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Avril In Hollywood


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Latest Update: 1st May 1996.

In April 1996, I went to Los Angeles. One of the aims of this trip was to interview Christian Slater specifically for this site.

Sadly, it seems Christian was recovering from the fire and busily reading scripts for his next project; so an interview was not granted. Oh well.

If would like me to interview Christian, and you can spare the call charges, please ring Christian's Publicist in Hollywood, Susan Culley and Associates on (310) 288 0077 and tell them!

Or, email me so I can add your name to the growing list!

Day 1, Friday April 12th

On the flight to LA I had managed to get a couple of hours sleep, but spent most of the twelve hours awake. They showed Jumanji and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. The other possiblity was The Great Panda Adventure which stars non other than Ryan Slater (Christian's brother) but unfortunately it was not shown. I also spent quite a bit of time talking to the flight attendants who were extremely friendly and were plying me with cups of tea.

I must say that I was impressed with Qantas the whole way through.

The flight arrived in LA at 3.00pm local time to find Lisa waiting for me. Thank goodness as LAX is a pretty formidable airport to negotiate, especially after a long flight. We drove into West LA to a hotel in Century City.

I freshened up and decided to jump off the deep end with the encouragement of Lisa (Thanks Lisa - oh to be more like you! :-) and go straight into Susan Culley's office to see Craig (Hi Craig). I have been speaking to Craig on the phone regularly for the last few weeks, so it was great to be able put a face to a voice.

I also met Daria, who I have spoken to a couple of times. I have to say they have been very friendly and accomodating. I have arranged to see Craig for an appointment sometime later in the week. Craig is also working on trying to arrange the interview with Christian. Let's hope he is successful :-) Craig also gave me a great photo of Christian that was autographed very recently.

This is very surreal experience for me, considering that this trip was arranged within the last two weeks!

Lisa and I then went to the Regent Beverly Wilshire where we met Tracy and her "prince". He actually is a Prince! He is Prince Ajuad Nazer of Saudi Arabia. Their's is truly a romantic story. Tracy and Ajuad knew each other as teenagers, lost touch and just found each other a month ago after eighteen years. They are still madly in love and hope to be married soon. I wish the both of them true happiness at long last.

We then went and had a couple of "caffeine hits" to enable us to stay awake for our night out. The Regent Beverly Wilshire is just stunning. So Lisa and I just sat and talked for a couple of hours.

We started out at Le Colonial and went upstairs to the Cocktail Lounge. Usually you need to have reservations and dine downstairs first, but since the Maitre'D has taken a liking to Lisa we were allowed to go straight upstairs. When we first walked in I recognised an actor that I knew by appearance but can't remember his name. It was full of "beautiful people" all hoping to be noticed.

The only other celebrity we saw was Kristian Alfonso (Days of our Lives, Falcon Crest). I also spoke to a lovely lady by the name of Priscilla who is coming to Sydney in July. I hope to be able to catch up with her for a drink when she visits.

We then went over to Molly Malones, a great Irish pub, which was very smoky and crowded, but a lot smaller than I expected. No famous faces, but lots of hip Gen Xers and of course a lot of Irish regulars. We only stayed for a short while as we were starting to get tired.

We were a bit peckish so we stopped off at IHOP (International House of Pancakes). We then decided to call it a night and get some much needed sleep.

Day 2, Saturday April 13th

Why is it that when you need to sleep in, you wake up at the butt crack of dawn? We took our time getting dressed and decided to go and get some much needed espresso. We stopped at a cafe on Beverly Boulevard called Kings Road Cafe. We arrived at a good time because it started to get very crowded and people were hanging around waiting for a table. It is pretty much the hip West LA crowd who patronise this place, on their quest for a much needed espresso fix.

