Have you ever done something in your life that you thought had ended a very long time ago? So you thought until it comes up again later…
I remember this story began on Monday the 4th of February. I was on my way to Brooklyn to attend the special screening for Persuasion. I’d refused (as usual) the limo service that the Jane Austen society offered and took the subway to Brooklyn. Just before I went into the auditorium, I stopped by the crowded student cafeteria for a coffee (a Starbucks in the student cafeteria–who knew??). My first thought was that all those people were about to see Persuasion too, but luckily none took notice of me and I went in to order a coffee. For a split second, I noticed a woman staring at me. I had no chance to react to her recognising me because just then my cell phone rang and I took the call. Standing there in the middle of the coffee shop crowd, my phone between ear and shoulder, looking for change to pay for my coffee, and having a short interaction with the cashier, I managed to get to my appointment on time. Watching the movie that Roger directed more than 10 years ago brought up many memories. I shared a few with students, teachers, and fans and had a really great time. A few extra laughs on the question of make-up in Persuasion. I felt quite comfortable in the situation, sitting on that plain chair between the Jane Austen scholar and the film professor with the big screen behind our backs. Some insistent questions on the style of the cinematography produced a little annoyance, but in the end, the prevailing mood was lifted by the discussion over that kiss. What a fuss over just a small scene, but with such consequence! And the circus in the background. I thought that was it and went back to my theatrical real life.
Only to find some papers in my files including a fax from Simon. Nick Dear had written a draft of a sequel for Persuasion. That poor guy must have seen too many reviews of Indiana Jones 4! So years later, the Wentworths never arrive on a journey to Australia. The ship encounters pirates, and Anne gets kidnapped. An entire film filled with a journey where Anne can prove her practical sense in the wilderness, and me, I would fight my way across the whole continent to find her. And of course it would end with a kiss again, this time with a Gone With the Wind-like sunset and Australian mountains in the background. How could I potentially market that project in my Parisian home? I begin to sweat again and find myself dozing in the back of the production car that is supposed to take me to today’s location for shooting. Quite a bloody maddening dream!