W Bruce Cameron: When it comes to the best actor category of the People’s Choice Awards, I clearly should be considered for what critics are probably hailing as my break-out performance as “Interested Car Buyer No. 3.”


I don’t want to give away the plot of the film, so I’ll just say the heart-pounding suspense and thrilling romance (sexy, but tasteful) revolves around a car dealer’s offer of a significant amount of cash back on selected new car models.




It was my uncle’s idea for me to be in the film; he owns the dealership and told me I would be good in the role due to my enormous talent and my willingness to work for free.



I fell in love with the script for Hoedl’s Car Lot because it touches on universally human themes of love, hope and zero-percent financing.



The production got off to a rather rocky start, with the cast and crew pretty upset when it was discovered I didn’t have a dressing room. Ever the trouper, I volunteered to make do with a suite at the Ritz Carlton down the street, provided there were adequate flowers, snacks and staff on hand. This was so generous of me the director actually laughed out loud.



I’m not one of those egomaniacal movie stars; to me, everyone on the production is on the same team, and I treat them all as my equals unless they’re the crew or extras or something. The director, however, didn’t share my egalitarian philosophy, and brought to the project a “boss man” attitude that threatened the success of the movie right from the beginning. “Mr. Cameron, please take your position,” he would say, completely ignoring the fact that the caterers had put out some shrimp.



He also let his ego get in the way when it came to the script, which I improved (for no charge!) by adding some improvements in what we professionals call “ad-libbing.” Take this dialogue from the original script:



Spokesman: And this week only, we will double your down payment.



Interested Car Buyer No. 3: (Looks at minivan and smiles.)



And now here it is with my improvements:



Spokesman: And this week only, we will double your down payment.



Interested Car Buyer No. 3: Golly!



These and other well-placed comments eventually caused the whole production to grind to a halt so that the director and I could debate what is meant by the term “non-speaking role.”



Everyone on the set became very impatient with the whole matter, until finally the director conceded that I was right, telling the crew that my lines could be “edited in post-production,” which means, for those of you not in show business, that if the sound levels on my microphone were inadequate, they could be raised so that the audience could hear me better.



The director’s inexperience also showed in the action sequence. I intuitively understood that as the announcer strolled past me I needed to be doing something active, otherwise people might not even notice I was there. My ingenious solution to this dilemma was to open the hood of the automobile and pretend to have my hand get shredded by the engine fan.



This is the essence of good acting: improvising a dramatic event where the screenwriter failed to take advantage of the elements at his disposal (namely, me). That the actor playing the spokesperson became nonplussed at my screaming was an indication of his lack of professionalism, and it was most annoying that the director took the actor’s side. Honestly, I ask you: Who would get his hand caught in an engine fan and react silently?



Eventually it was decided to film two versions: one with me screaming, and one with me clutching my chest and falling to the floor (actually, I improvised this second action right on the spot).



As is always the case with the “talent,” as I’m humbled to reveal is how they refer to the top stars, my part finished shooting first, and I was allowed to leave early. In fact, everyone insisted on it, saying I had “done enough.”



So please, when it comes to the People’s Choice awards, vote the way your heart tells you. That’s all I ask.



Write to Bruce at [email protected]

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