Stuart Templeton Davenport
Date: April 13, 2010
Surprising things can happen on location.
"You Have Talent"
A Forest - Westchester NY
The camera is rolling, high above the set on a track that's slowly maneuvering around the forest scene. It's very difficult to film this challenging outdoor shot without stuff getting in the way, like the camera track, for instance, or the boom mic that's only inches away from the camera's lens. There's also the actors to consider.
"Careful now," director Skip McGeraldstein says quietly. He's not really worried about extra sound in the shot - that can be edited out later. But resetting this entire thing for the magestic vampire/were goldfish scene that critics will be talking about for days at least will be a hassle. This is already the third shot, and he's more than ready to get it right.
They're actually filming outside. There's a light drizzle falling, so the camera is covered by a thin plastic sheet that allows the water to harmlessly slide off. Other equipment is carefully preserved from the dampness by plastic, as well, which makes a wet, crinkly sound in the cool wind. Night is falling; the camera signifies the descent of the newest vampire in town as he approaches Ora from the sky. With a movie budget, they could reset and shoot this a dozen more times, but with primetime soap pay, they have two or three more chances, at max.
"Keep it on Hallis' face. That's it— Stuart standing by, on my mark…"
"Sir, we got the microphone in the shot."
Skip swears. Damn! That one was almost perfect. "Reset. Christ. And get me a new boom operator. That's twice now. Why do we even have a mic following the camera?! I want that changed. Bring the boom in when we're on our actors. I want us ready to shoot again in twenty minutes; fifteen if you want to impress me!"
With drizzle comes frizz and the more time that goes by the worse Hallis' hair would be except for the spoiled hair and makeup artists that dote on her every whim. Let it not be said that Hallis doesn't appreciate the people who make her look good because she does. It's been rumored around that the two women were given pricey bracelets as a thank you gift for making her look especially wonderful one day. Then there's the gift to the lighting woman, Joyce, a very well thought out Anna Sui runway original that she could wear on set.
It's obvious that the youngest diva on the cast is getting a little tired of the foul ups as she gives the director a pleading look. At least she's not up in the air like Stuart, it's a small mercy. Looking up at him, Hallis gives the man an encouraging smile and a shrug to say 'que cera cera'. Then wardrobe comes out in a tizzy, the dress they put Hallis in is mostly made of chiffon and rather than float the way it's supposed to, it's clingy and see through. Which according to the set director isn't exactly a bad thing.
With a heavy sigh, Afterlife guest star Stuart Templeton Davenport shakes his head as they begin lowering him from the air. Finally, his feet touch the ground. Unlike many of his costars, he is actually wearing a shirt (a white muscle shirt to be more precise), in fact, his people insisted for his first appearance he be treated at least as semi-human, even if he is indeed playing a character rather otherworldly. He stretches his neck and then his shoulders as he allows himself to finally come out of character, relaxing more with each breath. Finally he calls back to the director, "It was sloppy at best!" No, he's not in charge of the project, but he certainly won't be in any scenes that could discredit him as the serious actor that he is.
With another stretch, he turns his attention to the leading lady in this scene. "You can't just say the lines you know. You need to…" he places a hand across his chest — presumably where his heart should be "…feel them. Connect with them. Make yourself believe you're the character you're trying to play. None of this 'If I was Ora, I would feel — ' no, when the camera rolls, you are Ora."
His assistant appears with a bottle of Evian which he gives a skeptical look before sighing, shaking his head again, and twisting the cap.
Wardrobe, makeup, and hair all freeze when the guest begins to give advice to their dainty charge. Then all three pairs of eyes slowly turn from him, toward her direction to see if she's going to be throwing one of the temper tantrums so famous on set.
Hallis is actually behaving on set today. After a warning from the director and the producers of the show to be 'good or else', she's actually been a bit more than civil to everyone on set, not just the people who are normally forgotten when the thank yous roll around.
"Thank you Stuart, I'll do that," she says in an all too sweet voice.
Then the Evian is taken away, her people leave, and he is hoisted back into the air for (what they hope is) the final take of this very climactic shot.