While we were there Neal McDonough stopped off for a take-out coffee. Lisa had previously met Neal on St Patrick's Day at Molly Malones so she introduced me to him. Poor Neal is hobbling around a little at the moment with an amazing looking knee brace on after tearing some ligaments in his knee while skiing. He is very friendly and totally unaffected by the whole "celebrity trip". I think Neal is going to be someone to watch in the future. Having seen him in "Angels in the Outfield" and "In The Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco" I was impressed with his versatility and charisma as an actor (not to mention that he has the most amazing blue eyes :-)

We then headed off to Irvine to Lisa's apartment and were lazy for the rest of the day. A bit of tiredness eventually got the better of us and we succumbed to having an "afternoon nap", a true rarity for me.

Day 3, Sunday April 14th

This morning we ventured to Disneyland and met up with Teddi (who is in the process of trying to set up the Christian Slater International Fan Club) and her daughter Megan. It was very warm and very crowded so we just took it easy. We saw the Lion King Parade which was fabulous. We then left mid-afternoon as Lisa had to go to work.

I went back to Lisa's to have a rest (jet lag finally catching up with me). As soon as I walked in the door a very dear friend Rainey, rang. I spent the next hour on the phone to her. It was the first time we have ever spoken, although we communicate on the internet constantly. It was just so wonderful to finally speak to her.

Lisa got off work and not long after she got home, we saw on the news that Christian had escaped a house fire. As you can imagine we were kind of in shock for a while.

We went back to Disneyland to hook up with Teddi again and try and catch some of the parades. We managed to get onto the Indiana Jones ride, which was just amazing. If you ever get the chance to try it, I highly recommend it. We then saw a show called Fantasmic which has to be seen to be believed. Mickey Mouse is the centre of the show but all the other characters get a look in. Part of this show was huge sprays of water in the shape of a fan and they projected film clips onto them - truly amazing. This was combined with some pretty amazing laser light effects. We were pretty much exhausted after this and went home to collapse in a big heap.

Day 4, Monday April 15th

This morning they announced on the news that it wasn't Christian's house that caught fire but a friend of his. I spoke to his publicist and asked if we could have a press release to put on the web site, to get all the facts straight. I will hopefully be posting this in the next day or two.

Today we decided to venture back to Hollywood and checked into the Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard. We did a bit of shopping in Beverly Hills and then returned to the hotel to get ready for the night out. We did actually see one celebrity while we were in Beverly Hills having a coffee. Jaason Simmons (Baywatch) walked past.

What a night it turned out to be. We went and had dinner at a nightspot that shal remain nameless (it's the latest cool place to hangout). While we were eating, Michael Douglas walked in with a group of people and sat down for dinner.

We then moved into the lounge to have coffee and dessert. We sat there for a while and picked up on the buzz that Quincy Jones was there for a celebration. Apparently Paula Abdul was there but we didn't actually see her. Faye Reznik was also there (famous for not standing up as a witness at the OJ Trial or something to that effect).

As I walked to the ladies room Chazz Palminteri was walking around. Later on a couple of people came and sat down next to us and we got chatting (which happens a lot because people are just so friendly). The lovely lady's name was Joanne Nelino an actor who has a film coming out soon called Spy Harder (a Disney Film). She is originally from New York and has just moved over here to work in films. She was really sweet and totally unaffected. We had a lovely chat and hope to catch up before I leave. Her friend Vince Wilburn Jr. (who was really adorable) is a drummer who has worked with Miles Davis and Boyz II Men.

The band that played there were brilliant. I think their name was Jewels. Anyway they played most of the night and really had the crowd going. We then started talking to another lovely couple Munit and Rawley. The band had mentioned that there were a few good singers in the audience and they were going to get them up for a number or two. I found out that Rawley was a singer, so we really wanted to hear him sing. The next thing we know the band are doing there last number.

I went up and asked them if they would get Riley to sing, as I wasn't going to be here long and wouldn't get the chance to hear him sing again. He got up and sang "Stand By Me" and can he sing!! He was wonderful and it was a real highlight to the evening. Again we exchanged phone numbers with Munit and Rawley and hope to catch up with them this weekend. They have invited us to go to their house in Beverly Hills.

