For weeks Hollywood had been buzzing about the star-studded Red-Carpet World Premiere of Edward Gusts’ highly-anticipated feature film “The Letter Red.” All agreed that their expectations were exceeded after attending the live event.
The photographers and videographers were jockeying for position when stars walked the red carpet. Several of the movie’s stars along with the producers and VIP guests were interviewed.
One special guest who garnered a good deal of attention was South African-born actress Page de la Harpe. Although she was one of the most anticipated people for the big event, rumors were that she was not going to be there. “There’s no way I’ll get pictures of Page de la Harpe today,” quipped one of the press photographers. “She was on set this morning and she has the lead in a live theatrical production tonight. How can she possibly walk today’s red carpet?”
A hush had come over the crowd. Just out of his sight, an approaching voice came toward the photographer. “Because I care enough to be able to compress time,” Page said with a smile on her face. “If it’s important enough, one finds a way,” she continued. “And, believe me, being here for Edward Gusts’ big day is something I could not miss. The man is amazingly talented. This is the first feature film that he has produced, and I know it will be brilliant!” Edward Gusts heard her words and grinned. “I’m really looking forward to working with him on an upcoming feature,” she admitted, almost shyly.” Those standing close to Mr. Gusts heard him whisper “Yesss!” His reaction was what we’d expect from someone who discovered he had just won the lottery . . . but didn’t want others around him to know.
“Where do I get in line for the red carpet?” Page asked. “Right here, Page!” was the response from producer-actor Harlan Post, who pointed to the red carpet insisting that Page go before the cameras ahead of him. He knew that there would be several minutes of photographs and even more time for interviews for Ms. de la Harpe, but he was delighted to give up his position while having the “best seat in the house” to observe.
A microphone was extended in Page’s direction. “Did your shoot wrap early today?” an attractive interviewer asked. “Yes, it did,” Page responded. “I planned it to wrap early so I could join you and support the filmmaker.”
“How do you schedule an early wrap?” was the follow-up question.
“Oh, the production company plans for a normal day,” Page began, her smile broadening, “so you just have to make sure to get everything they want in the first take. That’s how you’re able to wrap early and come to the world premiere of ‘The Letter Red.’”
“Did you really get everything in one take today?” asked a second reporter. “Actually, I did two takes for one scene early this morning.” The reporter nodded head with a little “yeah, I thought so” attitude. Page raised an eyebrow adding, “I’ve been told that they’re using the first take.”
“How long have you been acting?” asked a third interviewer, seemingly proud of himself that he got a question in. “All of my life,” was Page’s quick response. The twinkle in her eye gave a hint that maybe the question could be stated differently. The interviewer gave a little sigh and followed up with, “How long have you been acting professionally?” Page smiled. “That’s different,” she responded. “Do you mean professionally in theater or film?” Now the interviewer smiled, knowing that Page was simply having fun with him. “How about film?” he asked. “Since I was a young adult. Next question.”
Before he could ask for clarification, the attractive young reporter asked, “Does being born in South Africa help you to get acting work here?” Page tilted her head and frowned slightly but stopped short of rolling her eyes. We could almost read the word “Seriously?” on her face. “You probably should ask Charlize Theron that question,” Page responded. Nearly everyone in the crowd smiled or nodded. They all knew that Charlize Theron, the Academy Award™ winning mega film star, was born in South Africa. “That may have been a big factor in her success,” Page added, trying not to crack a smile and knowing that everybody in the room – minus one – understood the comment.
“What projects do you have upcoming?” asked one of the reporters. “Projects” is the word Hollywood insiders use to refer to movies or television shows. Here it would translate to “What acting jobs do you have coming up?” Page thought for a moment, making sure that she didn’t mention any projects that were still “under wraps.” “I have signed contracts to star in two feature films and one television series,” she responded.” She paused for a moment, shielding her eyes from the bright lights as she looked into the crowd. “Do you see that handsome gentleman right there?” She pointed out ex-WWF Superstar, producer-director-actor Al Burke. “Al is just about to direct his third feature film that’s shooting in Africa. No, I’m not going to be in that one. Al’s shooting location is over 2,300 miles north of my hometown. But I do have a starring role in his film that’s shooting here in the US. I also have deals with two more of the producers who are here at the premiere.” Page pointed her finger upward and slowly began to lower it in the apparent direction of those two producers. She smiled and withdrew her hand, adding, “but I won’t point them out because my agents are not through negotiating with them yet.” Two producers good-naturedly booed from the other side of the room.
“I love this business,” Page announced enthusiastically. “Where else do you find movie producers who want to hire you – booing you – while counting, in their heads, the money they expect the films to bring in?” She looked in the direction of the two producers and gave them both a big wink.
“Thank you everyone,” she said as she made her way to the end of the red carpet. She walked toward the exit. “You’re not going to stay and watch my movie?” Edward Gusts asked, a questioning look on his face. “I have a live show,” Page answered. “Shakespeare,” she added, “Othello.” “You’re playing Othello?” asked one of the interviewers, attempting to demonstrate that he, also, had a sense of humor. “No,” said a happy and smiling Page de la Harpe. “I’m good, but I’m not sure I’m that good. That would be a rather large stretch for me.” She walked off the carpet, turned, and whispered, “Desdemona.”
Page made her way through the crowd to the movie’s producer and star. “Thank you for the invitation,” she said as she gave Edward Gusts a hug. “Thank you for coming,” he responded as he placed something into her hand. It was a Blu-ray disk of the movie. “Now I don’t have to wait three days for its official opening,” Page said as she left the building.
Written by K.T. Michaels