things are just great!
(Barbara chuckling)
How are the kids?
Disney World?
No, I'm good.
(Barbara laughing)
No, I'm fine.
(Woman laughing in distance)
(Family talking in distance)
Shit, I'm sorry!
I should've called.
It's OK.
Um, they took the bus
up here for the weekend.
I'm gonna drive them back home
for my brother's birthday.
Wow, that's amazing!
Uh, I suppose I could
come back later?
I don't know if
they're staying,
but we could go for
a beer or something.
Look, I, uh...
I need to talk.
To me?
Well, yeah.
Uh, no, silent...
Look, I, uh...
I think, um, this whole...
John, I... I like you,
but this... this whole story...
this whole picture thing,
it's just, I don't know.
What, you're, uh,
you're ashamed?
No, John.
You are, though.
- (Brother): Rihanna.
- (Mother): That was Rihanna!
I wish you would've
picked up the phone.
Listen, the timing
wasn't right.
Look, it's fine. OK?
(Mother): Honey, come on!
Connor needs you!
Hold on one second, Mom.
Sorry, just one minute.
(Whispering): Look, you gotta
do what you gotta do, you know?
I... I'm...
I'm young.
And I... I know
what I want
and who I am.
And being someone's
secret crush
is just nowhere near
where I'm headed.
Um, I'd let you in, but...
Singer? Singing?
Big boobs?
Dolly Parton!
It's fine.
I'm sorry.
(Cars honking in distance)
(Siren wailing in distance)
(Rupert): I sent him
a copy of the book,
but never heard back
from Will Jefford Jr.
John had mentioned him in
the letters, always lovingly,
but no one really seems to know
where Will lives now
or what he does.
(Audrey): Hmm...
Word is he's moved back home
and does pretty much
everything except act.
Barbara Haggermaker once
said in an interview,
one of those
Women of Power pieces,
that her greatest failure
wasn't dropping John.
It was not knowing him.
When his illness, his past,
when everything about him
was revealed,
a lot of people felt that way.
But what should we know
of an artist?
What should
he reveal of himself,
and why does it matter to us?
(Cell chiming)
So, what became of John?
(Birds chirping)
He just... disappeared.
They sold the apartment.
I think he just went back
to the life he once had
not that long ago.
Hellsome High
had Adam White leave
on a spiritual journey
somewhere in Africa
in the middle of Season 6.
I remember the episode.
It was...
It was called "Departure."
Ah! That's fitting.
The man John had attacked on
set pressed charges, of course.
They settled. No one ever
heard about it again.
Did he write during
these months of...
What was it? Do you know?
Isolation? Addiction?
I wouldn't know because, no,
he didn't write during
that period of time.
I mean, I wish I could've
been there for John.
But we were miles...
We were worlds away.
Life went on.
And John,
he'd kept his old habit
of eating in the kitchen
of that diner he fancied
and from which
he'd so often written me.
He hadn't completely lost touch.
After the London saga,
my mom had allowed me
to start auditioning again,
and a sort of serendipitous
series of events
and a wide casting
had gotten me a callback
in New York.
Of course, I was thrilled,
but mainly because,
as we had planned,
I'd be meeting John
for the very first time.
The first time in 5 years.
(Pots clattering)
That isn't...
Hellsome High?
It is you, isn't it?
I'm sorry. I know
that's not your name.
No, that's, uh...
That's a high school.
Um, my name is...
John F. Donovan!
I'm not that old.
I'm sure you hate this,
but my grandson is
a huge fan of yours.
I was walking with him down
Canal Street just the other day
and passed a poster
for your show,
and he just
got so excited.
He stood in front of that
poster around 5 minutes.
He wants to be just like
you when he grows up.
Magic powers
included, of course.
Does he?
He sure does, yeah.
Well, I don't mean to
bother you, you know.
No, you're not. Please.
Oh, aren't you
a kind man,
sitting here trying to get
some peace and quiet,
and an old fool like me
comes squawking in.
No, really, it's...
Well, we'll be waiting
for the next great adventure,
then, will we?
- OK.
- I don't know, sir.
I don't know anymore.
I, uh...
I feel...
Sorry, I... I feel like...
Talk to me.
I... I feel...
I've done
everything wrong.
You know?
I've been thinking...
