While the “big” Texas story right now may bethe Eldorado raid
, a lesser-publicized – but no less important – drama has been playing out in Austin. Background: a bunch of actors are there to shootTree of Life
, directed by Terrence Malick, perhaps best known for turning James Jones’Thin Red Line
into a three-hour nature film.
Among the cast is Brad Pitt, who is apparently a bit strapped for cash, what with raising 18 children of varying hues. According to the New Zealand Herald, Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie was flabbergasted by the $2,000-night rate at the Lost Pines Resort and Spa. So they asked to pay $3,000 for a 30-day stay in a suite a bit removed from the main facility. Houstoned Theatre proudly presents this vignette of a renowned, talented, and down-on-their-luck couple.
The curtain rises on an unshaven Brad standing at the front desk, facing the innkeeper, who looks suspiciously like Norman Bates. Behind Brad stands an unshaven Angelina, with 14 of their children stuffed into a gigantic potato sack. The rest of the brood are outside the inn, looking for spiders to eat.
Innkeeper: (pulling pencil out from behind his ear and scribbling down on a ledger) So, 30 days, $2,000-per-night, that comes to $60,000, plus tax. Will that be cash or charge?
Brad: (feeling his pockets for his wallet) Oh, geez. I can’t…I think I left my wallet on the set. Honey, do you have any money on you?
Angelina: No sweetie, remember how I told you I spent the rest of what I had on generic Similac at the Bastrop Wal-Mart?
Brad: (to the innkeeper) Can you take an I.O.U.?
Innkeeper: Can you take an F.U.?
Angelina: (looking stern) Sir, that’s no way to talk to my husband. He’s just a simple boy from Missouri. He doesn’t mean any harm.
Brad: Sir, I’m in town shooting a movie by the great Terence Malick. Maybe you’d like to come on the set?
Innkeeper: Tremont who?
Brad: Malick. Terrence Malick. Days of Heaven?
Innkeeper: Oh, the racing picture with Tom Cruise! I loved it!
(Brad and Angelina lock eyes. Brad turns back to the innkeeper)
Brad: Yes. Exactly. This is the sequel. So whaddya say – knock a little off the rate, and I can get you an official Tree of Life cap signed by me, Angelina, and the key grip.
Innkeeper: And Tom Cruise?
Innkeeper: Oh boy!
Angelina: Is breakfast included? We don’t even need anything fancy. Just a big trough and a bunch of oats will do.
Innkeeper: For you guys, the donuts and juice are on the house!
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(Just then, one of their sons runs in from outside and throws down his crutches.)
Son: God bless us, everyone!
-- Craig Malisow