Will stood, his feet aching and his knees tired and his mind fuzzy with fatigue, as the makeup artist brushed more powder to his face. He'd been filming 'Fissure' for two months then, and he found it to be his biggest challenge yet.
Camera is reloaded!" Sam Raimi called, to which the makeup artist ran off set. "Sound?"
"Sound is good!"
"Fissure," the second camera assistant began, holding the clapper open, "scene ninety-four, take three."
Trevor Hollaren, the actor playing the character of Van, began walking down the empty hall of Columbia University. He rounded the corner, where Will had been leaning his back against the wall casually.
Feigning startled, Trevor said, "Whoa. Sorry, man."
Trevor otherwise kept walking, not giving Will a second glance. Will walked after the other man, a smirk gracing his lips.
"No problem, man," Will replied darkly, full out grinning while maintaining a one-foot distance between them.
"Uhh-" Trevor said awkwardly, looking back to see Will walking uncomfortably close. "Back up, dude. You're kinda--"
Will grabbed the handle on top of Trevor's backpack, effectively bringing the brunette to a halt as he responded with a smirk, "What's the matter, Mr. Leon?"
"What the fuck, dude?" Trevor demanded while trying to free himself. "Back the fu--"
"--Don't you remember!?"
"What?" Trevor asked, confused and a little weary. "You're- you're that guy. The- the- the survivor."
"I'm not," Will replied with a dark laugh. "Gregory is."
"But- but- your name is Gregory. You survived the car incident, right?"
"Gregory did," Will seethed. "It took almost two years for our body to heal! We couldn't even walk for twenty-three months! Do you have any idea how that feels!?"
Will didn't wait for an answer. He yanked the backpack down slightly to make Trevor bend backward, and lifted his right foot into the air and made like he was delivering the hardest stomp he could to the side of Trevor's leg.
CUT! That was great, guys! Real great! That's a fifteen for makeup!"
"You okay?" Will asked his costar. "Sorry, I didn't mean to pull the backpack that hard."
Trevor smiled kindly at Will as he responded, "Nah, it's all good. I think that take'll look better than the others."
One makeup artist once again touched up Will's face. Another makeup artist did Trevor's while a third applied a prosthetic bone sticking out of one of Trevor's legs.
"Fissure, scene ninety-five, take one."
Trevor screamed loudly, very much sounding like he really was in pain. He fell to the floor and Will let go of the handle on the brown backpack.
"What the-" Trevor shouted in pain and fear while doing his best stand. "What the fuck, man! HELP! HELP ME! SOMEBODY!"
Once again adopting the dark, sinister voice, Will asked eerily softly, "I- I- I... Sorry! Sorry."
"It's okay!" Sam Raimi called, slightly exasperated.
"What's my line again?" Will asked. "Never mind. I remember now. Sorry."
Eerily softly, Will carried on, "Do you know why I love this building?"
Crying and trying to walk away in a hobble, Trevor screamed, "HELP ME! SOMEBODY!"
"I love this building because it empties right out about this time," Will carried on, still layering his voice with malevolent ominousness, as if Trevor hadn't said anything.
"Back-" Trevor said before a sob as he took his flip phone out of his pocket. "Back the fuck up, psycho!"
Trevor had just dialled the 9 and 1 buttons when Will snatched the cell phone from the brunette's grip. He tossed the device with some force. Will maintained the dark yet stoic expression his face wore as he walked behind the 'injured' young man.
"What made this so easy, Van," Will began with a soft laugh, "is your obsession for fitness."
SOMEBODY HELP ME!"
"Day after day after day. Pumping iron, running mile after mile.
"It didn't take us long to figure out the perfect time and place to exact our revenge."
"You park all the way on the other side of campus. Your routine was tailored for us, Van. You just make getting you alone so easy."
"'U-us'?" Trevor asked, a new type of fear etching onto his face. "Wh-who's helping you? What other sick fucks are you working with!?"
