The agent hung up the phone. Glad Roy is up for sending over his packet. I think that show would be good for him. He gathered various poses and his filmography to send over to the casting director for a new show called “Beauty.” Unbeknownst to the agent, however, was one picture slipped into the envelope by mistake. It was a photograph of Roy lying on the floor in a bathrobe taken by Heidi Gutman for a fundraising calendar. It was not the type of shot one sends to casting directors.
The agent was sending Roy’s packet for him to read for the co-lead of the Beast. Rumor had it that Linda Hamilton would get the role of the Beauty, so Roy would be the older man who falls for the younger ingénue-type character. Very much like that new musical, Phantom of the Opera, the agent mused. He could do worse than work with the Terminator actress!
The casting director looked at the pile of envelopes on her desk. She searched through the pile to see if she could find the envelope from Roy Dotrice’s agent. He was an excellent actor and great character actor, and Mr. Koslow thought him a possible Vincent.
Envelope found, she spilled out the contents, and one of the pictures sent caught her eye. “Oh my.” She smirked. “Why on earth would he send over this picture? Cheesecake? For the Beast?” The agent broke out in a laugh. She gathered up the photos and went down the hall to the writers room.
“Hey, guys! I’ve found our Beast!” She tossed the photos on the tabletop, where they cascaded over the surface. The cheesecake picture was the one that showed itself in its entirety, not hidden under the edge of another.
All the writers glanced at the table, prepared to ignore the interruption because they had no say in who was chosen for the roles. Yet, to a man, each rubbernecked their eyes back to the table. “Hoo, boy! This old coot thought he was Beast material in a bathrobe??” said one. “Cheesecake, baby!” said another. “His audition ought to be interesting,” said a third.
The casting director laughed, and gathered up the photos. “Thought you’d all appreciate a laugh,” she said. She waved adieu to a chorus of pleas to leave the picture with them.
She repackaged the pictures and sent them to the producers. The ball was now in their court.
Auditions were scheduled and the day came for Roy Dotrice to appear. He went through reception, got checked in, and was instructed where to go. He sat down on one of the many chairs in a hallway filled with hopeful actors.
“Dotrice!” came the call. He entered the door and stood before a table of executives. They handed him a side to read for the role of the Beast. He quickly read it through.
“Are you ready, Mr. Dotrice?” asked the female assistant.
“Yes, darling. Where do you want me to stand?” Roy asked.
“There’s a bit of wardrobe for you to put on, to help get you in the proper mood,” she said. She pointed to a garment hanging up behind the door.
He walked back and took the garment from the hanger, to find it was a white fluffy bathrobe. Puzzled, he didn’t know of any Beauty and the Beast story where the Beast wore a bathrobe.
Holding the robe, he walked back to the table.
“Excuse me, darling, but are you sure this it what you want me to put on?”
“If you would, please.”
He sighed. These Americans just don’t respect good literature. What had his agent gotten him into?
He donned the robe, loosely belting it around his middle.
“Are you sure you want to stand?” one of the executives asked. “Let’s see how it would work if you laid on the floor.”
“You want me ... to lay on the floor?”
He laid down, staring up at the ceiling. He held the side up, to review the lines again before putting it down next to him.
“No, no, on your stomach,” said a voice.
“Good heavens, man! Just what are you having this Beast do?” Roy demanded.
“Well, try to get the pose like this.” The executive held up the picture for Roy to see.
The light dawned. Roy enjoyed a good leg-pull as much as anyone else. He guffawed, recovered, and asked, “Wherever did you find that?”
“Your agent sent it over.”
“Really? You mean my former agent!” He laughed. “That was a photoshoot for a charity calendar for Unifem from the United Nations.” He looked at the men, and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t normally do cheesecake!”
“So much for the stiff upper lip of the British, eh, Roy?” said the third suit.
“Well, now you know I’m capable of silliness. Not that the Beast is.” Roy looked at the men. “Shall I read, or has that photograph sealed my fate?”
“Actually, Roy, we are going to have you read for the part of Father, the man who raises the Beast. Howard, here, will read the Beast against your Father.”
Roy gave an internal sigh of relief. His chances hadn’t been flushed down the loo. He scanned his lines and began.
The reading went well. He walked over to hand over the sides to the assistant.”Mr. Dotrice, would you autograph this for me, please?”
“Certainly, darling.” He took what she was holding. It was the picture. He signed it with a flourish. “There you are, darling.” He winked, and whistled his way out the door, acting the true bon vivant.
Everyone laughed watching him leave. “I think we found our Father,” Ron Koslow said. “A Beast wouldn’t be caught dead in a fluffy white bathrobe, lying on a bear rug!”
They laughed again, and called for the next audition.
And that’s how Roy Dotrice got the role of Father in Beauty and the Beast.
At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!