What if I...
What if I don't belong here?
What if I've stolen
someone else's place?
Ah, Jesus, say something.
Laugh at me or...
Oh dear!
I mean, who am I to contemplate
these confessions, really?
I know, I know.
I'm s...
I'm sorry. Please go.
I should never have bothered you
with any of this.
In my opinion...
things are simple.
People, on the other hand,
have an inexplicable proclivity
to make them complicated.
It seems to me
you already know you erred,
which is, to say at least,
atypical of most people.
But, personally,
I look at you,
and all I see is a young man
whose work matters
to my grandson.
I mean, how you chose
to remedy your wrongs
is yours and God's
good businesses.
But the question is...
how could you have
stolen a place...
that was made just for you?
Um, I'm sorry,
I've never seen you here before.
Well, you see me now.
Blimey! You know,
I'd better get going.
Go home.
You're too young for lonely
meals in dingy kitchens.
What are you doing here?
Well, then this is
the most perfect night.
So, how's Amy?
Is it, um,
is it because you
met someone?
Uh, another person?
Oh, no, no, no!
Don't do this to me.
No, come on!
- No, I'm sorry.
- You're not gonna leave now!
We're in the middle of a game!
Are you kidding me?
Not like "I gotta bail"
I'm sorry.
- John!
- Mom, I'm... I'm sorry.
I'm... sorry.
I don't know, I...
Fuck, I'm not good at this!
Um, you know, John,
that I, um...
I read everything about you.
I mean, everybody gives me
every article. Everything.
I see every performance,
all the talk shows,
your work, everything.
I follow you and, um...
There's this one thing
that you said.
Oh, Ma, what did you read?
You said it on
a few occasions.
Um, you said that...
You said that we...
that we came from
different planets.
- Oh no, Ma...
- And...
John, I...
I come from this planet...
and you come...
from me.
And I know that, um...
I mean, I don't think
a mother is supposed to be
her son's friend.
But I know you.
I was the first to.
(Chuckling softly)
So, now let's just
play cards, OK?
Hey, Ma?
Would you run me a bath
and ask me to spell words...
(Laughing) we used to?
If that's what you want.
Can I stay here tonight?
Oh, honey, you can stay here
for the rest of your life.
(Grace chuckling)
This is fun!
Rupert, stop it!
Mom, you should try this!
Stop jumping on the bed.
You're gonna break the bed.
You're gonna break the floor.
You're gonna break your neck!
I don't know a human being
capable of drying their hair
in blue light.
You see how high I can go?
(Rupert panting)
Do you wanna go back
to England?
- Mom?
- Yeah?
Do you think John's
answered my letter yet?
The front desk said
that they'd call.
You have to focus on
the positive stuff, honey.
It's a full moon tonight.
It's gotta mean
something, right?
I guess so.
It will be hard
to entirely ignore
this mother-son hotbox
on my MySpace.
This one seems
like a good one.
Oh God, what's that?
That's easy.
Uh, pertaining to something
before a meal.
You are such a nerd.
Is that right?
Sorry, what?
What, that's how
you spell it.
Is that right?
Oh yeah!
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Honey, are you OK?
I'm fine, Ma.
I'm fine.
Things are gonna be a bit
different, that's all.
Yeah, it's a little scary,
but, you know, you just...
You just have
to be yourself.
(James): Eek!
Well, that'll be terrible!
Shut up, you little fuck!
What the fuck?
Don't be a dick, man!
- Hey! Hey!
- Oh! Watch it, boys!
Turn it up.
- Piss off!
- I fucking love this song!
- Are you fucking serious?
- I know that one!
I'm serious!
It's a great song! Turn it up!
Ready for this?
( Hanging by a Moment
by Lifehouse on radio )
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
(Talking indistinctly)
I'm closer to when I started
I'm chasing after you
I'm falling even more
in love with you
Letting go of all
I've held on to
You guys!
I'm standing here
until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment
here with you
I'm living for
the only thing I know
I'm running and
I'm not sure where to go
I don't know what
I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment...
I guess that's...
I mean, my story pretty much
ends here, Audrey. I mean...
Does it, now?
Well, from what
Grace Donovan told me...
That was the last time
she and Jimmy,
and anybody,
as far as they know,
saw John.