"Now, now, Van," Will tsk'ed. "Take care of how speak of my colleagues. One might think that you despise the mentally ill."
"Fuck you," Trevor seethed as he once again began hobbling down the deserted hall.
"Gregory was in love with her, you know," Will stated. "Samantha Rosen, the girl that you and your friends killed in the car accident. And drove off! You ran. You coward."
And with that, Will threw a punch. It was just a stage blow, his fist whizzing an inch by Trevor's face. Trevor whipped his head sideways and through his body down to the linoleum floor.
Raimi cried, "Pause! Let's try another punch! Will, don't curl your arm so much! Trevor, you were a little slow on the reaction!
Trevor stood back up, his body bent sideways like before.
Raimi was satisfied with that punch, so he called Cut for a five minute break. Will used that time to reign in his emotions. Multiple people had warned Will that portraying a character that had dissociative identity disorder and hunted the people that caused the car accident that killed Katherine MacTarin, the young woman that Gregory Alston had been dating for three years, would be incredibly demanding and overwhelmingly emotional. But he took the role with excitement, happy for a different genre and acting experience.
"You okay?" Nick asked as Will sidled up to his side.
"Mmm, yeah," Will answered heavily. "Just hold me?"
"Don't get too comfortable," Nick warned, holding Will by his middle. "You've still got about five hours of work to go."
"Mmm!" Will groaned. "Don't remind me."
Nick and Will shared a quiet and soft laugh before Nick told the blonde, "Hey, I gotta leave when you get back to filming. Erica Walsh, the new girl from Castlebar, starts recording her album earlier than expected and Lisa wants a Skype call to discuss cover art options with her."
"That's fine," Will replied before kissing Nick's neck. "Do you think you can be sitting in a nice, hot, lavender-scented bath when I get to the condo?"
"Sure," Nick answered around another quiet laugh. "Anything for my hard-working actor fiancee. You finish work around, what, twelve?"
"Yeah. Maybe one."
"Yeah, I'll take a nap so I cuddle the fuck out of you tonight."
"Actors!" Raimi shouted. "Will! Trevor!"
Will have Nick a chaste kiss before he said, "Later."
"Now for this scene," Raimi began when Will walked back onto the set, "Gregory delivers a fucking hard blow to Van's face! Uhhh, let's see... To Van's left temple, according to the autopsy! Trevor, you practice the fall to the floor!?"
"Yep!" Trevor called back with a poor excuse of a salute. "Ready to go, Sammy!"
"Fuck you very much!" Raimi shouted back, not unkindly. "Roll cameras! Cue sound!"
"Camera one; rolling!"
"Camera two; rolling!"
"Fissure, scene ninety-six, take one."
Will grabbed Trevor by the green jacket and seethed, "Do you know what it's like to hold the love of your life in your arms as she dies? And watch as the drunk driver speeds off? I don't. But Gregory does. And it broke him."
And with that, Will raised his fist high. He threw it down toward Trevor with such speed and ferocity that the entire crew winced. Everybody knew that it was all fake, but watching as Trevor jerked his head sideways and fell to the floor in a heap, it looked amazingly believable.
"Cut! That was beautiful! Will, you okay!?"
"I- yeah!" Will called back, slightly emotional. "I- fine! I'm good!"
"Think ya got it in you for one more take!?"
"I- yeah! If you think we should!"
"Nah! Let's move on! Trevor, get to makeup!"
As instructed, Trevor walked off set. A props guy delivered a dummy to the set. This dummy was dressed in black sneakers, blue boot cut jeans, and a green jacket. Its hair was even styled the same way Trevor's was.
"Okay, Will! In this scene I need you to be absolutely furious! Think deranged! Wild! Animalistic!"
Will closed his eyes, clearing his mind for a second. He thought about the worst fight he had with Nick. The two had screamed at each other about money. Will had donated thirty thousand dollars to St. Judes without talking to Nick about it. Nick was obviously not happy, but Will argued that it was his own hard-earned money. Will threw it in Nick's face that the brunette lost all rights to the money argument when he declined to move to either Victoria or Vancouver simply because he didn't want to leave Los Angeles.
