When I arrived at the Fashion Center food court just after 10AM, the
cast and crew had just finished shooting a shot and were prepping the
equipment for the next shot. I spotted the usual suspects: Grier, Forster,
Bender, and Q, but there was someone new added to the mix--Samuel L.
Jackson, wearing long hair extensions, a red beret, blue jeans, and a dark
blue shirt with red and white trim.
There was no chance of me being mistaken for a crew member this day,
and not just because I didn't wear a shirt that could be linked to the
production--just about every male member of the crew was dressed in drag.
Most wore skirts, some wore dresses, one person wore Grier's flight
attendant costume from two days earlier, another wore a shiny metallic gold
number that looked like a cross between Hercules's outfit and one of the
gaudy Goddess costumes from Showgirls. And, yes, even Q was in the
act--decked out in a white dress shirt, blue coat with a patch, plaid skirt,
knee-high black socks, and matching black and white shoes, he looked like a
Catholic school girl with a serious glandular problem. It was quite a
sight, to say the least.
The interscene break was quite long, and I sat at a table a hop,
skip, and a jump away from Q's chair. At one point, Q told Jackson and
Bender a rather long and involved anecdote. It was vintage QT--arms
flailing about, moving from side to side, voice alternately loud and soft.
After the break, a brief shot of Grier, sitting at a table, calling for
Forster's character to come over ("Max! Max!") was filmed. Three takes
took all of two minutes, and once again there was a long break.
Q moved his director's chair next to a table where Jackson sat,
but soon Jackson moved to another table, where not-in-drag Bender was seated,
(shocker here) talking into his cell phone. Q talked briefly to the two
other people sitting at the table and then just sat there. A few random
shoppers walked up to Jackson and Q and asked for their sigs; they obliged.
Seeing that this was as good a time as any, when Q saw me, I waved, and I
motioned if I could come over. Oddly enough, he shook his head no. I said
that I just had one little thing to say, and he shook his head again. I
asked if I could at least yell what I wanted to say from where I was
standing, about 5 feet away. He said, "Just wave." So wave I did
as other people went up to him, and he signed autographs for them.
This struck me as kind of odd, but I wasn't about to go anywhere.
In time people stopped going up to him, and he just sat there. He looked
over at me again, and I made a half sad, half pouty face and shrugged. He
then asked with a laugh, "What do you want?" I said, "I just want to say
one thing," and he finally motioned me to come over. We shook hands, and he
said that the problem was he didn't want to get into "a big fucking thing"
right now (which he knew could very likely come about with our two
motormouths) since he's at work. "It's cool for you to hang around and
stuff," he said, "and say 'hey' whenever we see each other..." and he
demonstrated the "hey" bit with his hands. True, I thought, but I told him
that I didn't want to get into "a big fucking thing" (and I didn't), and
that I hadn't asked for a moment like this in the days I'd been there. And
he said, "Yeah, you didn't yesterday." Once that was cleared up, I told him
that I wasn't going to come back today since we already had our "big goodbye
thing," but I got my second rejection notice from the film school, and I
showed him the double "DENIED"-stamped form. His tone changed, and he said,
"I'm sorry to hear that, man" and went on about Steven Spielberg's infamous
rejection, and how later people said to him "why didn't you tell us who you
were?" when there was no way of knowing back then, when it mattered... I
said that "I guess I should just do what [people] always tells me, just
start writing," and he said, "Yeah, just go for it." I then went on about
how writing in that way doesn't really come naturally to me, not like the
reviews, and he said to go for it and once again said that he was sorry.
After all that, I asked if I could, in the very end, come out of my three
days with a pic with him, and he said that he would except that he was
dressed the way he was. I said that it would be cool--"Mr. Brown with Ms.
Brown." He laughed, but still said no. I asked him if it was Drag Day or
something, and he said it was just Skirt Day. Q and I shook hands once
again, and I thanked him for everything and told him this time really was
goodbye and that I was sure we'd see each other again, and he smiled. And
with one last, firm handshake, we said our final goodbye, at least until the
next time I see him off the set, where we'd be free to get into "a big