“The movie,” Cassie had said. “We were both involved in Dead Heat.”
“She was the star.”
Behind rimless glasses, dark eyes had stared pointedly at Cassie, who guessed the detective had been searching for a reaction. “Yes.” This was a fact the whole world knew, an unnecessary question.
“And you had, what? Four lines?” Had there been an underlying sneer in her question?
“Yes.” Cassie had nodded as she’d somehow managed to keep her irritation from showing.
“She’s become a pretty big name.”
Cassie had waited.
“So, you talked about the movie.” She’d glanced down at her notes. “What was the nature of the discussion?”
“We were both a little upset that we had to return to shoot the final scene.”
“And why was that?”
“Because there was a test audience who didn’t like the ending as it had been written and shot, so everyone involved in that last scene had to reschedule everything to come back here, to Portland.”
“I meant why were you upset?”
“Allie wasn’t thrilled that I made a minor adjustment to a scene.”
“You made an adjustment?”
“I’m a writer, so I had an idea that the director liked.”
“But this adjustment bothered her.”
Big time. “She said so, yeah. And she was irritated because she was going to take a break from acting for a few months. Go over screenplays that were offered to her, make sure she found the right... ‘vehicle. ’ That’s what she said.”
“I’m a screenwriter now and I was anxious”—Wrong word! Wrong word!—“eager to jump into a plot I’d been playing around with.”
“So you’d rather write than act?”
Cassie had fielded this one before. “A lot of actors think they’d rather direct or produce or write. I chose writing.”
“Because your acting career wasn’t taking off.”
“That’s one reason,” she’d admitted. “Yes.”
“Unlike your sister’s.”
“Ever since her breakout role in that film . . . oh, what was it?” She’d actually snapped her fingers as if she’d forgotten the name of Street Life, a blockbuster hit in which Allie played a teenage prostitute who, a drug user, had found herself pregnant by a sixty-year-old john and, despite all the cards stacked against her, prevailed. The role had been gritty and dark, one Cassie had auditioned for but had been cast aside as “too old,” in her early twenties. Allie had been eighteen but had been able to pull off the scared, desperate actions of a girl three years her junior.
“That’s right.” Nash had nodded. “You tried out for that role, didn’t you?”
“But Allie landed it.”