The Chinese Restaurant

Being a part of Turbulence was like being a part of a big Chinese family running a restaurant. There was always someone to talk to, lots of hard work and respect.I always saw Michael as the old wise chinese grandad who knew all, spoke little but when he did….the words were always profound. Natasha was like the leader of the Geishas. Beautiful and extremely clever, she could always put people at ease and get things done at the same time. Working with actors like Connor Mills, Adrian Banks, Emma Pierce, David Alwyn, and Sophie Emma Jane Waller was quite a challenge. Having studied with Stanislavsky’s nephew, dated Meryl Streep and teaching Keira Knightley everything she knows, I kind of felt like the mentor to the actors, always there and ready to help them get to that state of mind before the scene. I would come in early just to massage the crew and play team games. Julia Higginbottom was always thankful of my coaching, bringing her to a level of zen was a personal achievment of mine.

Of course there were problematic people involved within the production. There was ragamuffin twin antics from DOP Ed Moore and our main sound man Billy Bannister. They would always show up on set strung out on whatever speed ball concoction they ingested the night before. I’m surprised any work got done at all. 

Dealing with Connor Mills unstable emotional life was always a strain. I became the agony aunt for all the cast and crew. Giving the well rounded, energetic performance i delivered was a miracle considering the amount of jobs I had to do. there were times, when Ed didn’t show up one day and I actually had to film the film. Poor Michael, Francis Ford Coppola had it easy. 

I lived with Jay Somerville and his lovely girlfriend Sarah. Jay was quite a poshy. The sort of fella who went hunting on weekends for deer, and had a seat in the house of lords. Lovely fella mind. We had a few cheeky scotches here and there.

I found that there was a good anti-rascism attitude on set. The hiring of a gypsy girl was proof of these. She was generous with giving people hand readings, but we were all careful with our pockets around her. I recall her name as Ave-Maria or something. Oh well…..

All in all, I had a wonderful time doing this film. I guess from my side it was performing a charity for these special people.

James O’Driscoll

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