With that word, the expression on Hallis' face changes to one of cautious curiosity. Camera one is on her face as she moves through the woods, her hair waving back as the chill wind blows through it. She doesn't even blink as the drizzle hits her in the face and eyes. She is Ora, she loves the water.
As Stuart descends, she draws closer, the wet crinkle of the leaves underfoot only adding to the ambiance of the shot. She looks up into his eyes and blinks twice, he really is a vision and he's coming straight toward her. Like an angel. As he descends from the air to land on the ground, she reaches out for him and twitches her lips into a slight pucker before the corners lift into a very slight 'Mona Lisa' smile.
Then in a breathy voice, she speaks to him for the first time. The line is meant to be poetic, epic, and something to keep the viewers guessing. They couldn't ever have done this with Chris, he's just not that serious an actor.
"I ask you, my Archangel, is this the region, this the soil, the clime. Is this the seat that I must change for Heaven?"
As he's hoisted, Stuart shifts into character. His own expressions turning into a kind of deep seated vulnerability, matched with a soft smile and even softer eyes — a stark contrast to his actual muscular physique, but then a good actor doesn't fear being exposed as vulnerable. His muscle shirt clings to his chest, exposing his pecks as fake wind blows against him. His hair blows gently in the breath — all-in-all the scene is near ethereal.
He watches her with that same admiring softness. He stretches a single hand out to her, his coiled just a little. "I am no angel," is the gentle reply. "But I will do anything to please you. I could never be your Heaven or your earth, but I could be your follower." He watches her pensively, considering every angle of her face, admiring her with an almost raw vulnerability.
"For one look, one expression from your eyes, I know that you're my Heaven. My Earth. The Sun itself, golden in its glory. Please, take me as I am. Rapture me in your golden tresses."
Her wide blue eyes gaze up at him with an almost loving expression. When his hand meets her cheek, she takes another step into him and her form practically melts against his. The reply is wordless as she reaches up with one hand to cup his cheek and slide her hand upward to tangle in his hair. Then her body moves up a couple of inches as she lifts herself up onto her bare toes and presses her lips against his.
The director keeps the shot running for a little longer than he should. He's on the edge of his seat, wondering how long he can stretch that steamy kiss before the credits roll. The fans are going to be screaming. Is Ora cheating on Chris the vampire with the pecs? Well it's obvious that there's a new player in town, one who practically drips with charisma.
Right now, Hallis is Ora and Ora is getting everything she needs from Archer. Her slim body fits tightly against his muscles one as her other arm slides around his waist and down over his rear. Oh yes, she's cupping a feel and the camera totally got it.
Both of Stuarts hands are on her cheeks, his finger tips caressing her skin ever so slightly. The kiss continues for several more moments before the director finally yells, "THAT'S A WRAP!" And even then… Stuart's lips linger against Hallis'. He's still in character. After a few more moments he breaks the very steamy kiss as a pleased smile spreads over his lips.
"And that's what divides talent from skill," his voice is gentle as his New Zealander accent essentially compliments Hallis in an almost backward way. "There's no doubt you're talented. And you're developing some skill. I think you could be a great actress Ms. Van Cortlandt." He nods a bit at this fact as he brought a fresh bottle of Fiji water. This time his assistant earns herself a toothy grin.
Now he tugs the muscle shirt over his head and tosses it towards his assistant, leaving him in blue jeans. His assistant traipses off to get her boss a shirt.
He's in character, she's in character, the kiss isn't broken until he actually pulls away. Then her eyes open to look at him before she blinks and few times and her expression changes. Then she clears her throat and looks around her, that is, until his shirt comes off. Then her eyes are completely focused on his very bare torso.
"Well thank you, Mister Davenport, a compliment like that from an actor of your caliber, well…" Her soft voice drifts off as her eyes move up to finally meet his. Then she graces him with a bit of a smile before turning and sashaying from his view and into her trailer. Her makeup artist and hair dresser follow along quickly enough. It's late, they're done for the day and pretty much everyone wants to go home. A few minutes after they go in, the two women reappear with her chiffon dress and close the trailer door. Unlike Stuart, Hallis doesn't have the luxury of changing out in the open, so she gets a trailer of her very own. Poor thing.
