From January 2001 until November 2003, I was a working actress in Los Angeles. I appeared in many television shows and movies, joined the Screen Actor’s Guild, and had quite a few encounters with celebrities.
Robert Downey, Jr. on the set of “U.S. Marshals”
I was 20 years old when I worked as a production assistant on “U.S. Marshals”. I only worked on it for two weeks, on location in Reel Foot Lake, TN and Paducah, KY. It was a terrific experience and I learned a lot. One day, I was assigned to hold traffic while they filmed in the swamp. The director had just called “action”, which meant that no one could go past me until he called “cut”. Another PA came down the dirt road with someone in the back of his Gator (pretty much a green, off-road golf cart). I stopped the Gator, and the PA started yelling at me, asking me if I knew who the man was in the back seat. I had no clue– the man had a hat and sunglasses on. I said, “I don’t care who he is, he can’t go by until they tell me so.”
The PA responded, “This is Mr. Robert Downey, Jr!”
Robert jumped out of the Gator and walked over to me. He held out his hand and introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Rob.”
I shook his hand and smiled. I replied, “Nice to meet you, Rob. I’m Candice. I can’t let you by yet.” He laughed.
Finally, “Cut” was called over my radio. Rob jumped back into the Gator and made his way down the road. The PA sneered at me until he passed.
Later on, while I was at base camp, LaTanya Richardson asked me to run to her trailer to get her Benadryl because her allergies were acting up and she was getting her hair done. So, I raced off to her trailer and found the Benadryl. I closed the door and jogged back to the hair and makeup trailer. As I ran around one trailer, I ran smack into someone and we both fell onto the gravel. “I’m so sorry!” I exclaimed as I jumped to my feet to help the person I knocked over up. He got to his feet as quickly as I had and was dusting himself off. Who was it? Yep, Robert Downey, Jr.
He smiled and said, “Well, hello again.” It was just mortifying. I mumbled another apology and then ran to LaTanya to give her the Benadryl.
That afternoon, I was able to get lunch earlier than the rest of the people on the crew because they didn’t need me to go back to the swamp at the time. So, I went to the catering truck and ordered my lunch. As I was waiting, a voice from behind me said, “Well, hello again.” I turned around, and there was Rob. I apologized again for knocking him over, and he laughed it off. He invited me to have lunch with him in his trailer. I did– for the rest of the week. It was really awesome. After he finished eating, he would play his guitar for me. Sometimes Eddie Bo (his friend) would be there, sometimes not. It’s one of the best memories that I have of any celebrity.
Will Ferrell on the set of “Old School”
One of the best movies I worked on was “Old School”. We filmed it in February of 2002 in northern Los Angeles. During the days I was on set, it was cold and damp. We were all glad to be inside when we were filming the K-Y wrestling scene. (I was one of the students watching– The girl in the red sweater, to be exact. You can really see me when Blue dies. I was a background actor that got featured in “Old School”.)
In part of the scene, Jeanie (Lisa Donatz) and Jenny (Corinne Kingsbury) stand in front of me. These girls are the ones that wrestle Blue (Patrick Cranshaw) topless. At the time, Lisa and Corinne thought they were the hottest things since Angelina Jolie. They were rude and nasty to anyone that tried to talk to them. My earring fell out and landed between the two of them. I tapped Lisa on her shoulder. She whipped around and snapped, “What?!” I told her that I dropped my earring and it landed in between them. She stepped aside so that I could bend down and pick it up. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. I put the other earring in my pocket, and happened to make eye contact with Will Ferrell, who had been watching the entire exchange from a few feet away. I rolled my eyes at him and he smiled.
Soon, it was time to cue Lisa and Corrinne. They took off their robes, and Will’s eyes bugged out. Oh, his eyes didn’t bug out because the girls were hot– It was because Lisa had her period and bled through her wardrobe. She was originally wearing a white pair of panties with a red cross on them, like a lifeguard would wear on “Baywatch”. I noticed Will’s reaction and he caught my eye. He nodded his head and mouthed, “She has her period!”
