My name is Dolan H. and I landed the role of a superhero (I won’t say which) and then lost it.
I was to play the lead in an upcoming superhero film by a big comic book studio and man was it hard! They cast me and then they wanted me to lose a bunch of weight. And I was all like, “Hey guys, I’m not losing a bunch of weight. I already memorized all your lines and that maxed-me-out on effort this year.”
They were not cool about it.
You see, in the beginning, I thought they were gonna do a bunch of CGI in post (for those not in the biz, “CGI in post” means Computer Graphics in post-production) — you know? Fixes to my belly to make me look tight. I thought I was hired for my acting chops and my wry and varied line readings. Au contraire mon frère. One red-faced exec shouted: “We’re paying you enough for you to pay your own body fat to go away!”
“Body memories” I told him, without blinking while eating a pizza sub.
“Body memories?!” I pulled my ear away from the phone. He was pissed.
“Yes,” I said. “I have too many traumatic body memories from my rough childhood. So, when I get on an exercise machine and my body heats up, I can’t take the discomfort. And it’s more discomfort than the regular, average person.”
He hung up and they dropped the issue — for a while.
Four weeks later they got on me about my saggy ass-skin. I had lost 80lbs even before I ever landed in Hollywood and had/have a condition I can only describe as premature, old-man ass. And it seems the director had an idea that he was gonna do some cute shots of me going from the bed to the shower or from the shower out the window to go fight crime or something. You know, hopping on one foot with my bare ass hanging out, just before I pull-up my super suit. Bare male asses (BMA’s) tests well with women aged 35 and up and this were just the demo superhero movies lay awake at night about. But 6 weeks into the shoot, we got to the BMA scene and I unveiled the crepey two-paneled drapes that are my ass and what followed was a huge embarrassed (pun intended) silence on the set. The crew exchanged glances — booms aloft with nobody wanting to deliver the straight poop on my ass ((p)unavoidable). So we just shot the scene as planned. Fake sun setting through the fake window of my fake NYC apartment. Fake smattering of applause as we wrapped on my ass.
I just never figured that I had to actually be in shape to play a superhero. I really thought that with modern technology I could byp(ass) the pump squats and graduate to the immortal status which comes with a starring role as a major (and I mean MAJOR — I don’t want to get into legal trouble — but he’s big and he’s purplish-mauve and his name rhymes with a certain sports team in Ohio — I think you get who it is) superhero franchise.
I was fired. It fell to the EP (that’s “executive producer” for those of you not in the biz – same guy from seven paragraphs ago, by the way, so hopefully you already dislike him) to call and say, “We’ve decided to ‘go another way’” which is showbiz for “you’re fired”. And you know the funny thing? When he called to drop the news, I was, again, eating a pizza sub. And it was at that moment I realized that this EP and I had some serious karma together. The coincidence involved in the chances being that every time we spoke I was eating a pizza sub, was larger than the robot-form of the superhero part from which he was firing me. What are the chances? Somebody oughtta turn THIS whole story into a screenplay. Now that’s a film I’d lose weight for!