While Hallis is away, Stuart's assistant returns with a blue button up shirt for him that she helps him into. He leaves it unbuttoned though, for now, anyways. He's staring at Hallis' trailer, quietly contemplating something. That is, until his agent's voice breaks his thoughts, "Stuart. Stuart you're a doll for doing this guest stint, but we really must get back to that movie career of yours. You have a film coming out in the next few weeks and with this you'll be the talk of the town. It's time to start another, my friend."
Stuart issues his agent an easy smile — very surfer in nature. "Just relax. I don't think I'm done here yet. There's some things… I think I have to do first." His eyes glimmer with mischief as he pads away from his agent, towards Hallis' trailer, while buttoning up his shirt, one button at a time. Once he reaches the door, he raps on it gently.
The knock is answered with a musical, "Come in~!" Then the door opens for him and Hallis' breath hitches slightly and she graces the actor with a crooked smile.
"Oh, come in… You shouldn't be standing out in the rain." Of course it's not actually raining, but the drizzle is getting a bit heavier. Hallis' hair is still quite damp and after Stuart enters the trailer, she turns her back on him and returns to her mirror.
Her reflection studies his form and every movement as she slowly pulls the brush through her hair. The ring is back on her finger and her cell phone is laying, centered, on the vanity. Apparently, she's expecting a phone call.
"Did you need something?" She asks, her voice a little bit quiet. There's really no reason to whisper, but the dim lighting in the rest of the trailer seems to set a softer mood.
Looking around, it's plain to see that she's a little bit spoiled. She's not the star of the show, not by far, but she knows who to butter up to get the best. To get the best trailer, she pulled a few strings and called in some favors. There's a soft bed at the other end, for between shots when she's tired. A small sitting area in the middle, and the wardrobe and vanity area at the end she's sitting on. In the sitting area, there's an ice bucket full of bottles of water and juice.
Stuart enters the trailer and can't help but smirk, just a little. At the question, however, his answer is brief, "Not at all. I just wanted to commend you on your scene today. It was touch and go for awhile there, but then — you really pulled it together. Plus, I find that it helps me to improve my method if I know my colleagues some." She's issued another smile. "Quite the rock you have there," he says admiring her finger from a distance. "I imagine he's an exceptional suitor." He stops linger in the doorway and enters, making himself comfortable in a chair not far from where Hallis is seated. "Although… it's a wonder I haven't met him."
With a glance to the juice he turns back to her, "May I?"
Nodding quickly, Hallis gives the man a rather dreamy expression and a tentative smile, "Help yourself." To the water, to the juice, to looking at her a little more with those dark brown eyes… Then she blinks and few times and nods a little more vehemently, "The juice, it's there for everyone."
The brush is placed down on the vanity next to the phone and she turns on the little chair to face him. She looks down at the ring and smiles a little and then offers the shrug of one of her thin shoulders. "George is a little busy right now," she explains, the depression in her voice is quite obvious, as is the loneliness in her expression. "He's a very important man, with the president visiting and everything…"
Sure enough, Stuart takes an orange juice and twists the cap. "Thanks." He removes the cap and then nods a little, "I can understand that. I guess he must be busy to stay away from his fiance." He takes a long swig of the juice before managing to look back at Hallis, "So is he here watching you film the rest of the time? I mean, when he has some time away from from his busy tasks?"
"I was in a relationship with a singer once. It was always about her career. Hopefully he'll trade off someday and come see you while you're still in your prime." Thoughtfully he takes another long swig. "Honestly, you're almost there. I can tell talent from skill and your skill — " he nods approvingly.
"I haven't been on the show very long, he's been working on his career forever." Hallis replies a little defensively, of course George is supportive of her. She glances at the phone as though it's about to ring any moment, but it remains silent.
Getting up from her little chair, she moves over to the rack of clothing and pulls off a dress. It is gently laid over the back of the chair before she weaves her way to the sitting area. Her script is laying on the table, next to the bucket, and she picks it up.
"Since you're here… Would you mind going over a few of the lines with me?" Her voice is almost hopeful as she looks up at him. "We ended so late tonight, I don't know if I can get the whole thing memorized by tomorrow morning."
