The FPJ Coefficient
Some of you politely informed me recently that FPJ had just secured a deal to write and produce a TV show based on his life for one of the networks. It was all over the net and in the papers, and at the time I was somewhat, mildly happy for FPJ’s success.
No matter that we were developing a project together. No matter that he refused to vocalize we were best friends. No matter that SMG forced him to stop being my friend. No matter that SMG hurled wasabe at me in a sushi stop. No matter no matter no matter.
I can get over things like this because things like this supposedly happen all the time in Hollywood and that if FPJ and SMG don’t ever want to have anything to do with me (especially now that one of them has a deal to write a TV show and the other is suddenly successful again with a horror-movie franchise) then I can move along in my life and be quite content.
That is, if they would just leave me alone.
A few weeks ago, someone left a strange message on my answering machine. It could have been anyone, but the voice sounded quite familiar. Then yesterday, I actually got a strange call from FPJ (which has been re-printed here as close to the exact conversation as possible):
Me: Hello? FPJ: Hey, buddy. Me: Uh, hi. Who’s this? FPJ: Dude, give it up already. You know who this is.
I did, but I wasn’t going to give him any satisfaction.
Me: I get a lot of calls from a lot of famous people throughout the day so you’re going to have to help me out since I have no idea who this is. FPJ: It’s Freddie, man.
Now, I leave a loooooong pause. Let him think he’s forgettable. Then-
Me: Freddie! Hey, man. Long time. FPJ: Long time? Are you kidding? We just saw you a few months ago.
Me: Oh yeah, that’s right. Totally forgot. FPJ: Yeah, well, that’s cool. Me: So, what’s up? FPJ: Don’t know if you heard, it’s been all over the wire services, but I just hooked up a gig writing and producing a show for Warner Bros. Me: Really!? Hadn’t heard. Good for you. FPJ: Yeah, yeah. It’s cool. We’ll see what happens. You know how that stuff goes. Me: Uh, no. Not really. I almost knew how that stuff was supposed to go, but this awesome TV series idea I was working on totally fell apart for some unknown reason.
A long pause, then-
FPJ: Dude, c’mon. You don’t have to be that way. Me: What way? FPJ: All jealous and shit. It had nothing to do with SMG. Things just weren’t working out on a creative level. That’s all. Me: I see. FPJ: You’re crazy, man. Me: Had you only admitted to being my best friend, none of this would have happened. Maybe had Warner Bros. knew you and I were tight — the two of us could have sold that show idea to them together. Maybe then we’d both been on the wire services. A super-duper writing team! FPJ: So, anyways..
Brainwashed. He was brainwashed.
Me: Well, what did you call for then? FPJ: Well, when we were writing that spec together, you had the most recent draft on your computer and I was wondering if I could get a copy — I want to try and use- Me: Use it for this new Warner Bros. deal? FPJ: No, no. Not that. Me: You want to use it for what, then? FPJ: Ummm… For fun! You know, bathroom reading. Me: So you’re saying what we wrote belongs in the bathroom? Like a piece of crap? FPJ: Dude. DUDE. I wrote half of that thing. I deserve to have a copy.
Me: Who is your best friend?
A longer beat. A SIGH on the other end of the phone.
Me: Say it. Say it and I’ll send this e-mail I have ready to go — with the script we worked on attached in Final Draft format.
FPJ: You are my best friend. Okay? Will you send it now? Me: Say it like FPJ would really say it. Use the word, dude.
About forty-five seconds later, he said it.
FPJ: Dude, Pauly — you are so my best friend.
That’s when I pressed stop on my little tape recorder – the one that got the last half of the conversation and which would forever prove that FPJ and Me were best friends.
What exactly I could do with said recording, besides play that one line over and over and over again to friends and family and people out in public — I had no idea. But the moral of the story is that if you’re writing a TV sitcom pilot with FPJ and you guys are totally best friends but he doesn’t admit to it because his wife has something against you to the point of hurling Japanese wasabe at you in public places and then continues to deny that you guys were ever friends at all — and then said reluctant star hooks up a big deal that requires him to look back at something the two of you wrote when you “were best friends even though he never vocalized it”, you can be sure that he’ll eventually give in and tell you what you want to hear because, in Hollywood — people say things every day to get what they want.
And that’s why this is the last time I will talk about FPJ and SMG and even DF. Because whether you believe it or not — they love being talked about whether it’s on a wire service or on a blog. They hunger for the publicity.
And I’m not going to give them the satisfaction, anymore.