April 22, 2003

Let’s set the record straight. I do not lust after Hollywood players, but have lusted after non-Hollywood players. However, my close actress friend, Kate, is addicted to them. Barry Josephson is her player du jour.

Kate, like other Hollywood starlets, has the fantasy of marrying a producer or director. Recently she changed her mind: maybe date a producer, then actor, and marry a director? I thought a successful producer would be best, unless the director were renowned. I was helping her with her career strategy. How about marry a producer and have an affair with an actor and director? I’m not into this kind of immoral behavior, but I knew the way Kate thought.

 “I just met with Barry Josephson. I am in love….” Kate sighed. “I was so nervous. I did a really bad audition. Did I tell you it was for a Coen Brothers film?”

“About five times,” I said.

 “I couldn’t stop staring at him. You know how I like those nice preppy Jewish boys.” Kate’s voice got higher.

“I’m sure you were fine,” I said trying to be supportive.

“No, you don’t understand,” Kate insisted. ”I was tripping over my words and making the worst small talk. I brought up his office furniture.”

 I cringed. That was bad.

“He probably wasn’t even listening to you. A guy friend told me that you can never f*** up with a player.” Wasn’t I the model friend?

“Did you know Barry has a beach house?”

“In Malibu?” The cliché was often true.

“Yes. He said, ‘I live in Malibu right on the water. Right on the water. Yeah, I have a place right on the water. It’s great living right on the water.’

I tried to make her feel better.

 “One of my high school writing teachers asked the class what they would rather be: An actor, a screenwriter, a director, or producer. Not a single student said producer. Producers are not creative. This teacher was an a**hole and a bitter ex-screenwriter who never made it. But he did have a point.”

I could see Kate smirk. “He just needs to be creative in bed.” Kate was hot. She had a perfect body from years of dancing, shapely real breasts and brown hair, green eyes. I was sure if Barry weren’t married, he’d sleep with her.

“Come on Kate. He looks like a total dweeb.”  "But he oozes charm and was so sweet," Kate sighed.

 I know the cliché is that women go for unattractive rich men. There are plenty of those in Hollywood.

But Kate was attracted to nerdy and bookish looking guys. I had recently explained to her that some dorky rich guys were players because now they could get the women they always wanted. Kate often whined that she had made a mistake by not going to an Ivy League college.

“I wonder if he’s married.” Kate pondered.

Oh, no -- Kate was venturing into fantasy-crush mode. I should tell her to stop. I couldn’t help but play along.

“Was he wearing a wedding ring?”

This guy was obviously not husband material. Note: I actually forgot for a few hours that a wedding ring didn’t mean anything in Hollyweird. Ah, I’m not as cynical as I thought.

“Damn, I can’t remember. What sign do you think he is?” Kate said seriously.

If I knew that, I would already be rich. “Let’s find out.”

I Googled Barry Josephson and *nothing* (except for his professional accomplishments and business relationships) came up. That was boring. His IMDB profile didn’t contain any pertinent information, either.

Plan B: I e-mailed a few industry people who might know. The first response and description I got was from a writer:

Barry Josephson: “Mid 40s... likes high-end bimbos, historically... hopefully not insulting your friend... a screw them and screw them type...liked Heidi Fleiss girls… not sure if he's been recently married --no idea when his birthday is...”

Next, Sara, an assistant for a big wig, told me Barry Josephson called for her boss all the time, but she would be too embarrassed to ask if he were married. I was disappointed in her. You could always find a sly way to find out this kind of thing. Sara assumed that he must be married since he was in his 40’s now. (At least some Hollywood assistants were still naïve.) She said that Barry used to date Sharon Stone.

My director friend, Jake, told me that Barry Josephson did something very naughty to get ahead in Hollywood. (Not like half of Hollywood hasn’t done something similar or worse.) Because of my good morals and ethics, I will not divulge the sordid details. I am not a tabloid journalist!

A development executive informed me that Barry was in the Hollywood book Hit and Run. This was my favorite quote: “When Barry Josephson worked for producer Joel Silver, he was known as ‘the vice president of chicks and clubs.’ pg. 389)”Carefully groomed and dressed, he projected a hardworking professional image by day. By night he was a playboy partying with models while telling friends he was lonely and wanted to marry a nice girl.” (pg.391)

I met Kate in person for coffee to break the bad news. I even treated her to a large vanilla latte. I did a quick encapsulation of my investigation. I could have been dramatic and told her the saga, but I wasn’t going to rub it in. I expected for Kate to get melancholic, but she grinned through it all and twirled her hair. I ended with the fact that Barry used to date Sharon Stone. Kate’s smile widened at this news, and her head tilted back as she cackled and clapped her hands. “Perfect! He likes divas.”

“You are insane.” I said. Would I ever be on the same page as Kate?

“No, I am an actress.” Kate deadpanned.

“Oh, he seems so sweet.  That's why I like him--he's devious.  He's like me!!!!  I wish people would say that about me. ‘Projects this hardworking professional image and underneath she has no panties!!!'  Unfortunately I've got just the ‘she wears no panties.’  Oh, and the part of "marry a nice girl," he wants an exact mirror of himself, meaning that, she appears to be the Madonna but get her home and she's a whore.  Every man's fantasy: Madonna and the whore.  I've been working on this dichotomy for years. “

When I got home, I had an e-mail from another Fox employee. James didn’t even work in production or development, yet had managed to find out the answer to my silly question. Yes, Barry Josephson is married.

*Real names of innocents are never used.