There is not a lot of Audrey news to report à ce moment, but I do have some photos I neglected to share with you from last summer in France! I always enjoy dressing up as Ondine, so you haven’t seen the last of her…. 😉
Rooney as Audrey
Well I woke up to some shocking news the other day – an article saying Rooney Mara was going to be playing Audrey Hepburn in a biopic. It really shook me, even after realizing that it wasn’t the Wildside production. My mind just raced back through the entire past 20 years of my life, back to the beginnings of my journey with Audrey – I remember watching The Audrey Hepburn Story when I was about 18, and just learning about Audrey. How at first, I actually enjoyed it. I like biopics, generally. But as I learned more, the gulf between Audrey and Jennifer grew wider. The glaring mistakes or outright rewrites of Audrey’s life made me feel that Audrey deserved better. I started writing down my research. In notebook after notebook, then on index cards as I organized it all chronologically in preparation to write my own script.
And I wrote it.
I spent my hours on set as a background actor scribbling it down, then typing it out in Final Draft. My weekends were spent at the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, looking at microfiche of old articles. One even had Audrey’s Los Angeles address printed right in it. I couldn’t find that address when I went looking for it though. The neighbourhood must have been renumbered in the 45 years since that article.
Well, I wrote and I wrote. I made two versions. One was a double script. And one focused more on the middle of her life. I used as many direct quotes as I could. However, I was never really confident in it. I’m not a writer.
A friend of mine saw the passion I had for this, and he said he wanted to produce it. I didn’t see him often, only a handful of times a year. He was busy running a charity called the Angel Foundation, and he lived a bit outside of L.A. somewhere… But one day in 2006 I think it was… after being unable to get ahold of him for a time, I learned that he had passed away. He had leukemia. So with him died my hope of getting the script produced. I put it away. I would have to simply work hard, make a name for myself, and try again when I had some clout. That day has still not come.
The announcement in 2018 gave me one last hope. Now in my 30’s, I know I could do a better job than I could back then. For starters, my teeth look a hell of a lot better now after Invisalign (which I’m about to do a second time)! I’ve had many acting classes, ballet classes, and experiences to draw from. I’ve gone through heartbreak after heartbreak. I’ve lived in Europe – France and the Netherlands. I’ve been to the places Audrey has been, and walked in her footsteps. I’ve owned a Yorkie, beginning to end, 13 years of that silly furbaby. I’ve found more confidence (though maybe still not enough). And I’ve learned a lot more about Audrey. I don’t know if any of that is enough to convince somebody to give me a chance. Once again we’re seeing how having a famous face helps you to land good roles. But what percentage of actors even reach that level? I was once told that only 5% of SAG members even made a living with acting. Five percent. Does that mean the rest of us aren’t talented enough? I doubt it. There are plenty of talented people who don’t get work, and plenty of people who get work despite not being talented. And I still cling to some hope that in this case especially, for Audrey, one of the other unknown 95% may be given a chance. Just like they took a chance on her for Roman Holiday, giving an unknown actress a major role over any other famous actress of the day, I hope Wildside makes their casting decision not based on fame, but based on the person who can truly bring Audrey to life. Even if it’s not me. Although I can’t imagine anybody giving more of themselves to the role than I would. So, I’m still here, still doing my best, and still hoping.
About This Blog
Over the past few years, I’ve kept a blog over at www.dreameroftheday.com, although as you can see, I haven’t written anything there in the past year (I’m not much of a blogger!). But because this is a specific project I want to document, I decided to set it apart and give it it’s own space on the internet. So here we are!
And what is this project, you may ask?
While awake at 3AM, in London, a few weeks ago, I was browsing Facebook and came across this article:
Nearly fell out of bed.
Let me back the truck up a little.
I became an Audrey fan as a teenager, after renting Breakfast at Tiffany’s for my grandmother and I to watch. She had told me it was her favourite film. I knew nothing about Tiffany’s except that they made pens (she had a silver pen marked “Tiffany’s”), but I assumed it was some kind of café somewhere… I mean where else would you get breakfast? I was so fascinated with Audrey, because she was so different to all the actresses I was aware of at that time. Olivia Hussey was the actress who really inspired me to act, and I wanted to look just like her. My hair was already to my waist, but that bust… no lotions or bras could get me to look like that. And I tried. By the time I was out of high school, I was nearly 5’7″, 105 pounds, 32A and size 8.5 shoe. Nothing seemed to fit me, my teeth were a mess, I didn’t know how to apply make-up or do anything with my hair… and so of course I left for Los Angeles.
That same year, Jennifer Love Hewitt portrayed Audrey Hepburn in a television movie. At first, I admit, I kind of liked it. It was probably the first “documentary” I’d seen on Audrey. But I soon learned how wrong it all was. So I started doing my own research. Between work as a background actor, I’d spend days at the Academy Library, going through microfiche and files of letters and papers (which I did again this past year). And on set when I wasn’t working, I was writing. I had stacks of index cards with every fact about Audrey I could find, notebooks full. And I wrote. This was my mission.
But life got in the way, and I had no idea how to ever make it become reality, so it sits in volumes on my bookshelf. The dreams of 20-year-old me.
So now, in 2018, to see that there is a production that is actually going to get made, and will most likely be accurate and well-written, all I could think was “maybe this is my chance.” And maybe my only chance.
Of course the voices in my mind tell me, “oh, no, they’ll probably want someone like Natalie Portman or Lilly Collins, someone bankable, someone known… you’re nobody, what chance do you really have?”
But then there’s the voice of hope, shouting at me, “don’t give up that easily! You have no idea what they want or who they want. You are just as talented as any other actress, and you have more passion for this project in your pinky finger than any of those well-known girls. If you don’t even try, then you’ll never know if you could have gotten the role. What do you have to lose?”
So I won’t give in to that other voice. That voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I shouldn’t even bother, that I’m delusional. I have plenty to offer, and several months from now I’ll have even more to offer.
In this blog, I’m going to document my journey. I have no idea how often I’ll post, or what I will post, really. But this is the journey of an actress with a passion for a role. This is my journey to “becoming” Audrey Hepburn. My goal is to make myself into the best candidate to play her on screen. Audrey has given the world so much (and she wouldn’t even understand how!), and was such a unique human being, that she deserves the best of everything. If a series is going to be made about her, it’s got to do her justice. She’s given me so much, that this would be my way of giving something back to her, if I succeed at my goal and actually get the part.
So, let the journey begin!
“Won’t you join me?”