High Life

An Oscar for Taki

May 25, 2012

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An Oscar for Taki

ONBOARD S/Y BUSHIDO—My moment of glory came and went in a jiffy. It was actually a whole afternoon of filming onboard without a single retake, temper tantrum, or even the planned fight between Alec Baldwin and yours truly. The name of the movie is Seduced & Abandoned, and it has nothing to do with the Italian golden oldie of long ago. It is an original nonfiction story—the great Greek thespian Taki plays himself—of seeking funds for a movie among the Cannes Film Festival’s labyrinthine circus. Alec and James Toback also play themselves, as does producer Michael Mailer.

I had prepped for a totally different scenario where Alec and I would fight for real on the deck and both crash into the sea. This is what Michael had led me to believe. The morning of the shoot before the crew came onboard Bushido, I did my stretching and some shadow-boxing for at least ten minutes to be ready. Sir Roger Moore sent an email imploring me to fake the fight, as real brawls look phony and vice versa, “and reapplying the makeup after every dive into the sea will take up most of the day.”

“The south of France reminds me of a beautiful woman who has used too much Botox and wears too much makeup and false eyelashes and goes out with a much too short and much too fat producer.”

Once the cameras were installed and Alec, Jimmy, Michael, and I sat down to lunch on deck, I finally began to relax. The wine flowed and I began jabbering away as I have a tendency to do, and the cameras rolled and rolled. I do not know how much of Taki will end up on the cutting-room floor. Alec Baldwin turned out to be as nice and polite a person as he’s handsome and well-read. He’s the exact opposite of that disgusting lowlife Brett Ratner, a so-called director whose manners are as ugly as he is, and he’s very, very ugly.

Bushido never looked better. Her classical looks stuck out even more when surrounded by today’s super-yachts, many of which are Russian-owned and anchored in the Bay of Cannes. These ghastly vessels look like giant refrigerators on steroids. Life is strange. Instead of being behind bars back home, these people are doing a Taki, flaunting it and looking like Bond villains on their quarterdecks. Still, the weather held up for the shooting of the greatest saga since Gone With the Wind, but as soon as it was “cut and print,” the heavens opened. It’s been raining on Paris Hilton’s parade ever since. The vacant blonde had flown in for some desperate attention-seeking, but the Almighty is no fool. He made sure it rained.