Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eliza Dushku and my swimming pool

I will not be attending COMIC-CON this year. I have my responsibilities with the Dodgers and well, I’m geeky enough as it is. But in honor of this gala celebration of sci-fi and Hasbro I will share a story about DOLLHOUSE. (There will be a whole panel discussion devoted to it so it qualifies).

One day last year we get a knock on our front door. My wife answers to find the location manager for a new pilot called DOLLHOUSE. It was a Joss Whedon production. She was aware of the name. He was my marching buddy one day on the strike line. Anyway, they were interested in using our pool for the pilot. They had been scanning GoogleMaps and from 300,000 feet our pool seemed to be the right shape and color.

He took pictures, said ours was one of a number they were considering, and gave her his number if we had any questions.

I came home that night and was not enthused. The thought of a film crew – sixty guys named Dave – trampling through my house and yard did not excite me. They always say they’ll leave the house exactly as they found it but do they really? What if they break my priceless bowling trophy? Plus, it’s just an invasion of privacy. I don’t want to be sunbathing nude while Dave, Dave, Dave, and Dave drag cables across the patio.

Plus there was a chance they’d want to film the second night of Passover, which is when we had 35 people coming to the house.

Yes, they pay you but weighing all the factors, it just didn’t seem worth it. I called the location manager, politely passed, and then, purely out of curiosity, asked what the scene was about. The conversation went something like this:

LOCATION MANAGER: Eliza Dushku would be swimming laps.

ME: Eliza Dushku?

LOCATION MANAGER: Yeah, she’s been cast as the star.

ME: Eliza Dushku? In my pool?

LOCATION MANAGER: Well, thanks for letting us take a look.

ME: Wait. Wait a minute. Eliza Dushku would be at my house? Swimming in my pool? Getting out and drying off? Maybe a few times? And you'd be paying me? Would I be allowed to be there?

LOCATION MANAGER: Of course. It’s your house. Have a good weekend.

ME: HOLD IT! Wait! I think we can do this. Yes. Definitely. I’m back in.

LOCATION MANAGER: But you said there was likely to be a conflict.

ME: What? The Jewish holidays? No, don’t worry about them. It's not like they’re carved in stone. Would I be allowed to invite my poker buddies?

LOCATION MANAGER: We found some other good pools anyway, so it’s really no big deal.

ME: Where? They can’t be as nice as mine. What if I waive the fee? The poker guys don’t have to come.

LOCATION MANAGER: Listen, I’ve got another call…

ME: Joss Whedon! He’s a very close friend of mine. I know he’s going to want to use my place.

LOCATION MANAGER: Well, you could always call him.

ME: I don’t know his number.

LOCATION MANAGER: Goodnight, sir.

ME: Tell ya what, could you have him call me? Ken Levine. We marched together at 20th. I wore the ALMOST PERFECT baseball cap. He asked “Was that a show?” Really. We got very tight.


ME: Hello…? Hello…?

They did not use my pool. Whoever’s pool they did use, they used multiple times. And the show’s been picked up for a second season so they’ll probably use that pool multiple times more. Oh, and they didn’t shoot during Passover.

So you talk about the one that got away. When they decide to stage SCHMUCK-COM, I’ll be hosting a session.


Tom Quigley said...

Ken, too bad it didn't work out... You could have had another credit added to your IMDB record: Poolboy...

Annie said...

wow. I hate when things like that backfire...

maryclev said...

Look--anytime someone wants to use your home or pool for a show that uses the word DOLL in it...You. Say. Yes!

Daniel said...

"Look--anytime someone wants to use your home or pool for a show that uses the word DOLL in it...You. Say. Yes!"

And that's how Dolph Lundgren broke my pool table.

Steph said...

You could do better Ken. I've always felt "Douche-Ku" looks like she has a touch of the "D" (Down's Syndrome)like Britney Spears. Now if it was Megan Fox....well then you'd have some serious regrets.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Thank you for posting that picture of Eliza Dushku. I now have new wallpaper.

Wolf of C said...

Doh! But it does make for an entertaining story.

Anonymous said...

heidi obviously has never watched buffy. how dare she (he?) compare eliza to britney spears. that's like...like...finding similarities between tiramisu and spam. i'm so offended. and boo to the ditzness that is megan fox.

John said...

Ken, you know if you had said 'yes' they would have reworked the schedule to make sure there was a Passover shoot. And then probably brought in a body double for Ms. Dushku for the scenes in your pool.

Ross Carey said...

Maybe Eliza feels the same way. Maybe she saw this and has been kicking herself saying "I could have swam in Ken Levine's pool."

Paul said...

This is the funniest story I have ever heard.

Anonymous said...

Dushku? really? Maybe if Amy Acker or Olivia Williams wanted to go for a swim, sure.. you could do much better than Eliza Dushku.

Wayne said...

This is why Hollywood requires swimming pools be covered with a thick skin - to take rejection.

Debby G said...

You're so funny! The "It's not like they're carved in stone" line really cracked me up!

Hey, can I swim in your pool? I'm about 20 years older and 20 pounds heavier than Eliza D. and I'm too out of shape to do laps, but I'll laugh at your jokes. It's so freakin' hot here and I'm pool-less.

Mike McCann said...

There is such a touch of Ralph Kramden-esque ham-handedness in this.

By Ken Levine said...

Sure, Debby. Come on over. Bring a pitcher of margaritas.

Nathan said...

I love this.

I can assure you that if I'd been scouting this I'd have knocked on doors and said, "What'll you pay us to bring over 150 people to watch Eliza Dushku swimming in your pool?"

Talk about an easy sell.

WV: ratei - new MPAA rating for insipid