I didn’t understand it the first time, so I mouthed back, ‘What?” He repeated it and subtly pointed to Lisa.
I mouthed back, “So?” he made a face and nodded his head down, giving me the impression that he saw that she had her period and wasn’t told. I got that her white costume was stained. So, I tapped her on the shoulder.
Again, she whipped around and snapped, “Now what?!”
I put my hands up innocently and said, “Nothing. Never mind.” She mumbled something to Corinne, then the two giggled maliciously.
Will was staring at me. I dropped my shoulders and mouthed, “I tried.” He pursed his lips, nodded his head and pointed at me to her to me again. So, I tapped Lisa on the shoulder yet again.
Again, she whipped around and snapped, “What do you want from me? God!”
So, very loud, I asked, “Are you on the rag?”
She replied, “What?!” probably thinking that I was trying to insult her.
I repeated in a slow speech, “Are you on the rag? You are bleeding through your panties.”
Corinne looked down at Lisa’s crotch and gasped, “Oh my God.”
Lisa turned bright red and walked over to the Assistant Director, whispered something to him, then left the set. I looked up at Will, and he was covering his eyes with his hands, his face as red as a tomato. He took his hand from his eyes and looked at me. I smiled at him, triumphant, and mouthed, “There you go!”
Will visibly sighed and mouthed, “Thanks.”
I never saw Lisa after that, thankfully. The moral of the story is: Always be nice to people, because you never know when you’ll have your period in front of Will Ferrell, and someone may embarrass you further.
Brad Dourif on the set of “Deadwood”
Before I moved back to New York in December, 2004, I played a prostitute (a Gem Whore, to be exact) on the short-lived HBO series “Deadwood”. I appeared in nine episodes, both in the Gem Saloon and in the Bella Union, as well as all over the town. It was hard work and I was surprisingly killed off after taking a week off due to personal reasons, but I loved working on the show nonetheless.
On my second day on set, I was running lines with Bill Sanderson, who played E.B. Farnum on the show. Bill sat in his chair and pulled up a similar chair to sit next to him as he went over his lines. Soon, this man approached me and said, “You’re sitting in my chair.” I apologized and stood up, but he laughed. “I’m just kidding,” he said. He told me to sit back down, so I did. He, Bill and I chatted for a little while, when I finally introduced myself to him. He shook my hand, and said, “It’s nice to meet you.” I asked him his name, and he said, “You don’t know my name?” I told him that I didn’t, and Bill started laughing. I didn’t get the joke.
Someone overheard me saying that I didn’t know his name, and came over and asked, “Did you just say you don’t know who he is?” I said that I didn’t and the background actor said, “Are you serious? He’s only one of the greatest actors of our time!” I looked at the actor and cocked my head, trying to figure out who he was.
“You are?” I asked.
“Yes!” the background actor exclaimed. “He’s Grima Wormtongue!” I stared blankly at the background actor. I had no clue what he was talking about. “Didn’t you see any of “The Lord of the Rings” movies?” I told him that I hadn’t– Fantasy films weren’t really my speed. The actor chuckled. “What about any of the “Chucky” movies? He’s the voice of Chucky!” I told him that I didn’t like horror flicks. The actor and Bill started laughing. A crowd had begun forming around us. People were shouting all sorts of titles out at me, none of which I had seen.
The actor finally put his arm around me and sighed. “Ever hear of a movie called “Dune”?” he asked. I told him that it was one of my uncle’s favorites, but I had never seen it. Finally, he said, “Candice, it’s nice to meet you. My name is Brad.” We were all called to set to be placed for the scene. I later found out that it was Brad Dourif. To this day, I still wouldn’t have known who he was if someone hadn’t told me. It is one of my favorite encounters because I genuinely didn’t know who he was. What made things really cool was that he was totally unaffected by it.