life imitates (pop) art


Early one morning I came out of the bedroom to find my husband E sitting in a chair, bleary-eyed from way too little sleep, frowning at an email on his cell phone. “Will you read this for me?”

He handed me the phone and I scanned the message.

E, who regards me as his barometer of all things pop culture, said, “I’m not misreading it, right? That is the actor?”

I started laughing. Of all the random things that can happen to you, Robert Downey Jr. wanting to meet with you in order to research a movie* has to be high on the list.**

So E’s people talked to RDJ’s people and scheduled a time for RDJ to drop by E’s office to get the grand tour. E. liked him: “He’s pretty sharp-witted.” He turned out to be the same in real life as he is in his movies (many actors aren’t, while others seem to have just stepped off the screen for a coffee break), so that E would be talking to him about space and rockets while being constantly reminded of the movie KISS KISS BANG BANG (one of our favorite movies of last year).

At one point they dropped in on some conferring going on between SpaceX people and NASA folk. Hours afterwards someone dropped E a genuinely perplexed email: Uh, what was Robert Downey Jr doing at that meeting?


** They were introduced by their one degree of separation, a guy in New York who told E, “So I’ve been hanging out with this really interesting dude…”


Ryan and Joanna are selling their house in the Hollywood Hills. One of the potential buyers who dropped in to take a gander was an easy-going Kanye West. “He said if he buys it, he’s going to paint all the walls white,” Joanna told me.


“Yeah, he’ll make everything white, like South Beach circa 1990s. I wasn’t happy about that. We put a lot of love and work into those walls.”

Another person who came through was Victoria Beckham. There was drama. Ryan and Joanna were ordered out of the house and given ten minutes’ warning to do so. There was some kind of crisis involving the bodyguard’s (“she brought a bodyguard to look at a house?” someone asked) inability or unwillingness to park in front, so he kept driving round and round the block* and calling on the cell phone. Reports filtered back to Joanna that in person the woman is “freakishly thin, with a big bobble head. Looks alien-esque.”

I did not care about this. I was after the truly important information.

“What was she wearing?”

Joanna didn’t know. Because Joanna has a life.

*Not a normal block by any means: roads in the Hills are long and wind around in complicated ways and have been known to confuse even the best GPS.


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