"Fissure, scene ninety-seven, take one."
Will rolled his shoulders before Raimi called, "Action!"
Will grabbed the dummy by the jacket and seethed, "Deep down- deep, deep down, Gregory remembers the accident."
Will once again raised his right hand, and delivered the hardest punch he could to the rubber hollow face of the dummy.
"Because I have access to Gregory's memories," Will threw another blow that would render a real victim dazed, "I got your plate numbers."
Will growled softly as he threw another punch to the dummy's face. This punch, as directed, was the fiercest yet.
"Tracked you down nice and easy."
Will threw another three consecutive punches. Due to the spring in the dummy's neck, it made the dummy look and react like a real person would.
"Cut! Excellent, Will! That's a five for prop reset!"
Will closed his eyes, breathing deeply, and rolled his shoulders again. He walked to the chair that bore his name, being handed a clear plastic cup that held a cucumber-strawberry smoothie on his way.
"You okay?" Jodi Wallis, one of the PA's asked.
Will offered the girl a semi-forced smile as he answered, "Yeah. I knew taking this role was- was gonna be hard. It's just more than I expected. I'm fine."
"Okay," Jodi said, totally not believing Will. "If you're sure. Umm, Casey Jacobs called and said for you to call right away."
Will thanked the girl kindly as he made the phone call.
"Hi, Will," Casey answered her phone stoically. "How are you? How's filming?"
"I am tired as all hell," Will replied with a laugh. "But filming is good. Great, actually. Minus all the tears."
"I did warn ya, kid."
"That you did."
"Well, I called about a cuppla things. First, you are starring in two YouTube videos. The first is called '20 Celebrities With Non-Famous Spouses', and the second is 9 Things You Didn't Know About Will J. Ember'."
"Oh, god!" Will groaned. "Alright, I'll check out the second one later."
"Second thing I called about was an offer from MGM. I spoke with Cartwright this morning, and he's prepared to pay you another twenty-five grand to have a small crew film you for a whole day. Literally from the minute you wake up to the minute you turn in for the night, you're filmed. It's for a 'Behind-the-Scenes' featurette for Fissure. They'll show how you start your day, how you prepare for work, how you make an emotional connection to the character... All that jazz."
"An entire day?"
"It's not that bad. It's twenty-five grand! I won't even bill you for it. I mean UTA is already making a lot off your two million paycheque from Fissure. And you won't even have to do much."
"Am I expected to speak? Like, recite what I'm doing and why?"
"Obviously. And if you forget to at some point, the cameraman will ask you questions."
"Well that sounds annoying," Will stated dryly. "I'll think about it, okay? Does MGM have a backup plan?"
"Two, actually," Casey began. "If you decline, they'll offer the same to Smit-McPhee. Another option Cartwright has in mind is having the cameraman tail the main stars, and have some guide around the completed sets."
"Well for twenty-five large, I guess I can suffer through a cameraman following me around for, what, fifteen hours?"
"Perfect! MGM wants them to be with you from the very, very beginning of your day. So you'll have to either have the cameraman spend the night in your condo or let them in in the wee hours of the morning."
"That doesn't sound awkward at all," Will said sarcastically. "The condo's sofa pulls out into a full-sized bed, so that's no problem."
"Sounds great, Will. I'll have the contract overnighted to New York and arrange a courier to pick it up."
Will walked back on set, and was joined by Trevor. Thanks to the talented makeup artists, Trevor's face was decorated with prosthetics that made it look swollen and bruising, and red syrup oozed from various 'cuts'. One makeup artist went up to Will and drizzled the red syrup over Will's knuckles and fingers. He then dipped a makeup brush into the bowl of syrup and tapped it spill the excess liquid off the bristles. Satisfied, he flicked the brush at Will's neck and shoulder, making it appear like blood splattered onto him.
"Fissure, scene ninety-eight, take one."
