Fifth Challenge - Be sure to get decked out in those sparkly bras and themed lingerie outfits, because today is the infamous Victoria's Secret holiday commercial shoot! Wonder what outfit you'll get! Your hair and makeup? Any props? And most importantly, what are you gonna say? Because not every pretty girl can be smart... And Angels are smart.
The girl sits at a table, bored, twirling a piece of her hair. She's wearing a frumpy dress, but she's still the loveliest girl in the room, we see, as the camera pans around the room and shows her relatives seated at the table. It appears to be a holiday dinner, full of chatting and ugly sweaters - except for the one girl, who is completely silent. The food is served, and someone taps on a wine glass to make a toast. "To new beginnings!" a man cries, standing up. The girl can't help but agree with that, so she toasts. Then, she closes her eyes, and the noise of the table fades away.
When she opens her eyes, she finds herself in Times Square with a very handsome guy, both dressed in matching attire. She's wearing a gold and black dress with black pumps, and he's in a black suit with skinny gold tie and cufflinks - think classy. As they walk towards a giant Christmas tree, it shows various shots of them having fun, laughing and pushing each other around. Then, it starts snowing, and they laugh even more.
Then, it flashes to a bedroom decorated in black and gold, just like the girl's dress. Now, she's dressed in VS lingerie. She's wearing all black, except for the gold and black woven-type chain necklace around her neck, and she perfectly fits the room. She walks around the huge room as music plays, and the camera does close-ups on the extravagant chandeliers as well as on some jewels. Then, it closes in on a crown. The room, it seems, is actually a sort of throne room, but not, because it seems like a bedroom as well. The guy walks back in with a crown tilted jauntily on his head, still wearing his suit. He has two glasses of bubbly champagne in his hands. He hands one to the girl, who giggles. They toast away into the night - and then, as the clock strikes midnight, the girl opens her eyes and finds herself once again at the dinner table, her family surrounding her.
"To a new beginning," she murmurs, " and a fairytale ending."
The screen fades to black and, in gold script, the screen reads, "Happy Holidays from Victoria's Secret - may the season be your perfect fairytale."
They're curling my hair into loose twists when my phone rings again. I pull out my Bluetooth - a gift from my mother (who gives things that are practical, not interesting) - and slip it into my ear, trying to fit it. I hate these things, really, so it's kind of annoying. "Hello?" I say finally, scrambling to answer before the phone stops ringing.
"Kaayyy, darling, it's Mom!" Oh, my god. It's almost like she thinks she's Kris Kardashian now or something. It kind of makes me sick. And unlike the Kardashian sisters, I don't need a momager. I have a real manager, thank you very much, and it's not you, Mother. Plus, I almost sense a fake British accent. We're from freaking Florida, Mom, not London. Get a grip.
"Hi," I sigh. "What's up?"
I can practically hear the smile in her voice. "We've got some people coming to interview you! I hope you're up for it." I hate how cheerful she's being. It kind of makes me want to vomit. If her voice were a color, it'd be sugary, cotton-candy pink. Ugh.
"Mom, there's always people interviewing models on shoots and backstage. Why /wouldn't/ I be okay with it?"
She laughs, a tinkling fake sound. "Oh, don't be so silly, darling! It's for the movie."
Oh. Right. My movie. It sounds kind of weird to think that, let alone say it - or even /talk/ about it. It still feels like some kind of unreal dream. And I would've thought that some higher-up from the filming business would've asked me to stop working for VS at some point, but they seem to think it's good publicity or something - probably because it'll drastically increase the male audience. I guess I get it, but I just don't like getting used. It feels a little fake. It's okay - I guess to some degree, I have to be willing to sacrifice things for this. Like my morals. Well, not the big ones. Just the little ones, like about getting used for publicity. When it's publicity for my own movie, I can make an exception.
"Um, great!" I say. My mom has been waiting for me to reply for a while. "Who's coming?"
"Oh, Ryan Seacrest," she says. Great. What a skeeze. That's literally what I think every single time I see him on TV. He drives me crazy. Is Ryan Seacrest even still a thing anymore, or is he a has-been? I can't tell - I don't keep up with that kind of stuff.
Suddenly, the door to the studio bursts open, and Ricardo jumps away from my face, makeup brush still in hand. I can feel the excess powder he left lingering on my cheeks still. My mom's still on the phone, but I can't hear her over the sounds of Ryan Seacrest's ego invading the room.
"No!" he says. "I wanted Evian water, not this VitaBullsh-t. Get me something better." And I watch in shock as he has his own makeup team plaster his face with some assortment of things that will make him hypothetically less hopelessly ugly than how he seems right now.
