Written By Guy Magar – From his memoir KISS ME QUICK BEFORE I SHOOT: A Filmmaker’s Journey into the Lights of Hollywood and True Love
Since I always had very early set calls when I directed films, the Hollywood Hills is where I chose to live. No other major city has green hills and mountain homes at its geographical center. It’s like living in a tree house, surrounded by nature, and I can get to Universal, Warner Brothers, or Paramount in minutes. It’s one of the reasons I love LA. I hear you, Randy Newman.
Crazy things have happened at this house. One night, around 2 a.m., we were awakened by footsteps going up our exterior stairs to our balcony deck. “Did you hear that…the stairs?” whispered Jacqui as she bolted upright from a deep sleep. “Yeah, don’t worry, it’s OK!” I tried to calmly whisper back as I quickly got up and grabbed my trusted machete from under our bed.
“Oh my god…what’s that?” I heard her whisper behind me as I raised the machete over my shoulder. I shook my head, trying to clear the sleep cobwebs and focus on reality, as the steps were now creaking above us on the second-floor balcony. I hoped it was a deer or somethin’ with four legs as had occurred in the past but now it was clear we had burglars! I answered, “Stay by the phone, dial 911 if we need to.”
“Sounds like two of them!” Jacqui whispered. “Don’t worry, I got this,” I replied, as I moved in the dark to the door. I opened our bedroom door and felt my way to the front door of the house. “They’re comin’ back down the stairs,” Jacqui whispered urgently as she appeared behind me, but I could hardly see her in the dark. “Please stay by the phone, Jacqui…move away from this door,” I whispered to encourage her back into the bedroom, but she wasn’t leaving my side. With her ear on the door, she whispered with a panicky twinge, “They’re comin’…they’re here!” as we now heard footsteps approaching the front door. SOBs!
I was always determined never to be a victim, and to go on the offensive if intruders ever invaded our home. I had to make sure Jacqui was protected no matter what. Though I could barely see her face, I saw as determined a fearless warrior standing by my side. We were a team…even then! We were about to go to war! (Or maybe I had directed too many action shows?)
The steps could now be heard just a few feet away from the other side of the door. NOW! I unlocked it, flung it open, and screamed like a maniac, “AHHHHH!” as I wound up the machete over my shoulder, ready to swing it down and decapitate the intruders…uh, well, if need be!
Right in front of me, there were indeed two of them! With bug-eyes, and screaming even louder than me “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” were two females, terrified out of their minds! There stood Jacqui’s friend Ildiko, and her eight-year-old daughter Drew Barrymore! Yeah, thatDrew!
I almost decapitated poor Drew, who was screaming’ in fear of the crazy wild man about to swing this frightening machete down on her. She looked as terrified as when we had all seen her famous scream upon meeting Spielberg’s E.T. just a few months earlier on our movie screens! Jacqui had been friends with Ildiko for years before I had met her, and had babysat for Drew when she was younger. Ildiko was returning an evening wear Jacqui had loaned her from the store for a Golden Globe Award-type function, and had thought to return it promptly by leaving it on our balcony in the middle of the night! Bad idea to sneak around our house.
After we all calmed down and sort of laughed about it, we hoped Drew would forgive us and not have this horrifying machete experience mark her for life. They soon left with Drew still looking at me like I was a crazed wacko. Sorry Drew.
As I was putting my trusted machete back under the bed, Jacqui asked, “So when did you become a samurai?” I didn’t want to flaunt my knowledge of Kurosawa movies, so I just fired back, “So whose nutball friend was that at 2 a.m.?”
All I heard was, “Good night, darlin’.” Yojimbo, anyone?
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KISS ME BEFORE I SHOOT
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Genre – Celebrity / Memoir / Romance
Rating – PG