Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Even the 21 Jump Street movie is all about ME

They've shot a movie version of 21 Jump Street, the tv show that made Johnny Depp a star in the 80s. I don't have anything to say about the movie; I don't even know exactly when it will be released. Whatever, I'll leave the facts and criticism to someone who feels like researching and watching that thing.

What I want to talk about are these pictures of me with Johnny and his high school friend Sal, who was also on the show. It was December 1987 and I had just started working at Sassy. Jane wanted a writer to get a part as an extra on a tv show, and then file what we called a "writer participation story." Someone on staff thought of 21 Jump Street. I knew nothing about the show. Somehow I was entertainment editor even though I didn't have a tv. I was a young single girl in NYC who hadn't needed one. I liked to go out to dance clubs and had been working at Footwear News.

I got on a plane to Vancouver, where they shot Jump Street.  Johnny played an undercover cop in a high school. He was so exceedingly good-looking that you almost had to avert your eyes. And quite short, like almost all actors. They were filming a flashback scene to his 1970s prom. That is why he is wearing what I remember as a pale blue tuxedo. In the scene (in which I was visible on the episode for approximately .1 second), I wore a 70s prom dress, which was interesting because I actually went to the prom in 1979.*  They filmed a make out scene, and after, he complained that the girl he kissed had bad breath.

After they finished shooting, Johnny was feeling goofy so he grabbed a baby doll, and a plunger, and Sal got ahold of that net. Notice they were both smoking. Shenanigans! We were having a ball! Then we all went back to my hotel, where they had all lived, to hang out until the wee hours; Johnny literally fell asleep. (At no point did I actually do any interviews. The whole story was just about being an extra, which is incredible to me. He was a much bigger star than I knew, and honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. Some readers were pissed that I didn't ask him anything.)

They left, eventually, Johnny and his buddies; nothing untoward happened, much to my disappointment. The next morning, Sal called me to see if I could stay for the rest of the weekend. See, he was the one who liked me, which is why they came over.  Sigh. I got on the plane.

P.S. A few years later, I interviewed Johnny for a cover story for Sassy at his house in the Hollywod Hills. You can find it on the internet; it's called "Johnny Depp A to Z." He wasn't nearly as friendly that time, but on the plus side, Winona was there.

P.P.S. I spent this morning in the attic looking for these photos, even though I had planned to vaccuum the crumbs out of the couch cushions. I fell into a rabbit hole of old pictures, letters, articles, and a stack of stickers of the Sassy and Nirvana logos. (It was a giveway in the magazine; one Sassy and one Nirvana logo on the same sheet. I will send a sticker sheet to the reader who leaves the best comment.)

*I had already changed out of the prom clothes by the time we took the top picture, and I think that jacket belonged to a P.A., who lent it to me because I was whining about the cold. My hair is just out-of-control sweet. Those bangs, that volume; I paid someone money to give me that cut.

Note: This post seemed to call for a lot of semi-colons. I am not sure why.

37 comments:

  1. Awesome, awesome, I never heard this story!

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    1. yea,really agree with you! like this blog.

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  2. Love this story! But I don't remember it in Sassy--I just remember you as an extra on a soap opera (Days?), wearing a cowboy hat!

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  3. Mary! Good memory! All My Children! I had a line. He: "Nice hat!" Me: "I have lots more at home."

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  4. Nothing like the promise of a Sassy sticker to bring on comment writer's block...great pictures! My fiance once drank a beer with Johnny Depp in a Seattle bar. The end.

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  5. Keepsake rabbit holes are far more interesting than couch cracks, though the latter tends to yield bigger surprises. So that's where that went!

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  6. I loved Sassy. My mom didn't. I think she feared it would turn me into a liberal. She was right, and I am glad.

    More rabbit hole memories, please?!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. I think I will have some more.

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  7. Aw, I love those photos. As for the stickers -- I think I actually had them at some point in my existence, but they're long gone, stuck on a notebook in a landfill somewhere (pre-recycling, natch).

    I'm actually having a bit of Sassy nostalgia lately -- for some reason I picked up a copy of Blake Nelson's Girl, which I'm reading for the first time and fills me with memories of my own girlhood. On the opposite end of the spectrum, but Nirvana-related, I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" while working out in a suburban mom exercise class and felt like I had betrayed my younger self. The nostalgia thing is tricky business.

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    1. Elizabeth, did you know there is a sequel to Girl that came out in December called Dream School? You should read it after Girl. And thanks for commenting.

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    2. Yes! I read a review of Dream School and realized that I had never read the first book. Now I'm feeling a little obsessed and was looking for the film version, but it seems like one of those things that one would have to pay an arm and a leg for on eBay.

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    3. Not available! It's a travesty.