So as you can see it was a pretty exciting night all round. And to top it off, as we were leaving Quincy Jones walked into the lounge. Talk about spot the celebrity!!

I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring?

Day 5, Tuesday April 16th

Well we actually didn't wake up until 10.00am this morning (we needed the sleep :-) We left the hotel at midday and decided to go to Formosa for some brunch. While we were there we spoke to our waitress Pat, who has been working there for years and met so many celebrities it is amazing. I bet you she has some stories to tell!!

Anyway, while we were there Pat Morita (Happy Days, Karate Kid Movies and many others) walked in and sat down two tables away. We asked our waitress if he minded being approached because we just wanted to say hello, and not bother him.

I would never think of approaching a celebrity unless I knew they wouldn't mind. Hard to believe, but even if I saw Christian in the street, I wouldn't approach him because I respect his privacy.

Anyway our waitress Pat found out that it was okay but told us not to have a long conversation. We said no problems, we respect that. So we just smiled and said hi as we walked passed. He asked where we were from and when I said I was from Australia, he said he loved Australia and started to speak in an Australian accent. I told him his accent was more Australian than mine!!! (Since I have been here, I am usually taken as being English). He started telling us some really funny stories and spoke to us for about 10 minutes. During the story telling he did quite a few different accents and he is brilliant at them.

The waitress came up with his lunch, so we said goodbye. He was really sweet, a real joy to talk to. Another highlight!

We then went to Farmers Market and did some shopping. If you are ever there, go to Via Sports and say hi to Monique and Melanie, they are really lovely ladies and the clothes in the shop are great. It was getting late so we decided we'd better head back to Irvine. It was raining, so the traffic was pretty slow and it took us quite a while to get home. We had a quiet night and went out for a lovely Italian meal and then headed home to sleep.

We are heading back to Hollywood tomorrow night for some more adventures, so stay tuned.

Day 6, Wednesday April 17th

Woke up very early this morning and dropped Lisa off to work (yes some of us do have to work!) and Lisa kindly lent me her car and I drove from Irvine to Anaheim to meet up with Teddi and Megan for breakfast at the Disneyland Hotel. I don't have a problem driving over here at all, even though we drive on the other side of the road.

I managed to get there without making a wrong turn at all. It is a fairly straight forward drive. I picked Teddi and Megan up from their hotel and went to the Disneyland Hotel. The breakfast was really delicious. It was wonderful watching all the children get a real kick out of the characters that were there and came over to their tables to visit them. We had Winnie The Pooh, Eeyore, Goofy, Chip and Dale wandering around. Megan had a ball.

Half way through breakfast our waitress came up to our table with all the other waiting staff and Goofy with a beautiful little cup cake with a candle on it and sang Happy Birthday to me. I was really surprised, to say the least. Teddi had arranged it because it is my birthday on Sunday and she wasn't going to be here. It was also the day I was going to be travelling back to Australia, but that has changed.

I am now leaving LA on Thursday 25th April, so I can increase my chances of getting the interview with Christian, which at the moment is proving quite hard.

After breakfast, Teddi, Megan and I went to Disneyland. We took turns in riding Splash Mountain because Megan didn't want to go. Great ride. I managed to stay pretty dry, which is unusual on this ride. Teddi wasn't as lucky and got drenched.

We wanderered around and went into Mickey's Toontown which has been added since the last time I was at Disneyland. We did the obligatory visit to Mickey Mouse's house to meet the Mouse himself. It was pretty funny because they took us in groups and I realised that they had at least two Mickey's, if not more, in separate rooms to cope with the amount of people. Luckily the kid's didn't realise. I would love to see what happened if there was an emergency and we all had to evacuate the building and multiple numbers of Mickey's came running out of different rooms - the kids would have nightmares for weeks!