Will delivered another punch, his grip on Trevor's jacket slackened. Trevor's flung his head to the side and back, like he'd actually been hit, and fell to the floor in a heap. Will watched him groan, actually sounding like he was in pain, and turn his head sideways slowly.
With a stoic tone to his voice, Will, as he grabbed grabbed Trevor by the jacket again, said, "I don't know which punishment would suit you better, Mr. Leon; ending your life now... or coming back after I've dealt with Ms. Fabian and Ms. Callings."
With a voice artificially strained, Trevor begged, "No. No! You leave 'em alone, you sick fuck!"
Raimi then called, "Aaand transition!"
Will made his eyes look distant, off focus, and droop closed for a moment. He also made his body sway, releasing his grips on Trevor's jacket before he opened his eyes, again focused.
"Well hello there, Van," Will greeted gently in a southern drawl. "I see that Ryan has done quite the number on you, young man. My pardners and I agreed that he's gone too far. And we humbly 'pologize for not innervenin' any sooner."
Trevor, looking disgusted, seethed, "You really are one sick fuck."
"Now, now, Mista Leon," Will tsk'ed. "Dat ain't no way to speak o' the psychologically traumatized, now is it, young sir?"
"Go to hell," Trevor said fiercely.
Will once again looked unfocused and drooped his eyes closed. He breathed out slowly, and opened his eyes again.
Once again portraying the alter personality of Ryan, Will laughed softly before he said, "I am truly sorry that you had to see that, Van. My friends are unhappy with me. No matter."
Trevor turned onto his stomach with a groan of pain after watching Will reach behind himself a pull an AR15 out of his hands.
Watching Trevor try to crawl away in tears, Will asked eerily, "Do you- do you... Fuck!"
Trevor was the first to let out a small laugh. Will followed suit not a second later. A couple of crew members laughed as well.
"Sorry!" Will called, unmoving, and smiling. "What's my line again!?"
Mina Archen, the line producer, answered, "'Do you think you're dying tonight?'!"
"Carry on from 'Do you think-' whenever you're ready!"
Will exhaled slowly with his eyes closed, getting back into character and mindset.
"Ready?" Trevor asked.
Will nodded his head. Trevor went down, his hands supporting the weight of his upper body. After another moment, Will watched as Trevor began to crawl away, so he slowly walked behind him.
"Do you think that you are dying tonight?" Will asked gently as he screwed a silencer to the barrel of the revolver.
Around his tears, Trevor said, "Fuck you."
"You will you know," Will darkly sang. "You're dying tonight."
Will pointed the gun and fired. Thanks to the special effects makeup artist, a small packet of red syrup taped to Trevor's right calf popped by remote control. Trevor let out a blood-curdling scream as he arched his back.
"But first," ~gunshot to Trevor's left thigh~ "I'm gonna-" ~gunshot to Trevor's right hip~ "-have-" ~gunshot to Trevor's left ribs~ "-some-" ~gunshot to Trevor's right shoulder "-fun!"
Trevor screamed in his tears, sounding completely crumbled. Hearing it, and knowing this was a true story, caused Will's own heart to shatter. But he ignored it, or did his best to. He stood over Trevor, and turned the brunette onto his back using his foot.
Will crouched down as he commented serenely, "I hope that hurt as much as it sounded."
With a trembling lip, Trevor said quietly, "I hope you burn in hell."
Will bowed his head and at the same time raised his hand, asking for a moment.
"It's okay!" Raimi called, understanding. "Just gather yourself! Take your time!"
Will quickly wiped his tears and cleared his throat.
"You good?" Trevor whispered.
Trevor shook his head, "No need to be sorry, blondie. It's a story that shakes you to your soul. I'm gonna make myself cry again. No need to rush. Take your time."
"We'll begin with 'I hope you burn in hell'! When you're ready!"
After a few moments of deep breathing, Will connected his blue eyes with Trevor's honey-brown ones and offered a single nod of approval.
"I hope you burn in hell."
