Talking To People You Don’t Know

March 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

I have a habit of striking up conversations with people I think that I know but actually don’t.

A classic example of this was in Paris when Bella Freud was showing her 1st short film Strap Hanging at a very swanky art gallery during couture week. Seeing as Bella had bagged John Malkovich to direct her 3 min skit the place was quite A list a fact that by the end of the evening and quite a few cocktails on an empty stomach I’d forgotten.

Bella and I had an insane month: the film was shot in 2 days, edited in 3, we then headed to NY to show it during fashion week, followed head-long into showing it at London fashion week and finally arrived dazed in Paris.

At Thaddaeus Ropac’s gallery I see an older man in a flat cap heading straight for me: phew… someone I know! The place is packed so I’m almost dragging him through ‘HOW ARE YOU? AND HOW COME YOU ARE HERE?’ I shout over the film thinking that he’s a friend of my Father’s. He says that he’s good and was actually at the gallery to buy some Richard Prince. He then asks about the film and tells me that he’s ‘shot a few’ and laughs.

And then the penny drops.

OK … so if there was a film of my life I’d be played by Hugh Grant as I’m now turning into a bumbling inarticulate public school oaf.

‘Oh’ says myself played by Hugh Grant gulping words ‘I don’t know you do I?’

He replies ‘No ma’am’

And why would that be?

‘Because’ dear God I am almost dying on the spot ‘you are Dennis Hopper…’

Later there is a dinner, being the assistant I’m put on a table near the stairs far away from the A crowd which is fine by me as Christian Louboutin’s lovely partner has been placed there too.

I plonk myself between him and a perfect old lady who I manage to amuse with my daft stories and posh girl foul language and who pats me a lot like a small child.

By the time pudding arrives there is a muttering of excitement at the top table: it’s Mr Hopper again who says his hellos and then heads straight for our Z list table sits down and chats some more.

Talk at the top table ‘is just how you know Dennis Hopper’ says Bella in the taxi home.

The next day we meet the former Mrs Ferry who is rowing on the phone about the price of chandeliers. At 34 grand I’m kind of with Mr F on this one but say nothing. Having been beaten into submission Mrs F does what any normal wife would do: take out your frustration in Dior.

As we walk in I am hugged by the perfect old lady who is standing next to a very large table covered in tea cups and figurines.

My stock question of ‘what are you doing here?’ is replied with a laugh and ‘sweet child… I work for Dior, I go to Portobello and buy erm how you say… shitty little knickknacks and they sell them here… it’s nice no?’.

My foul mouth is contagious I realise but the fact that she’s used the word ‘shitty’ makes us both giggle.

By the time we leave Bella tells me that Mrs F left Dior empty-handed because ‘all she could focus on was the fact that you were talking to Mrs Yul Brynner’.

Coffee anyone?

We head to a cafe to eat chips and drink strong black stuff as my hangover is beyond. Bella is busy on her mobile phone and so misses me walking straight into Mr Hopper again ‘are you stalking me young lady?’ He introduces me to Harvey Kietel and then they walk off leaving me standing with my gob open.

‘Who was THAT?’ asks Bella

You don’t want to know…..


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