Thursday, December 15, 2016

Billy Crudup and Me

I am very happy to see the talented Billy Crudup in two films this month (Jackie and 20th Century Women). My contact with Crudup took place at the first Telluride Film Festival my husband and I attended. Unlike other film festivals, the program is a closely guarded secret until opening day. And we knew nothing about the tradition of standing in line, sometimes for over an hour, to get a good seat for the movies and events we wanted to see. Showing up early for one of those lines turned out to be a stroke of luck for me. On Labor Day morning, Billy Crudup appeared in a special Conversation Session at the Telluride Court House. Because I wanted to interview this rising star after seeing his amazing performance in Jesus’ Son, I researched his background on the Internet. Hoping to catch Crudup before the program, Larry and I arrived shortly after 8:30 a.m. and were the first ones in line for the 10 a.m. session.

After a few minutes, a petite brunette showed up and began asking the program coordinator questions about Crudup. Davia Nelson, from PBS (Lost and Found Sounds), had been recruited to moderate the session at the last minute. Eavesdropping on them, I interrupted and recited everything I knew about Crudup’s films, awards and so on. “Would you introduce him for me?” Nelson pleaded.

Without pausing for even a second, I agreed. Crudup sought me out after the program and thanked me personally. However, I almost spoiled this memorable experience with a flippant response. While I was talking with Crudup, a member of the audience came up to speak with the star. He wanted Crudup’s opinion concerning who was a better actor, Skeet Ulrich or Billy Crudup. Crudup answered with a smile, Skeet Ulrich, of course.

I added that Ulrich was the poor man’s Johnny Depp – to which the man replied, Really? I’ll tell him that. I’m his father.

Mortified, I apologized, calling my husband over to bail me out. “I’m just kidding, sir. I’ve always admired your son’s acting; haven’t I, Larry?” I begged. My helpful spouse came through for me again. “Right. She even gave Skeet Ulrich high marks for his work in Chill Factor,” he declared.

Wonder why I haven’t heard from Crudup since our meeting in Telluride?


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