Holly was shown to Victor and Mal’s table. Both men stood as she took her seat, and Mal quickly waved over a waiter.
“Another glass of wine please,” he ordered. The waiter nodded and hurried off.
Holly already felt impatient. She didn’t want to be here. She wanted to be across the street where Alan who was waiting for her at a café. He had insisted. But instead she forced herself to smile and study the menu.
The waiter came back with her drink and the three ordered. As the waiter left, Mal turned to Holly.
“Ms. Woods, I wanted to congratulate you again on the film last night. There was definitely a positive response throughout the theater. The movie was very entertaining as well. Certainly the kind to attract an audience.”
“And you were wonderful in it,” said Victor. “I knew you would be.”
Holly felt herself going a little red. She mumbled a thank you and quickly took a drink of wine.
“Not to mention,” added Victor. “You looked beautiful last night.”
“That was mostly Evelyn and Matilda. They were behind all that. It took a ridiculous amount of time. But,” she admitted, a little sheepishly, “it was a pretty dress, wasn’t it?”
“I’m sure Alan thought so.”
Holly felt herself blush again.
“Where is Alan today?” asked Victor. “We would have been happy for him to come.”
Holly considered briefly telling him he was just across the street, but she decided against it. She doubted Alan would want to sit through a meeting and his presence would only prolong it.
“Thank you, but I think he might have had plans. I’ll be seeing him later today though.”
“He’s a very interesting young man,” said Mal absently.
Holly glanced over at him. The offhanded tone of his voice did not quite match the way he seemed to be studying her closely.
“White Crusader actually went through Mal’s studio,” said Victor, as if it were some sort of explanation.
“Really? I didn’t realize you knew Alan that well,” she said to Mal.
“I don’t,” said the man, taking off his glasses to clean them. “Lots of films go through Montell Studios. I don’t know the leads of all of them intimately.”
“But White Crusader was a big film for the studio. Saved it from having to fold,” said Victor.
“Really?” asked Holly surprised.
“Yes.” Malcolm put back on his glasses. “We’d sunk a lot into Son of Israel which unfortunately was our most expensive film to date, went far over budget and crashed and burned at the box office. White Crusader brought us back from that.”
“Wow. I never knew that. Alan never mentioned it.”
Victor smiled. “He definitely a large part in making that film a hit. I do believe he has a great career ahead of him. Just like you do.”
“Yes, let’s talk about that,” said Mal, interlocking his fingers and leaning forward. “Victor has mentioned the film we’re working on together?”
“He’s said it’s an action film but he hasn’t said much else about it.”
“Well yes it is, though I think of it as more a thriller. It’s a spy film that as heart is a romance. Two spies on opposite sides, who manipulate and play the system so they can create a future together. The scriptwriter is phenomenal. Very funny but also great at action and really knows how to combine the two.”
“We were actually thinking of casting Frank as the other lead,” said Victor.
“Indeed,” agreed Mal. “Another reason I was interested in the film last night. I wanted to see how you two played off each other on screen, how your chemistry worked. And I thought there was some good potential there. Now Frank has had a rocky career but that is fairly normal for a former child actor and in the past years he’s been fairly steady. Also he has experience. You’re quite new to the industry but in the last few months you’ve been surprisingly prevalent in the public eye. And after last night I feel confident in your abilities. Frank has agreed to a screen test this week, we were hoping you’d be willing to come in at the same time and you could test together.”
“Wow,” said Holly, smoothing her hair. “That’s a lot of information in one go.”
Victor laughed. “We’d like you to screen test with Frank next week, that’s it. Malcolm is just complicating it. We’re not asking you make a decision. We just want to see how it would work.”
“I’d love to.”
“Yes. Working with you again and Frank: that would be fun. I’m still not sure about leaving Homestead, but I want to do the screen test. As you said, I should know the options before I make a decision.”
“Perfect,” said Victor. “I’m glad. Ah, the foods here.”
The waiter came over and placed their plates in front of them.