We had lunch and then had to leave because I was taking Teddi and Megan to John Wayne Airport as they were flying home. We made it to the airport without getting lost. I then managed to get back to Lisa's without incident, which was good considering I was approaching Irvine from the opposite direction to which I left.

Lisa and I then drove into LA to have dinner at Formosa. They have really good food there. We didn't see anyone famous, but we met writer, David, who has written the Candidate '96 website and has written some Television for Disney. We also discovered that Christian's photo hangs in Formosa along with all the other famous faces dating back to the 1940's. Our waitress said she had met Christian and that he was a lovely guy (like we didn't already know this :-) We also found out that one of Christian's publicist's, Craig, goes there quite often. Apparently a lot of the young sit-com stars frequent the place at night but we didn't see anyone we recognised.

We left just before mid-night for the drive back to Irvine. It was absolutely bucketing down with rain, so it seemed to take forever to get home. I was driving because I was the designated driver for the night. You can't imagine how hard it is to concentrate on staying on the right side of the road, and concentrating on driving in the pouring rain on unfamiliar roads. Needless to say, I slept very well.

Day 7, Thursday April 18th

This morning we slept in!! Thank goodness, we needed it. We got up and had brunch and Lisa got ready to go to work. I did some washing (can't seem to get away from domesticity even over here) and went for a walk to the local shopping centre. Again it is hard for the Americans to know what it is like to be faced with so much choice, when we are not used to it. I just wandered around checking out all the things we hear about on TV and Movies (Hershey Bars, Tootsie Bars, Oreos to name a few) but don't get in Australia. I cannot believe the amount of choice you have here. Actually, I think shopping on a weekly basis must be a nightmare, it would take too long.

I also had a manicure (which I don't usually do) which was nice and relaxing. I headed back to the apartment and Lisa came by to pick me up to go out for dinner. We went to Claim Jumpers - a place where you would never go hungry. After nearly having a heart attack at the size of a main meal (they were HUGE!!!!) we decided to go into the bar and have appetisers and dessert. We had a mixed appetiser between us, which was a good move because no-one in their right mind would attempt to eat it by themselves. As it was we couldn't finish it anyway and we had already ordered dessert. When that came out we picked at it, but were defeated. They wrapped it for us and it is now sitting in the fridge beckoning me to go and eat it. No!!! I can't face it. I am going to the gym tomorrow morning, I need it.

After dinner Lisa dropped me off again and has gone back to work. I am having a quiet night at home watching Deep Space Nine which is so far ahead of Australia it is not funny.

I think another early night may be in order, because the weekend approaches and we may need some in reserve :-)

Day 8, Friday April 19th

Spent a very quiet day in Irvine. After Lisa finished work we went and grabbed something to eat and then went and saw Mrs. Winterbourne. Cute movie, Brendan Fraser was adorable :-) Spent the evening at Irvine.

Day 9, Saturday April 20th

Had a fairly quiet morning as Lisa had to work. I made a few phone calls to try and catch up with people. I rang Sandy and we arranged to stay with her for a few days.

We arrived in LA at about 6pm. Sandy was worried about meeting us because she had just had major surgery on her nose the previous Wednesday and was quite bruised and had a splint on her nose. We assured her that it didn't matter, although I can understand how she felt, meeting people for the first time is hard enough without feeling awkward. Anyway, she needn't have worried, we could see she was just beautiful under the bruises and nose splint. She is just the sweetest person you could ever meet.

Lisa and I asked her to join us that night when we went out, but she still wasn't feeling too wonderful. It was kind of a full house that night because Sandy's brother Gary and his friends Josh and Justin were getting ready to go out clubbing.

Lisa and I decided to go to Formosa's for dinner. We had a lovely meal but by 11.00pm we were falling asleep at the table. Can you believe it, Saturday night in LA and we can't keep our eyes open!! I am embarrassed to admit that we actually went home and crashed. We had been invited to a party in the Hollywood Hills but it didn't start until 1.30am and we were "off with the pixies" by that time.