After five or six more minutes of makeup prep for me and d-ouchebaggery by Mr. Ryan Seacrest, he seems prepared to face the cameras - and me - in an interview. As he walks over, he brushes a strand of hair out of his eyes. "Hey," he says, flashing the world's fakest smile at me. Then, to the camera: "I'm Ryan Seacrest, here with Kayleigh Hart, a rising star and Victoria's Secret model, who recently walked in their show." He turns back to me. "So, Kayleigh, how does it feel to be one of Hollywood's biggest rising stars?"
"Well," I say, "I still feel like me." How am I supposed to answer this scumbag's questions? I really dislike his fake-ness, the whole nicey-nicey thing he does with me because I'm famous. I have to focus. I can't just blow this interview. But I don't want to tell him my life story. So I look over to Ricardo, who's staring at me like I've grown an extra head, and I realize I've been silent for too long. Continuing to think of Ricardo instead of Seacrest, I go on. "It's kind of weird. Everyone knows me now, sort of, but I still don't really get it. Like, I still feel like the same girl who wakes up every morning in her sweats and reads a book with some breakfast. I don't really see myself as famous. I guess my perception might change..." I trail off, but this time, I know I've said enough to satisfy Seacrest.
"How about DIVERGENT - are you a fan?"
"This one's an easy one," I say, laughing with relief.
Ryan Seacrest looks at me, raising an eyebrow. "Aren't you confident on-camera? You sure looked like it, strutting down that runway like a pro. I think that's something all us fans can agree was totally cool - and insane."
I roll my eyes and half-smile. "I'm confident on-camera when I'm playing a role. When I'm being myself, it's really hard. A lot harder than acting. It's more emotionally honest."
"So back to my last question - DIVERGENT?"
"I read the book and immediately fell in love with it. I know a lot of people will be claiming that it's just trying to ride THE HUNGER GAMES' back to fame, but I think it has its own merits, and it's completely different from THE HUNGER GAMES, really. They're both post-apocalyptic, but beyond that, I don't see a lot of similarity, except between the strong female leads. And that's something I'm glad to see in Hollywood - these days, I think girls need good role models."
"So who're you hoping will play Four?" A smile curls around Ryan's lips, and I can't help but laugh again.
"Well? Honestly, if I could have anyone as a co-star, I'd pick Jude Law. I love him!" I giggle as the camera zooms in on my blushing face. "Yeah, yeah, I know that makes no sense. Realistically, for Four? I think it may be someone famous, and it may not be, but it really needs to be someone who can play the role with total honesty, who can invest himself in the character."
"When'll we know? Fans are buzzing about your casting - they're voting on who should be Four, based on your looks. Have you been reading any comments about yourself online?"
"No - it's been kind of a whirlwind, and I haven't had time to look at anything. But even if I did have the opportunity, I don't think I would. It just doesn't feel like something that'd be the right idea. I know what I think of myself, and I don't need anyone else to tell me anonymously what's wrong with me. And as for Four, we're having a chemistry read later this week with some audition finalists. I'm really nervous, but also pretty excited."
"Any hints about who'll be there?"
"I'm afraid I don't know myself. I haven't even gotten to see the script yet - they're trying to keep everything under wraps for now. It's a lot easier to publicize when you have a leading man and a leading lady, I guess." I smile.
"Look more.../playful/!" Chaz yells at me. Well, sor-ry! It's hard to act "anything" when my mind is buzzing with thousands of possibilities, but then I realize that I'm an actress. This should be the easiest part of this whole thing! Immediately, I refocus myself do whatever I can to act fun. I know they'll just pull together a collage of shots anyways, so I don't really care which one. I sprawl on the bed and laugh. I do a fake growl at the camera and almost immediately regret it - who am I, Ke$ha? - but everyone seems to think it looks good, so I keep going.
Finally, the male model walks in, crown on his head and glasses of "champagne" in his hands. I can't legally drink, so it's actually apple cider. Apparently champagne gives the whole thing a classier feel, though, so that's what we're passing it off as.
I wrap my arms around him and bury my face in the shoulder of his suit. He sets the glasses down and embraces me, and for a minute, we spin around the room. Then, we pick up the glasses and toast to something unheard. He mouths something for the camera, but there's nothing in the script, so I'm not sure what he's supposed to be saying.
Then, the camera spins around us, and I take that as my cue to put down the "champagne." I pull him onto the bed by his tie and giggle. He brushes a strand of hair out of my face and traces his lips on my forehead, then rolls over and grabs my hand in his.
I can't help but think - this may look real in a Victoria's Secret commercial, but this is not what chemistry looks like. I'm nervous for the chemistry reads - what if they think I can't possibly have chemistry with anyone and fire me? After all, this is so ridiculously fake that I doubt you can manufacture chemistry. Maybe this is a disaster in the making...
I'm starting to worry too much about everything.
☆ If you read: let me know in the comments by including "prince."