Today's casting call to choose an actress for the upcoming film The Mother II shut down the city of London, leaving patients without doctors and nurses, bosses without administrative assistants, stores without salespeople, restaurants without cooks and waitresses, and schools without teachers.
"It's a like a giant football game here," said one man in wonderment. "There are very few women anywhere."
Millions of women aged 50 to 100 thronged the streets to try out for the part of the mother in The Mother II, played by actress Anne Reid in the well-received, recently released movie The Mother.
In The Mother, a woman in her mid-60s whose husband has just died and who thinks her life is over has an opportunity to have a brief, highly erotic affair with a younger man--a carpenter named Darren. In addition, they get to eat several very nice meals together in a lovely park and have access to decent croissants.
"I wouldn't miss this casting call for the world," said one woman with a walker who admitted to being 97. "What middle-aged or elderly woman in her right mind would forego the chance to have great sex with a gorgeous man in his mid-30s in a room with cross-ventilation and beautiful white curtains? Who cares if it's just a movie? Who cares if most of us have never acted before? Anyway, who needs to act?"
"Out of my way," yelled another woman who gave her age as 84, brandishing her cane to make her point. "I was on this line before you, and you are not going to butt in front of me! I used to live in America, and I have plenty of experience knocking down people who pushed in front of me at the supermarket!"
"It's not customary for the director of a just released film to start thinking about and casting for a sequel," said one industry insider, who was also waiting on line for a chance to audition. "But he got so much fan mail that he wanted to take advantage of the momentum. The Internet dating scene is OK for some people, but obviously this movie struck a responsive chord in many more women."
When asked why Anne Reid would not be available to repeat her splendid performance, the director sighed. "She and the man who played Darren actually ran away together. Neither of them is doing any more movies. This is an instance of real life being better than art, rather than the customary vice-versa. Well, I say more power to them. Sometimes life should trump art, and not vice-versa."
"I am definitely not doing a The Mother III," he commented, turning away wearily. "My next movie won't have any sex in it. And maybe no people in it either."