Well, then, if I may ask
one final question...
How did you find out?
(Telephone ringing)
(Chuckling): Oh!
Uh, well, yes,
then... then send it up.
Sorry! I just didn't want my son
to see the letter just yet.
Otherwise, he'll go mental.
Uh, is it
from Mr. Donovan?
Um, no, I'm afraid
not, Miss Turner.
A young man dropped it
with the only instruction
to give it to Rupert Turner.
Oh! OK.
My apologies.
No, no, no!
- Thank you.
- Have a nice day.
"Dear Rupert,
"I have not slept in days,
maybe months.
"I will need to find
some time to do that...
"and think.
"You know, I've given
my all to this life.
"I've worked on my craft,
my career, my reputation.
"I've worked on friends,
on family.
"In the midst of all that work,
"the thing I've forgotten
to work on is myself.
"In the years when
most boys became men,
"I became a celebrity.
"Rupert, I wish for you
"to live a life of recognition
and fulfillment, yes.
"But, mostly,
I wish for you to live.
"Live before you lie.
"It is what this is
all about, unavoidably.
"But some lies are some
artists' greatest performances.
"And some lies, I think,
are a pure beauty.
"But you are too pure
to lie now.
"Because I know your fantasies,
"because I know your desires,
"I also know the disappointment,
"the loneliness that
you will inescapably feel.
"Rupert, I cannot think
"of a more impressive
young man than you.
"I cannot dream of
a more thoughtful confidant,
"a more singular friend.
"I was thinking,
"the greatest of our
achievements in this friendship
"is that no one really
will understand it
"until you want them to.
"I will find my way to you.
I promise.
"Soon I will resurface."
John, it's me!
"But for now...
"I need to sleep.
"I just want to sleep
"and start over.
"Your friend, John."
(Clearing throat)
After all this, um,
I won't pretend that I'm not
curious to know if he...
If he killed himself?
We'll never really know,
will we?
Um, and I don't know anything
more than what's in those pages.
Well, either
he did kill himself
because he'd sunk into a deep
despair, et cetera, et cetera...
But that's the
easy version, isn't it?
(Chuckling softly)
Or he really
did wanna sleep...
and he made a terrible mistake.
Because the last letter,
it suggests that
he was full of hope.
Which is why I'm sure
you will understand
that, for obvious reasons,
that is the version
that I chose to believe.
All right, Rupert.
Thank you.
I'm sorry we got off
to a bad start.
No! Don't worry
about it, really.
- I'll get the bill.
- Yeah. Yeah.
Oh, there's my ride.
- Go! Go!
- OK.
(Engine rumbling)
Good luck.
Ah, it's only one scene.
No, I mean,
not today, obviously,
but I mean with
your career, your life.
I hope you get
what you want.
I already have
what I want.
Then good!
All right, um...
Um, I'll see ya.
( Bittersweet Symphony
by The Verve )
(Cars passing by)
(Dialogue inaudible)
(Bell tolling)
(Car honking)
'Cause it's
a bittersweet symphony
This life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to the money
Then you die
I'll take you down
the only road
I've ever been down
You know the one
that takes you
To the places where
all the veins meet, yeah
No change, I can't change
I can't change
I can't change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I'm a million
different people
From one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no
No, no, no
Have you ever been down?
Well, I never pray
But tonight
I'm on my knees, yeah
I need to hear some sounds
That recognize
the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine
Let it cleanse my mind
I feel free now
But the airwaves are clean
And there's nobody
singing to me now
No change, I can't change
I can't change
I can't change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
And I'm a million
different people
From one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no,
No, no, no
Have you ever been down?
I can't change it, you know
I can't change it
'Cause it's a
bittersweet symphony
This life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money
Then you die
I'll take you down
the only road
I've ever been down
You know the one
that takes you
To the places where
all the veins meet, yeah
You know, I can't change
I can't change
I can't change
I can't change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
And I'm a million
different people
From one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no
No, no, no
I can't change my mold
No, no
No, no, no
I can't change my
No, no
No, no, no
Can't change my violence,
melody and silence
(Repeating): Can't change my
violence, melody and silence
I'll take you down
the only road
I've ever been down
I'll take you down
the only road
I've ever been down
Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
You ever been down?
Have you ever been down?
Have you ever been down?