It was the end of a grueling morning of shooting. Both Jackie and Jaden had received 6AM call times, and by lunch, Jackie was slumped over his craft services tray, barely able to enjoy his foie-gras blinis and uni burgers on toasted brioche. Jackie was no longer the enthusiastic young actor who could take a bowling ball to the face or a six-story fall through a greenhouse roof and keep jump-spin-crescent kicking. Oh, when he was just starting out, if someone showed up for a 6AM call they’d be on set for pre-dinner aperitifs. He knew how to work, but he needed knee replacement surgery, and the appeasing smile that he kept plastered on his face at all times to make racist white people think he was “funny” was exhausting. He hadn’t even touched his magnum of champagne.
“Jackie,” Jaden said, resting his hand on Chan’s shoulder. “You look beat, dude.”
Jackie could feel the weight of Jaden’s 20-karat pink diamond pinkie ring pushing into his flesh. On their first day on set he’d asked Jaden if he really thought his character, an unpopular 7th-grader in need of guidance, would be wearing such an ostentatious piece of jewelry. “They’ll just CGI it out,” Jaden had said. But isn’t that terribly expensive, not to mention time consuming, when you could just take the ring off, Jackie had asked. “I’m paying for it myself,” Jaden said. Jackie raised his eyebrows. “Oh boo hoo,” Jaden said, “so I don’t get allowance for a week. Boo hoo fucking hoo.”
Jackie Chan pushed aside his food, and wiped his mouth on a cashmere napkin, which he then threw in the trash.
“I am, Jaden. Thank you for your concern.”
“Man,” Jaden said, “I still can’t get over how you talk all, like, normal and shit. In your movies you’re always like ‘Rook out!’ or, like, ‘How do I rook in this magic Tuxedo?’ but in real life you talk like a fucking scientist!”
“It’s what the fans have come to expect,” Jackie said, wondering what music video or pornographic magazine (his trailer was filled with them) had informed Jaden’s idea of what scientists were like.
“We don’t have to be on set for another hour, though, Doctor Tiredpants” Jaden said, winking.
Jackie Chan stood up and winced at the grating popping sound his knees made. His doctors kept suggesting a titanium prosthesis, but he was really sold on the classic wooden knees. “That’s a good point,” Jackie said. “I should probably use this opportunity to sneak in a cat nap.”
Jaden pulled his white gold Prada sunglasses to the bridge of his nose. “Cat nap? Don’t be a faggot, Jackie Chan. We’re going to blow major rails and we’re going to fuck some Russian girls that my boy Pee picked up at a laundromat or some shit.”
Jackie Chan closed his eyes. He remembered a time in his life when all he wanted was to be the best. In his youth as a martial arts practitioner he had striven always for athletic superiority, and when he entered filmmaking he wanted to show the world things it had never seen. The path is long, Jackie Chan thought, and unforseen.
“Come on, motherfucker, let’s rub some cocaine into that dick,” Jaden said, and walked towards his trailer, giving production assistants the finger, and telling the director to eat out his asshole.
Exhausted, Jackie Chan followed Jaden, and spent the next hour rubbing cocaine into his dick and gums and snorting cocaine and fucking equally-exhausted-looking women whom he barely had the energy to look at, because after a certain amount of living a life that no longer makes sense to you, you just do what is in front of you. In this case, Tatya.
Later, they filmed the Halloween dance.