Living the dream with Courtney Love
by Dani Alpert
Several years ago, or maybe it was a decade (who can remember), my then writing partner and I wrote a spec screenplay that received all kinds of Hollywood buzz. You know, the buzz that first time writers dream about while writing in dark corners of Starbuck’s that don’t have restrooms. I had always wanted to be in the running, a contender, on the radar, in the game. I was living the dream.
We were signed by a top agent, and dined with studio executives and producers who pitched movie ideas, in the hopes that we would consider writing the screenplay. One fine smog laden L.A. day, our agent called with a meeting with none other than Courtney Love. She wanted to pitch us an idea for a movie.
I didn’t have Final Draft the year before, and now here I was, about to meet one of the most controversial figures of the 90’s.
I had only seen these types of meetings played out in, well, the movies. It didn’t seem real. I was green, to say the least, but it’s amazing the effect a little attention can have on one’s ego. I ate it up, and I walked a little taller through the gates of Paramount Pictures. I got so ahead of myself that my shadow couldn’t keep up.
Ms Love’s star was on the rise. She was coming off of a string of hits: The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on The Moon. She was a serious and couture wearing actress now. I was both nervous and confident about meeting her. After all, she requested to meet with us.
We rendezvoused at Ms Love’s home in the Hollywood Hills. To sit on her tailored linen couch in her living room was new and exciting. I envisioned many meetings with Ms Love and perhaps, a blossoming friendship. After all, I lived in Seattle for a year and a half. Nuff said, right?
Ms. Love’s manager greeted us at the front door, and as we were ushered in, my writing partner whispered in my ear, “If you see matches or something innocuous in the bathroom, take it as a souvenir.” She was always joking around.
Moments later, Ms Love walked in. She looked fabulous with her professional looking blond bob haircut, smart looking skirt and blazer and clean lines. Her diction seemed to have been altered as well. This was a new Courtney Love. A sophisticated Courtney Love. A Golden Globe nominee Courtney Love.
From the time she said, “Hello, nice to meet you guys,” to the time we left her house, an hour later, she did not stop talking. “Did you know that this is Ellen’s former home? I just had it redecorated. Do you like these chairs? Have you read Proust? I can’t stand the ineffectual people in this town.” That last one I’m paraphrasing. And then before we knew what hit us, she was regaling us on the virtues of anal bleaching. She insisted that we go to Pink Cheeks on Ventura Boulevard for a pink and refreshed looking butt.
After an hour of shooting the shit, and peripherally talking about her movie project, my partner and I offered to come up with some ideas and meet again in a few weeks. I needed to have another face to face. What other fascinating tidbits might she share with us?
We stood to leave and my writing partner asked to use the bathroom. I guess she wasn’t kidding. She was actually going to see if there was anything to snatch.
As we walked to the front door, I looked towards the kitchen and caught a glimpse of Frances Bean, who must have been seven-years-old at the time. She looked eerily like her father, Kurt Cobain. Nirvana, and grunge, were still a part of the culture; with gossip still surrounding Kurt’s death, and of course their music. In a million years, I never imagined that I would find myself in this world.
We didn’t receive any additional beauty tips at our second meeting. Ms Love, and her idea, became one in a sea of meetings, pitches, promises and potentials. It was my first high profile meeting and it never occurred to me that we wouldn’t get the job. A classic case of believing my own press. Oh, did I have so much yet to learn.
My ego had been working overtime. However, Ms Love’s rejection made sure that it came to a screeching halt. Those two short meetings were my initiation of sorts.
I realized that I was more into meeting celebrities than writing, and that business was too fraught with disappointment and struggle to have that as my motivation. Things shifted quickly after those meetings and after much searching, questioning and maturity, I began working from an authentic place, and only then was I truly living my dream.
"It" girl, Courtney Love, Dani Alpert, Entertainment industry, Follow your Hollywood dreams, Hollywood, Hollywood glamour, Pink Cheeks, Screenwriter