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  8. OMG I remember this story! And the pictures! Funny how a photograph can stay etched in your memory -- even from a magazine. Oh, Sassy, I miss you so!

    (I actual kept ALL of my Sassy magazines. They're in my parents basement. I can't wait to give them to my daughter once she's a teen.)

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  9. Regarding the top photo, please just tell me how Johnny Depp smelled.

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    1. I remember that article, too!

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    2. omg such a hippie scent.

      Pardon me but I am stupidly thrilled to know this and I haven't even had a celebrity crush on Johnny Depp since he and Winona split up.

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    3. Danielle, forgive me. I have to take this back. The photographer who took the cover picture wore Vetiver, so I associate that scent with Johnny. Try as I might, I cannot conjure a strong scent memory for you.

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  10. All of my SASSYs are in a plastic storage bin in my parents' basement, awaiting my daughter's 12th or so birthday (she's 14 months now . . . sorry, Mom and Dad!).

    If you had liked Sal back, you could be the grand madame of the Viper Room now - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0420693/bio

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    1. Scissors happy, thanks. I hope Sale is doing well and I am sure he promptly moved on. I spent my 20s not liking back anyone who liked me.

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  11. There's nothing like stories about Sassy to bring back memories of my youth. I'm so incredibly disappointed that my daughter is never going to experience the joy of opening up the pages and reading all those first-person narratives. I remember how fun it was to read your article because I thought, "O damn, she's hanging out with one of the hottest guys ever and she's acting like it's no big deal." Totally funny to read that you actually didn't think it was a big deal.

    Unrelated but somehow relevant: I saw a book co-published by Kim France the other day, and the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Oh god, is that the same girl who wore the Kim France Pants at Sassy?"

    Love to you, your blog is in my google reader and it's amazing how your life and observations are still 100% relevant to mine. In an odd way we grew up together and I so appreciate your witty observations about motherhood nowadays (my own progeny is six).

    Can't wait to see what you'll be writing when we hit AARP age.

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    1. Achiriya, thanks for your kind words! Sadly, I already am AARP age!

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  12. I was surprised to read that nothing untoward happened, because I read "baby oil" instead of "baby doll."

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    1. Ha ha, Knitopia. Get your mind out of the gutter!

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  13. you were adorable.

    i want to know about the picture on the blackboard behind you, with the funny man smoking the funny cigarette and the words "STUPID COMPUTER"!

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    1. Marjorie, you are so observant, and so nice for commenting! Now that you mention it, I think there is a story behind that, but I don't remember what. I may have to look for the actual article and see if I mentioned it. That means going back to the attic and losing the rest of the school day.

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  14. So I found the article and there is no mention of the blackboard. I could only skim the article because my writing gives me such horrific heebie-jeebies. There is a picture on the layout that I don't have that I am going to add to the post.

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  15. Please, go back to the attic again. I constantly live in a time warp and your memories are just so funny and interesting.

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  16. I loved Sassy Magazine. As an adolescent, it was a lifeline. I felt very out of place in the small town where I grew up. I used to have the biggest crush on Johnny Depp in the late 80's. I remember being envious of Winona Ryder because she was with Johnny Depp. I would love to hear more stories about Sassy.I wish there was something like that now.

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  17. I'd never seen 21 Jump Street until that article was published. It ws on FOX, which was very new and it was really hard to get it to come in on our non-cable dial TV; you had to turn the one dial to channel 13 and then turn the second dial halfway between two other channels perfectly balanced. It was a pain, and staticky. But I did it for Jump Street after reading about Johnny, in Sassy.

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  18. Everything they said.^

    Ha. I remember reading this article, even though I never watched 21 Jump Street. I think I occasionally saw it while I was stalking the TV to try to catch 120 Minutes without my parents catching me up so late. Or maybe they were at totally different times, but they both came in Sunday nights.

    For whatever reason this reminds me of the girl who won the Sassy guest editor contest the year that I applied (with all of my school essays and tender poems - mortifying!). I will never forget her saying that she wanted a tattoo on the corner of her mouth so people would think she always had food on her face. This, to me, was the height of wit and sophistication, and I knew that the best woman had won.

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  19. To think, it could have been Christo Forever.

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    1. Mamacita, I don't get what you mean. Pls. explain.

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  20. Ooh, ooh! I know this one! See, if Johnny had fallen for you instead of Winona, then his tattoo would've said Christina Forever instead of Winona Forever...but after your eventual breakup he'd have it changed to Christo Forever, instead of Wino Forever.

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  21. I can't think of anything witty to say at the moment (mid-kitchen reno, tired and brain likely filled with plaster dust) but I think you and your stories are hilarious. Can I have the stickers anyway? -- Kim Friday

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