A Poet from Hollywood: Love, Insanity, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and the Creative Process // Chapter 4

Cantara Christopher
12 min readSep 9, 2022

[IN WHICH STEPHEN EATS MY SALAD AND SHOWS US WHO’S BOSS]

“We Have a Lot of Power in Hollywood”

Virage was a lovely quiet Mediterranean bistro on Second Avenue in the East Village that looked like it belonged in a little town in the south of France. After Michael and I found it by chance we adopted it as our special restaurant for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. I asked Stephen to meet us there.

It was the Tuesday evening after Easter. We snagged the corner booth, the best seating in the restaurant, ordered some drinks and an appetizer of hummus and pita, and waited.

“Are you nervous?” asked Michael. I had trimmed Michael’s beard, washed his wavy long hair and made him wear his good pants for the occasion.

I admitted that I was nervous. But I was also still righteously angry over the Phone Call and the realization that I was going to have to promote Stephen’s book of poetry all by myself. His celebrity friends weren’t going to help. His movie-star children weren’t going to help. His own wife, an award-winning writer, cut me, his publisher, dead in our only conversation! There still were a few words I wanted to have with him over that.

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Cantara Christopher

Actress-writer-composer leading visitors down the rabbit hole of the arts, sex, magick, Filipiniana, and America’s hidden history [cantarachristopher.blog]