Episode 27 is introduced by Mabel Normand, who said, “Acting in the movies is like a cold — you get used to both after a while.”

Gifted with a glib tongue he moved quickly from never-featured actor, to production assistant, to assistant director, and rapidly ascended the dating scale (as he saw it) from the cute craft service gal who brought cucumber sushi snacks to camera at four in the afternoon, to the daughter of a producer. Everything was meteoric with Antoine — his love life, his career, his quick adaptation to style and circumstance.

Where do I insinuate myself firmly into Antoine’s story? I think right about here.

We were friends for some unfathomable reason, well, that’s not exactly candid of me. We were close friends because my ascent in films intrigued him, my quiet on set demeanor had impressed him, and he was perfectly clear, when the time came, that my position as newly minted studio head made me all the more worthy of devotion. Does that sound callous? I suppose it does. It doesn’t mean I didn’t care for him, or Antoine me. Yet, in large part, I think our early fascination with each other had to do with the novelty the other presented. It meant he could tell me stories when we met of waking up on location somewhere across the Pacific with two bedmates he didn’t recognize and I would gasp and say I hoped he had used a condom. He would recount evenings on hallucinogens speaking to ancient spirit guides and I would ask what they were wearing. “Toga? Buckskins? What?”

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