"I just think relationships are a give and take. One person builds the career while the other supports and then vice versa. Give. And. Take." Stuart shrugs before he watches her move through the trailer.
"I can run lines with you. I think I have mine memorized already," it's a talent in a way, memorizing quickly and it's something he does well. He leans forward in his seat while still watching Hallis thoughtfully.
"What bit do you want to run through?"
"George's career is still building," Then Hallis turns to Stuart and furrows her eyebrows a little in a slight frown, "I don't really want to quit, I mean.. What would I do? Stay at home all day?" Not George's home, her home. The one with the little children in it.
She shifts a little on her seat and flips the page open to near the end. "I thought we could run through this bit, where I confront Chris about betraying me and…" Then she looks up at Stuart again before continuing, "…and Archer comes in."
She licks her lips and takes a deep breath before she begins to read aloud. Sharing the same script requires that they sit next to each other, but she can't help but takes a deep breath every time he bends to read his lines.
And bend he does. Leaning forward he reads his line before turning to Hallis seriously. Stuart takes a deep breath as he focuses on Archer as a character, channeling him as best he can, "Why waste your breath?" His voice is breathy, serious, really questioning what Ora is doing with her life. "He doesn't care about you; not the way I do." Once again, he looks at her with his soft bedroom eyes, longingly, lovingly, perhaps.
"Come away with me. I will do your bidding. I will be your slave. The sun and the moon and the stars will all set according to you. Your very will is my joy. And it would be my honour to be your faithful servant." He gazes at her, still soft in all of his features.
"I need him, for now." Hallis channels Ora as she slides a little closer, her breath caressing his ear as her hair brushes lightly against his shoulder. "It doesn't matter, I don't need him to care about me. I just need him to do what I want."
Her blue eyes linger on his for a moment before they drift downward, tracing the line of his shoulder, down his arm where her hand finds his. Then she brings it to her lips and kisses his knuckles softly before looking up into his eyes again. "We'll be together soon, once Morgan is permanently destroyed, we can be together forever."
"We belong together forever," Stuart counters softly as his fingers gently caress her face once again, slowly pushing the blonde tresses away from her eyes. "I would destroy her now if I could. An eternity with you is worth several moments of pain." Even though he's immune to wereporcupines.
He leans forward pressing his lips against hers, his gentle at first as the script suggests, and then it's deepened while he wraps his arms around her, enveloping her in his muscular arms.
As she's wrapped up in his embrace, Hallis drops the script to the floor. Her arm slips around his neck and tangles her hand in his hair. She grips tightly at the longer strands, forcefully. Her newly freed hand, like the script suggests, is pressed up against his chest, but that soon slides toward the buttons of his shirt as she slowly unbuttons the top two. That part, is definitely not in the script.
Stuart's lips make a hot trail beyond her lips — to her cheeks and down her neck, slowly, methodically expressing a form of passion generally reserved for couples, not actors rehearsing scenes. His fingers linger along the waistline of her dress before traveling upwards to her shoulders for that hot feeling of flesh against flesh that he so longs for.
It's amid this passion that the trailer door opens with a squeak and a familiar voice, "I'm sorry for interrupting rehearsal, Hal — "
Dr. Sydney Falkland gapes at the pair tangled up in each other. "Uh…" Her hands are at her side as she lingers in the doorway. "Wh-wh-what?!"
With a gasp, Hallis wrenches herself from Stuart's arms and turns wide eyed in the direction of the door. Where her room mate and on again off again friend stands gaping. "Sydney!!" the actress cries out, rather breathlessly as she pulls her robe back together in a bid to try to keep herself in a small semblance of… whatever it is that she needs in order to make Sydney believe her.
"We.. we were going over lines…" That they were, at least for the first little while. Before they got caught up in their characters and the heat of the moment.
"It's true," Stuart agrees rather breathless himself as he stands from his seat. "Very, very well done, Ms. Van Cortlandt… we'll have to… it'll be good tomorrow." He offers Hallis a two fingered wave before disappearing from the trailer.
Sydney is still gaping at Hallis, her own ability buzzing with the half-lies she's being fed. Her jaw drops, her shoulders sag as she just watches Hallis try to pull herself together. Finally she manages a word, "G-George?"