(If you have not read Part 1 please go and do that first. Quicker! You haven't got all day.)
I dutifully googled 'One Day' and upon seeing the book cover (this upcoming film is based on a novel), recognised it and recalled a few friends reading it. The author is David Nicholls, who also wrote Starter For Ten that was adapted into a very good film starring the gorgeous James McAvoy.
Wednesday afternoon a car was sent and Mother and I were driven to the 'base' near St Pancras station. This was for The Fitting which consisted of a costume guy taking pictures of me in many different 'kiddy' outfits. [Re-reading this, that sentence sounds much more onimous than it should]. I wore no make-up in an attempt to look younger than my 16 years (althought of course this is hardly a mean feat) and looked crap. The crapness of my appearance worsened with the clothes I tried on. I think my disdain for one particularly awful turquoise t-shirt was very clear as the guy made a few jokes about my dysphoria. Perhaps I'm being unfair however, I did try my best not to appear moody. Anyway, it took hours.
Thursday morning I was taken at some ridiculously early hour (7.30am or something!) to the Novotel hotel. There was the main 'runner' person, my costume guy, a costume woman with wonderful clothes on and a runner/extra-just-for-this-scene. They were all very nice and I was soon given a latte and a croissant. Another little fitting ensued as I was photographed in various different dresses, until it was decided we were to stick with the baggy grey-and
-white striped top and skaterboy denim shorts. I wore this as I was driven to the station (approx. 1 min walk away).
After passport control et cetera, I met Lone Scherfig (the genius who directed An Education and was now doing this). When she asked whether I had read the book I shamefully admitted that I hadn't. Lone promptly went to WHSmith and bought little old me a copy! She was so lovely.
At one point I spotted Anne Hathaway looking tired and being fussed over. I quickly warned Mother not to snap her or talk to her or do anything embarrassing which she surprisingly managed to resist.
Later, make-up artists crowded around me, trying to look as efficient and busy as possible as they applied a mix of alcohol and brown paint to the ends of my hair. I asked why this was being done and they said it looked unnatural, a 14 year old would not have bleached hair. Really? I dyed mine when I was 11 I thought, but held my tongue. My intoxicated hair really stunk though.
The short scene was to be done on the train. I was told it was actually with Jim Sturgess (who is yum) and that I had two words to say: "oui" and "non". Laughingly, I assured them I could manage it, whilst I actually tried to convince myself. I hadn't done any acting for so long, and I was shit even then! I don't think I've ever taken a class and I used to go to tons of auditions and hardly ever got anything. I once got a big role in Family Affairs but I never did it (big rows with my first primary school). I wish I had.
Okay, back in the room. I was extremely nervous for the second time this week. First his POV (point of view) was filmed and it involved him staring intensely, so that I blushed. (I do blush easily). He talked to me (or my character, whatever) and I obediently said my two words off-camera. I would have felt much more confident if I looked myself but I guess that isn't acting. Nearing the next tunnel we did it from my POV which was scary. The fact the scene had to be at the precise moment the train emerged from the tunnel added pressure. We did a few different versions and it was over in about 15 mins.
When I returned to my seat, I woke Mother up and told her about it. She repeated what I said to Jim as he passed: "My daughter says your French is rubbish!". Obviously, taken out of context that sounded rude and I recoiled, incredibly embarrassed. He was gracious of course. My ol' mate Jimmy.
Mother had managed to get them to book the return ticket a day later so that we stayed at Trish Deseine's in St Germain. Trish was lovely, as was her idyllic flat overlooking an enormous park. The next day we lunched at a very nice restaurant and met a couple of creepy French guys.
Today, Saturday, I finished One Day. The book is one of those 'unusual love stories'; a mix of When Harry Met Sally and The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (both in my Top 10s for films and books respectively). The main characters being the best of friends and the audience wondering whether they will ever get together romantically (although knowing they will, of course they will) is the Harry and Sally part. The TT's Wife aspect is the time: every chapter is a different year, but on the same day (St Swithin's, 15 July) and goes from 1988 to 2007. In this way it is easy to track what Emma and Dexter get up to without it being relentlessly chronological. The way the structure is used in Part Five (the last part) is largely what makes it so poignant.
One Day is provoking, very funny and made me a cry like a baby.