Cold Open, A Tale of Modern Hollywood // Chapter 5. The Star Maker

Cantara Christopher
13 min readJun 10, 2022

When Nina got home that evening she waited until she had made and enjoyed a light supper and slipped into her pajamas before phoning Teddy. She had been given a lot to think about in the last couple of days that she needed to sift through. There was the thrill of being recognized again, but there was also that awful message on the internet about Dennie. Was it just the usual online bad behavior, the kind that Bunny had referred to, or was there really something to it?

And then, of course, there was seeing Teddy again after all these years. All right, he was still irritating, obtuse, and completely ego-driven. He had been like that at twenty-seven — but at twenty-seven he had also been one of Hollywood’s most promising young directors. What in heaven had happened to him? And what in heaven had happened to his career? And why did she find herself caring?

It had started to rain when she got into bed, making it feel all the cozier. Then she picked up the phone on the night table and pressed his number.

She heard his phone being picked up on the first ring. “Hello, Teddy — ” she began.

“Hello, who is this?” said a stern yet cautious voice.

She paused for a second. “Teddy, it’s me, Nina.”

“Nina!” exclaimed Teddy. “Do you know who I just got off the phone with?”


“Leslie!” Nina, completely nonplussed, didn’t reply to this. “Braverman!” he continued.

Hearing the name of her former and formidable producer brought a smile of recognition to her face, and Nina nestled further into the bed covers. “Oh, Leslie! It’s been years. How is the old dear?”

“You don’t understand!” said Teddy loudly. “He’s canceling my picture! That turdmeister is pulling the plug on my picture!”

“Teddy, what are you talking about, your picture?”

“You know, the one I told you about! The one I said was practically a done deal! I tell you, this thing with Dennie is making my name shit all over town. Do you realize how many calls I’ve been getting since yesterday?”

“I can’t imagine.”

Cantara Christopher

Memoirist. Musicologist. Retired movie actress. Writing about music, films, and my porn career.