As you might have gleaned by now, when there’s a story to tell about Hollywood, I’m inclined to change the names and mix it up a bit to protect the innocent. What follows is mostly true, except what’s not.

“Okay. No baseball. What you’ve got to do is barge back down into the conference room,” she insisted before Bill interrupted.

“I don’t barge. I’ve never barged.”

“No! No! Like this!” Tessa jumped off the desk, scowled, adjusted her crotch, cocked her shoulders and then slammed her fist down on the desk. “Now, you do it.”

Bill laughed, he thought bird-boned Tessa doing John Wayne was extremely funny. “Okay.”

“No!! Do it!!” she exclaimed.

Bill stood, awkwardly he shifted his weight and hitched up his belt, Tessa stamped her foot.

“Not like that. Do you want to make this movie, or what? Get your hand right down there in your pocket and shove your business over to the side and then with your other hand, BAM,” she smacked her fist into the desk again, “Right on the table.”

“Are you teaching me how to be a dick?”

“I’m just illustrating how the sharks swim,” Tessa replied.


This query stymied Tessa’s unlimited stream of consciousness manifested as chat. For Tessa, self-examination was a complete unknown, all she knew was a compulsion to get the next word out. “Why… Why not?! Right?”

“Okay by me, Svengali,” Bill agreed.


They continued in this vein throughout the making of the film. With Tessa coaching Bill “butched it up”. He got his crane. He started smoking Cuban cigars and alternately ranted at and then stroked the producer. He got his extras. You can see where this is going. They made a very successful team. “Double Down” cost fifteen million and made over a hundred million in domestic release.

Tessa bought Bill a fishing vest, which he received with a querulous “thank you”, and an inquiry as to its multiple pockets and sartorial appeal. Tessa explained the macho attire of his predecessors: John Ford, John Huston, Victor Flemming, William Wellman, and William Wyler, and suggested he fill the pockets with cigars and viewfinders. Bill adopted the look and filled his cedar lined work closet with multiple identical vests, jeans, and Egyptian cotton shirts, hung one after the other on padded satin hangers.

His next film, “Quark”, was budgeted at one hundred and eighty-five million and Tessa was listed as a producer in the credits. When it broke box office records over the 4th of July weekend they decided on a mutually beneficial partnership and Tessa Moynihan became Tessa Aagard. They announced they were planning on a big family – but in the meantime they bought a dog.

© Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (text) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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  1. October 7, 2012

    If it weren’t for women like Tessa so many things would never have come to pass. I love the story…. I LOVE IT. I have noticed that women of great strength and compassion are a strong presence in your stories.

    • Vickie Lester
      October 8, 2012

      There’s an interesting dance that goes on in Hollywood. I think I paint a rosier picture than reality, but I think it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older and things that used to get my hackles up I just shrug at now and keep chugging along… Okay, I have to tell you a funny story. I was at a dinner not long ago with a group of ladies predominantly in their forties and fifties, I was the youngest, and to a person they were all discussing their natural hair color, blonde, brunette, etc. to which I had only this to say, “I don’t know about you gals, but my NATURAL hair color now is grey!” And then we all nodded our variously tinted blonde, brunette, black, and red heads.

      • laniersmith
        October 8, 2012

        I am graying from the bottom up and the wind blew the roof off on the back… I look like a Franciscan Monk up to his ears in snow.
        I love the story of the tint-er-ettos of Hollywood.

  2. October 9, 2012

    Oh, how I could have used a Tessa early in my TV news career 🙂 Wonderful story!

    • Vickie Lester
      October 9, 2012

      Thank you 🙂

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