The "boys" staggered in at about 6.00am that morning and basically crashed where they landed. They sounded like they had had a pretty good time. After playing "mum" and suggesting they drink heaps of water before falling asleep to avoid the "dry horrors" when they woke up, everyone fell asleep again.

Day 10, Sunday April 21st (My Birthday!)

We slept until 10.30am and decided we had better go and look for some food. We had brunch on Sunset Boulevard at Thunder Road Cafe. We got talking to our waiter, Chris Coyne, (Omikron, and is in a play right now) who is one of the many actors supplementing his income this way. After a great meal we decided to go for a drive through the Hollywood Hills. Now that would be a cool place to live! It really is beautiful up there. We drove along Mullholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Drive. We stopped at a lookout and ended up having a chat with a couple of lovely people.

avrilinhollywood pictureLater that afternoon we went to visit Munit and Riley at the house they were staying at in the Hollywood Hills. What a house!! The are perched right on top of a hill and have the most amazing view of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Munit's sister was there with her son and niece, two really beautiful children. Lisa mentioned that it was my birthday, so Munit decided we would have a party there that night. We got a few people together and she got a few people together and I ended up having a totally amazing birthday. They even managed to get a cake for me and then Riley sang me a song - wow! I couldn't believe it, I like to socialise, but being the centre of attention is not my thing. I didn't know where to look, and what made it worse was Sandy's brother, Gary, was videoing the whole thing. It was so sweet though, and I was really touched by their hospitality and generousity. I think we climbed into bed at about 3.00am after a wonderful evening.

Day 11, Monday April 22nd

Woke up late and decided to go to Formosa's for some brunch. While we were there Sean Penn walked in. We had a great meal and a chat with the waitress. They must see some amazing things and have some great stories, working at places like this.

We then drove up Wilshire Boulevard all the way to Santa Monica. We stopped off at a Honey Ham Baked shop because Lisa said this was the most wonderful ham to taste. We then walked a little further up to Starbucks and had some coffee.

We then returned to Beverly Hills and to Rodeo Drive. We went into see Craig at Susan Culley's and see what the lastest was. He seem surprised that I was still here. There were two dogs running around the office, one of them was a Golden Retriever called Dusty (sound familiar?). According to Craig it used to be Christian's dog, but now he only has Dozer, the Rottweiler. Anyway, it seems that Christian is busy trying to work out what his next project will be and therefore no interview was granted.

I have to be honest and say I don't know whether his publicist's were stringing me along, knowing I would be leaving shortly, I really don't know. (I am not even sure that Susan Culley knew I was there as I didn't even get to talk to her.) My "Bullshit Detector" didn't work too well in LA. If you have ever been there you will know what I mean :-) So I don't even know if Christian was aware that I was in LA seeking an interview. When I spoke to someone else at the office on Friday and asked if Christian knew I was there, the answer was no. Who knows?

Lisa and I went to the Beverly Wilshire for a few drinks and to re-assess the situation. We both agreed that the likelyhood of getting an interview was viturally nil at the moment.

We went back to Sandy's, got changed and went out for dinner. We went back to the place that shall remain nameless. Had a nice meal and played spot the celebrity. Tony Curtis came in with his incredible amazon-like girlfriend. They sat in the lounge for a while and then went in for dinner.

We moved into the lounge after dinner. We spotted Geraldo and Kato Kaelin having a chat - hmmmmm. Later on in the evening Munit and Riley joined us in the lounge. The band were great, as usual. Riley got up and sang a couple of numbers and really had the crowd jumping. Once the music finished, we moved on.

We went to Jerry's Deli with Munit and Riley for "breakfast" (it was only 2am). We went home and I literally collapsed in a big heap in bed.

