Casting all day yesterday. We saw our first Bob Buss’s. Buss is the svengali who invents 2gether – part Brian Epstein part Mr Magoo. He’s a wonderful character who does a kind of reverse King Lear: we find him at his lowest ebb and by the end of the tale he has re-discovered himself and is back on top of his game, and remarkably, despite the setbacks, he carries no trace of bitterness. He reminds me of Dale Griffith, the John Candy character in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and I wonder what Buss’s life was like before we first meet him. I describe him to all the hopefuls as being terrifed of a 9 to 5 job because he has no idea what he would do between 5 and 9 and wonder for a moment if I’m not describing myself. Some of the actors who read for us bring lumps to the throat when they tackle Buss’s phone call to Jerry when all seems lost: a testament to the actors commitment and the Gunn’s writing. At one point I realise that I am describing Buss in terms of my old boss Robbo – a man of such intense belief in his acts that he would press on through insurmountable problems with unbelievable determination regardless of the cost both to himself and to those who worked with him, never revealing his fear once whether he was stony broke or flush with cash. If I can’t bring Buss alive on screen then I will definitely have to consider going back to cab-driving as a career.
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