INT. UNDERGROUND BOARDROOM – DAY
Some sunlight streams into the room from overhead.
A board table in the middle of the room hosts Pesky on one side and Greig von Grieg sitting directly across.
A SUIT stands just to the left of Greig.
My grandpa was confused the entire time, I know. He was aware that I drove him to the set, which was my office building, but he no longer recognized me when I was in costume (black jacket, gold-rimmed sunglasses for indoor use, strange German accent), and he recounted later that he thought I had left the building after dropping him off, even though I was at his side the entire time. I didn’t know my acting was THAT good!
I chose my grandpa for this scene for a few reasons, first being that he loved acting, and acted professionally as a young man. He had a history in print ad and later as a stand-in for actors and as an extra (most memorably on John Ritter’s “Hooperman”).
He never made the big time like he wanted. I don’t know what it takes or why some get there and others struggle. Luck maybe? But my grandpa had, perhaps, an overlooked talent.
The other reason I cast him in this part is because I knew he would not be around much longer. In fact, he passed away 5 months later. Filmmaking was our shared love, in different ways, and I wanted something on video to remember him by. Of all the great memories I have as a kid, spending summers with him and my grandmother, perhaps this final moment on video is among my most cherished, due to the circumstances.
During filming of “von Bloch”, I had given grandpa the basics of our scene and the low-down on his two lines – one of which he nailed immediately and the other one… not so much.
I never knew it would be genius having my 90+ year old grandpa standing at my side while I sat, comic in itself, and reciting the line, “Your record is impressive, Pesky.” But it was.
If nothing else comes of this film, at least I will have plenty of videotaped memories like this one to remind me of why I write these crazy characters and put my friends and family through absurd situations.
Rest in peace, grandpa.