Angry, utterly pissed, Will replied, "Well then I hope you don't think you're going to heaven."
Will gripped either side of Trevor's head and twisted his neck quickly, 'snapping' it. Right after, he let go, allowing Trevor to fall to floor, seemingly convincingly dead. Will kept his jaw clenched for two reasons; for his role as a mentally ill murderer, and because the dam holding his tears back was threatening to break.
Will's face immediately screwed in pain and anguish. Tears flooded from his eyes as he rushed off set. He didn't get far. Behind the camera, Will fell to his knees. His body convulsed silently, crying. He raised both his hands to his the sides of his head, trying to rid the agony from his mind.
Will felt another person kneel down in front of him. Their arms wrapped around Will's neck, and the blonde continued to convulse in silent tears.
"I know it's hard, Will," Trevor stated gently. "But you're strong. You're strong enough to tackle this job. You're doing great."
"Yeah?" Will asked, still crying.
"Yes," Trevor firmly replied. "You're doing your job perfectly."
Moments later, Will dried the tears from his eyes as he stood. He offered Trevor an appreciative smile, to which Trevor smiled back softly and amicably slapped Will's arm.
"You ready for another take!?"
An hour later Raimi called a forty-five-minute lunch. Will returned to his trailer where I took a Tupperware box out of the refrigerator and ate the chicken Caesar salad. As he did, he opened his laptop went onto the YouTube website and watched the video that Casey had told him about.
The video began with an Instagram post from Jake's profile. It depicted Will, who was a little tipsy, at a bar lip syncing to Selena Gomez's 'Fetish' to a pool cue. He then bent forward and aimed a shot.
Danielle Robay's voice began, "If you didn't know, well, now ya know that Will J. Ember means business.
"Whether he's running fifteen-kay marathons, raising money for cancer research, or breaking our hearts crying over Tiff's move, Will is quickly becoming Hollywood's 'It' guy."
The 'Tiff' they had referred to was Tiffani McKinny, MacKenzie Foy's character in 'Lullaby'.
"If you were dying to know more about the Canadian heartthrob, then you've come to the right place. We are giving you nine things you didn't know about Will J. Ember.
"Will, I'm sorry to say, grew up in foster care. His biological mother, Gina Ember, was arrested in 2001 for child endangerment after leaving a three-year-old Will home alone for an entire night while she was out doing coke and drinking.
"Despite being in foster home after foster home, we think Will grew up to be a kind and generous young man. From the tender age of fifteen, Will worked in construction. Yep, our favourite blonde actor worked as a regular Bob the Builder. However, before he could actually get to the building, Will started at a small mom n' pop company as a receptionist and finance clerk. The second he turned eighteen, Will applied to Kinetic Construction and was hired immediately due to his past experience.
"Will also is actress Allison Kellard's best friend! The two met during Allison's three year hiatus at Oak Bay High School in Victoria, BC. As you can see here, the two Canadians are featured quite often in each other's social media posts. And because they are BFF's, Allison would write it in her acting contracts that she would have a personal assistant. Yep! You guess it, Will was that personal assistant. The lucky young man was privy to seeing all of the behind-the-scenes action and drama in each of Allison's flicks.
"It was while Allison was filming 'With Arms Outstretched' that Will gained his first acting job. The producer of the film had witnessed Will running lines with Allison, and I quote,'Will was talented with his diction, had a great Brit accent, and even cried real tears during line running'. Will's role in the film was quite small, having just a handful of lines, but we all agree on why he makes such a great actor, yes?
"It was also while working on 'With Arms Outstretched' that Will met his fiancee Nick Manon. If you did not connect the dots, the producer of the film was Nick's father Todd Manon. Nick had been in London, where the filming had taken place, for a college friend's wedding. According to an unnamed source, the couple had started out as a one-night-stand that turned into a two-night-stand that turned into a lone-distance relationship! Will and Nick had been dating for nearly four years when Nick proposed. I'll and Nick have been engaged for eight months now.