Day 12, Tuesday April 23rd

Lisa, Sandy and I all drove out to Studio City to Jerry's Deli and had lunch. I can't get over the huge serves here either. Sandy and I had the same thing and we should have ended up sharing a meal because we weren't able to finish one off between the two of us.

We drove around on the Valley side and stopped off at yet another Starbuck's for coffee. Later that afternoon we went back to Sandy's and then Lisa and I went back to Irvine for the night. I spent the next couple of hours packing and trying to pack twice the stuff I arrived with back into my bags. You can become very creative when you have to, it is amazing what a bag will take! (Soft sided bags are the way to go :-)

Day 13, Wednesday April 24th

I got up early and went and did some last minute shopping in Irvine. Came back and finished packing. Lisa went to the John Wayne Airport to pick up her boss, but there was some mix up and he was picked up by someone else. So she came back and we spent a little time together. This was going to be goodbye as I was spending the night at Sandy's so she could take me to the airport the next morning.

So Lisa had to go to work and we said our goodbyes. It was weird saying goodbye and not knowing when the next time we would see each other. We had some great adventures together, I will miss Lisa a lot.

Sandy's mum, Chris, came and picked me up and drove me into LA to Sandy's. We didn't get there until about 4pm and we were all starving. We decided to go to an Italian place called Sissely's and had another huge meal placed in front of us. The strangest thing is that in the two weeks I was in LA I actually lost 7lbs, which is a miracle considering the size of the meals they serve in the States.

After eating, Sandy, Chris and I went and did some more damage to the plastic cards (where was I going to fit this stuff??) Liam had particularly requested a car "that the bonnet and boot opened". Chris and Sandy couldn't get over the fact that we called hoods, bonnets and trunks, boots - they thought they were the cutest expressions. I managed to find a great car for Liam, although it was so big it wasn't fitting in any of my bags. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to carry it.

So after the card bashing, Chris took us back to Sandy's. She bid us farewell and went home. Sandy and I decided to check out Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills. We brought a couple of souvenirs (for Liam and Nick) and then went and had a look around inside. We went upstairs to have a look.

We decided to try and find a drug store and drove up towards Santa Monica Boulevard. Sandy drove me passed where Nicole Brown Simpson used to live, which is quite a weird experience. Hard to believe that you are seeing the place that you saw on TV night after night, week after week, month after month (yes we got the OJ Overdose in Australia as well).

One thing I noticed about being with Sandy was the amount of attention she got. I have never been with someone who has turned so many heads. (And remember she had only had her splint taken off her nose that day and was still slightly bruised!!) She is also the sweetest person you could ever meet and everyone warms to her immediately. If this reaction is anything to go by, her career as an actress should be a very interesting one to follow. She is currently working on Sweet Valley High and is doing a few days work on Deep Space Nine.

Sandy has also had the pleasure of meeting Christian. She was working for the production company that did post production on Murder In The First and Bed Of Roses. Sandy found him to be a really sweet, lovely guy. (like we are surprised?)

Day 14, Thursday April 25th

Slept in for as long as we could and then I did the final pack. We took off for the airport at about 11.00am. When we got there, there was quite a queue to check in. By the time I did that, it was time to say goodbye to Sandy, and LA. Again is was strange saying goodbye to Sandy not knowing when I would see her again. I suspect it will be soon though. I hope so, I miss her already.

I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see Nick and Liam waiting for me. It was a great holiday, but it was just so wonderful to be home with the people I love and adore.


I will continue to seek an interview with Christian Slater through his publicist's in LA. I don't know what the result will be, but the feedback from all of you is telling me to keep going, keep trying. You obviously would like to see an interview exclusively for the web site, so I will do my utmost to try and make it a reality.

I am currently trying to get over jetlag (which I don't do well) So for the next few days I will be taking it easy and preparing to start to lobby for an interview again. So until my next LA Adventure........

Avril Hodge

This adventure, its text, anecdotes and movie rights are © 1996 Avril Hodge.

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