Eleanor had hoped that now that one of the leads had befriended her, the others would follow. But no such thing happened. Everyone else carried on calling her ‘Ms Astolat’ and gave her all the respect she deserved as the director but none of the friendship that she craved.
Shooting had begun to get stricter as their deadlines were drawing nearer, and tempers were rising. Many of the cast members were becoming frustrated and edgy, feeling the weight of the completion date over their heads. Eleanor had witnessed a few fallings out, especially between Dorian Lockhart, who played Merlin, and Ian Gibson who played Arthur’s evil brother, Mordred. Their fight had hit the gossip magazines only hours later and Eleanor had to have firm words with them telling them that this film had a reputation to up hold and would not stand for poor behaviour. She had been glad for her authority then, as both the men had looked shame faced and apologised profusely, leaving Eleanor feeling like a headmistress telling off her pupils despite being years younger than the two actors.
But apparently not all the cast was feeling the pressure. Aiden and Vivianne spent more and more time together, sometimes both leaving the set in Aiden’s BMW in the evening and arriving back late in the morning. New necklaces appeared around Vivianne’s neck and huge bouquets of exotic flowers crowded her dressing room. All the magazines jumped at this new relationship and soon rumours of an engagement were circulating. And sure enough, a few weeks later Julie Weiss, the wardrobe assistant, came to speak to her.
“Ms Astolat,” Julie addressed her and Eleanor did not even bother correcting her, “We have a problem,” she spoke urgently in hushed tones; Eleanor was instantly intrigued.
“What’s the matter?”
“Um...I think you better see for yourself,” Julie said cryptically and led Eleanor down to Vivianne’s dressing room, where a lot of shouting could be heard from inside the room. Eleanor looked at Julie questioningly but Julie only nodded her head encouragingly and opened the door. Inside the shouting was louder and Eleanor was amazed that such a loud voice could emit from such a dainty looking woman. Vivianne was yelling at the top of her lungs demanding to see the director; her face was blotchy and red and her makeup had smeared down her face from fits of crying. The costume supervisor was trying to tell Vivianne that someone was trying to find the director, whilst attempting to talk the outraged actress into calming down. Vivianne only stopped throwing her tantrum when she saw Eleanor shuffle into the room.
“Oh, Ms Astolat!” She gushed, sending Eleanor a dazzling smile, instantly happy and bubbly again. “I was just trying to tell Maggie here,” she pointed at the costume supervisor with an irritated look, “that I only wanted this one little favour. It’s nothing really,” Vivianne promised and smiled once again making Eleanor instantly suspicious; this didn’t sound like just one tiny favour.
“So, what’s this favour then, Vivianne?” She asked apprehensively. Vivianne gave Eleanor another smile at the same time as Maggie, the costumer supervisor, gave her a strained look.
“Well...it’s just Aiden proposed last night!” Vivianne practically screamed. “And I don’t want to take my ring off! It was just so romantic and I couldn’t bear to take it off so soon! Just look at it,” she added, thrusting her hand into Eleanor’s face. Eleanor gawped at the ring, absolutely amazed; the diamond was the biggest rock she had ever seen and the light caught it so perfectly that little rainbows reflected into her eyes. This had definitely been bought with by a millionaire’s pay check.
“Wow,” Eleanor gasped in shock, “That’s great! Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Elle,” Vivianne beamed, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Aiden insisted he buy it for me even though I said that his love was all I ever needed, isn’t he just the sweetest?” She babbled on and Eleanor nodded along, astounded that Vivianne had just called her ‘Elle’. Months had gone by with everyone calling her ‘Ms Astolat’ and now Vivianne had started to call her a nickname, like old pals. It went quiet and Eleanor realised that Vivianne was waiting for her to say something.
“Oh...um...that sounds great!” She quickly agreed to whatever Vivianne was saying, “But the thing is, Maggie’s right. You’ll have to take your ring off.” Vivianne’s smile quickly turned sour and red blotches tinged her cheeks. “It’s just, well; Guinevere wouldn’t really be wearing a ring like that, would she? It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it would be completely out of place. I’m sure you can take it off just for a couple of scenes, right?” Eleanor asked hopefully, fearing Vivianne’s drama queen tantrum.
“But I don’t want to! It’s not fair! He only proposed to me last night, can’t I just keep it on and you just edit it out, or whatever those computer graphics geeks are paid to do?” Vivianne ordered with a stamp of her foot. Eleanor could not believe the cheek of this girl; she had already asked nicely and now the pampered bimbo was purposely going against her. The cost of the film’s computer graphics was already mounting up, and they could not – no - they would not waste any money on computer graphics to remove a spoilt brat’s ring. Eleanor decided that now was the perfect time to use her strict director’s face.
“Vivianne, you are being completely unreasonable. I asked you politely to take off the ring, don’t make me ask again,” Eleanor threatened with a severe look.
Vivianne gave her a livid glare, but Eleanor stood her ground. Realising that Eleanor was not going to change her mind, Vivianne sniffed a few times before twisting the ring off her finger miserably and placing it lovingly into a heart shaped box.
“I suppose that would be fine, Ms Astolat,” she said begrudgingly then gave a huge sigh and swept from the room, surprising the rest of the wardrobe and costume department who were listening in from outside. Eleanor was not fazed by the slip back to the formal title, now that Vivianne had been put in her place the friendly act could be dropped. Eleanor gave a gusty sigh of her own.
“Come on guys, get back to work, these actors aren’t going to dress themselves.”