"And while the actor was working construction and traveling to work as Allison's assistant, he slaved taking online courses at the University of Victoria. His due diligence has thusly been rewarded! Will holds a degree in child and youth care. You heard that right! Will had plans to work in the social services sector and help as many children in the system as he could. Like I said, kind and generous.
"Because Will is not currently working in social services, he chooses to help children and youth by hanging out with them. The actor has been spotted reading books, doing puppet shows, and playing the guitar at paediatric units at various hospitals. Will also put together a baseball tournament for children of all ages in his hometown where he was the umpire and held a huge pizza party afterward on the field where he paid for five dozen large pies from four different pizzerias. Talk about charitable!
"It was also at this baseball tournament that we learned that Will was quite the hair stylist! Well, he does a mean braid, at least. Various spectators and tournament players posted photos and videos of Will Dutch-braiding a crown around ten-year-old Lyla Avicort's head before her team's game. Adorable! We also found posts of Will French-braiding Allison's hair for their senior prom and Dutch-braiding friend Lori McLeod's at a lake outing.
"Number nine, last, but certainly not least, Will has quite the voice! The actor has been seen in a few Instagram and Twitter posts singing! And what a lovely voice! Will also did all of his own singing for the film 'You', also starring Olivia Rose Keegan. In an interview with Us Weekly, Will stated that he's not a fan of singing professionally, and especially hated singing live for film due to the many takes demanded of him. But we here at Clevver thank him for it because the song he sang for Kailey was touching and heartfelt and just raw!
"There you have it--"
The time had been forty minutes past midnight when Will walked into the condo that he was renting short-term for the filming. Exhausted, Will walked to the brown leather sofa where he saw Nick sitting in front of the hanging fire place.
"Hey," Nick greeted his fiancee sweetly as Will laid his head on his thigh. "You okay?"
"Mm-hmm," Will mumbled with a small smile as Nick began finger-combing his blonde hair. "Emotional day. Emotional role. Today seemed hardest because it was the first killing. It was so much harder than filming Samantha's death. How was your Skype meeting?"
"Not okay," Nick replied around laughter. "Erica, the bitch, literally has no idea what she wants on her album cover. I suggested photo shoots, landscapes, landmarks, digital art, lyrics, and even fucking paper art. Her album is set to release in six weeks and we can't even hash out cover ideas because she can't make up her mind."
"Sounds annoying," Will commented.
The two remained like that for about five minutes, talking, with Will using Nick's leg as a pillow and Nick driving his fingers through Will's blonde hair. Will then stood up and climbed the metal staircase to go fill the bathtub. As he did that, Nick closed the chimney and vents of the fireplace, watching as the fire slowly burnt out due to lack of oxygen.
"Have you seen the video of you and Trevor?" Nick asked as he soaked in the hot water.
"Nnnoooo...?" Will replied unsurely from the other side of the tub. "Is it an MGM thing?"
"No!" Nick laughed. "Some girl in the crew recorded a video of Trevor holding you as you cried. She posted it to Twitter and tagged everybody! ET, TMZ, DailyMail, CNN, MSN, CBC, fucking everybody! It's only been online for an hour and it's going viral. I watched the video only once, though. Made me cry. The girl, I think her name is Jodi, wrote, '@willjember and @t.vor06 after filming an emotional scene' and tagged all the big news companies. Think Raimi and MGM will can her?"
"Was there more to the video?" Will asked, sliding his toes up and down Nick's abs. "Like, parts of scenes?"
"No. But you and Trevor were heavy in makeup, and fake blood."
Will flicked his finger in the water, splashing Nick as he responded, "I don't think they'll fire her."
Nick laughed and said, "Hey!"
"Or maybe they will," Will flicked again, but bigger.
"Hey!" Nick laughed again. "Stop this madness!"
Smiling affectionately, Will replied, "You call it madness, but I call it love."
I love hearing back from readers! Email me whether you liked this story or not. Have some criticism? I take criticism well!