that was going to be a tough phone call. I had never been away from home this long and I had college coming up in August. “Mom, Dad, can I stay here in California just a bit more?” I asked when I called them. There was a silence on the other end. Finally, I heard my father growl, “Why, Steven?” “I just think I can do something with the acting. I really think I can, Dad. I just need two more weeks.” There was more silence. There had never been that much silence in my house. “You can stay, but only for two more weeks. But then, Steven, you have to get home,” my father said sternly. “You have school coming up, and I want you enrolled.” But I wanted to stay as long as I could. Two weeks turned into two months. Paramount became my home away from home. I would wander the lot from early morning till late in the evening, often sleeping in offices. I would sneak home at 5 or 6 a.m., shower, check in with Michael, and go back out. I would eat, sleep, and dream Paramount. Every sound stage had a phone on it and I used these to my full advantage. I would call the operator and ask to be connected to any of the numbers I needed. I would call the agency, call my friends in New York, and most important call my parents, promising to be home soon. My favorite stage was the water set, which could be fi lled with tons of H2O so that boats could be put in it. It was often empty, so I used it as my first “office.” One day I came in and there was a full submarine set in there. Who was on the top deck but Charlton Heston and Christopher Reeve. Heston was in a nasty mood that day and was storming around the set. He walked up to me, in my trusty sport coat and briefcase, and yelled, “Do you work for Universal?” I stammered like Jackie Gleason and answered the only way I knew how. “Yes, sir, I work for Universal.” “Well, you tell those assholes if they don’t fi x this script, I will, and you don’t want me doing that!” Geez, Moses is pissed off, I thought. I’ve got to do something. “I will, sir, and I’ll do it right away.” He looked at me with those eyes, those amazing eyes, and I was stupefied. “Well, go on son, get it done.” I tell you, for a few moments I believed I did work for Universal. I opened my briefcase and scribbled some gibberish on a piece of paper and ran off. I looked back and he was smiling at me, with a big movie-star grin. Chris Reeve came up behind him, put his hand on his shoulder. I
3/20/12 10:39 AM
Published on Apr 10, 2012
The hilarious, insightful memoir of the highs and lows of Hollywood by the actor who starred in multiple iconic blockbusters: Diner, Police...