The following is from page 43 onwards of 'The Wrong Way Round to Ewan McGregor'. After applying for the teaching job but failing, Nathan decides to simply travel up with Kirsten and the kids to the Orchid Beach Resort in Khao Lak, where Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts are working on the film 'The Impossible'. He hopes to approach Ewan and give him his film script:
…we could hear activity at the main swimming pool close to the restaurant. We followed the noise and saw a handful of extras dressed in swimming costumes, sipping fruit juices, but there was no Ewan or Naomi.
We heard someone shout, ‘Silence on set please. Okay cameras rolling’ and another voice shout, ‘Cameras rolling and action.’ Dylan let out a happy ‘yeah’ so we hurried back to reception. We didn’t want to mess up the shot and get chucked out of the hotel. I looked at the restaurant again where various extras and crew members were sat but could not see Ewan.
It was time to accept that he was not here. I’d travelled two and a half hours to see a man who was not in. I was disappointed but also relieved. That meant I didn’t have to actually go up to him and make a clown of myself. Nevertheless, there was no way I was going to return home with this script. It needed to be launched, pushed into the ocean. Not literally. I wasn’t going to sling it into the Andaman Sea.
The reception area was capacious and empty with large windows. One of them was smashed. Was this for the film or had they not renovated the place since the tsunami? We stood at a slight distance from the desk. Reception had finished dealing with someone else. It was my turn.
‘Good luck’, whispered Kirsten, taking the kids to a settee next to some toys.
With brown envelope in hand, I walked towards the desk where a young man and woman were working. I aimed for the woman and said, ‘Hi. Yeah. I’ve come to see Ewan. He’s expecting this from me. He said to leave it at reception.’
I thought that if I pretended Ewan was expecting the package, it might just get to him. Wasn’t that what they did in films like ‘The Sting’? The woman looked at me blankly. Was she about to tell me to clear off? She looked at her computer screen and went through the list of guest names but couldn’t find Ewan. She asked the man to help her. I stood to the side of the desk so that I could see the computer screen.
‘He might be using a different name,’ I said, trying to sound like I knew him.
After failing to locate his name, they looked at my envelope and said, ‘okay we take’.
In Asia, this meant, ‘we dunno what to do because we can’t find this man’s name but we’ll take the envelope anyway to save face and leave it on the reception desk and hope the problem eventually goes away.’
‘This is very important. Ewan’s expecting it,’ I said, holding on to the package like an MI5 agent.
They scrolled through the guest list again but to no avail. The woman phoned someone. Oh god, let’s hope it wasn’t security. What if it was Ewan? He could be in that suite with the motorbike outside, the one Michael, the school owner, had spotted. She briefly talked to someone in Thai and then handed the phone to me. An Asian woman spoke to me in English and asked about the envelope. I repeated that Ewan was expecting it and had asked me to drop it off at reception. Reiterating such nonsense made me feel like a clubfooted amateur. Did she work for the hotel or the film crew?
‘He is not here at the moment. He’s staying at the other hotel,’ she said.
I was tempted to say ‘which one?’ but realized this would blow my cover. Of course! Why would he stay at the hotel where they were filming and where people like me knew they were filming?
‘Your package will go to EeWan’, she said.
‘Is that the hotel?’ I asked, hoping to get the name so that I could deliver it myself. I’d read a sign somewhere on Phuket for ‘Erawana’ so thought it was a hotel chain.
‘No Eewan,’ she said
I kicked myself. This was her pronunciation of Ewan: ‘Ee-wan’ instead of ‘You-an’. As it turned out, ‘Erawana’ sold posh villas in gated communities on Phuket.
‘One moment, please. I come.’
She hung up and I waited, wondering if she’d appear with the security guard and his crackling radio. Thankfully, she came alone and smiled at me. She was short with glasses.
‘Hello, yes. Don’t worry. I’ll get a runner to take it to him now,’ she said.
I imagined a motorcyclist with tinted visor, tearing through the streets of Khao Lak, abseiling down the side of Ewan’s top secret hotel, interrupting him from a shower to hand him my parcel. Oh god, he’d be really pissed off when he discovered it contained a script from a blagging stranger. There was no turning back. The woman would think I was a crackpot if I kept my package and ran away.
‘Urr that’s great. It’s really important he gets it. He’s expecting it. Thank you very much for your help,’ I said, handing her the brown envelope (should I have used better quality stationery?).
I smiled and slowly backed away to Kirsten and the kids.
‘Let’s get out of here,’ I whispered to Kirsten through a gritted smile.
Dylan wouldn’t let go of a Jenga block that was on the coffee table so we scooped it up and took it with us. As we pretended to nonchalantly stroll down the steps, the woman called me back. She was studying the envelope.
‘Who should we say has left the package?’
Damn, blast and bugger it. Now he would know he hadn’t asked for the parcel before having to open it. I wrote my name on one of the reception’s post-it notes and stuck it on the envelope. It looked scruffy and childish. Would he actually get this package or would he just ask over the phone for the name of sender and tell them to bin it? Or would the assistant guess it was bogus and avoid wasting a film star’s time?
‘It’s very important Ewan gets this,’ I said.
She looked at me and said, ‘Don’t worry if he’s expecting it, he’ll ask for it’.
The logic was devastating. He wasn’t expecting it so would not ask for it. I tried not to imagine my script ending its days behind the hotel reception desk, used as scrap paper with dates and room rates scribbled on its back. Ewan could reject the script, rip it up, laugh satanically and throw it in a fire for all I cared. I just wanted him to look at it. Well, actually, I’d rather he didn’t tear it up, chortle demonically and engulf it in flames but you know what I mean. Was it possible to chortle demonically?
I went back to where Kirsten and the kids were standing and we walked together down the steps.
‘They asked for my name,’ I told her.
‘Oh no,’ said Kirsten.
From the swimming pool, we heard a cry, ‘Silence on set. Camera rolling and action’. A ton of water was dropped into the swimming pool from a massive machine.
Please click on 'ewan3' for the final sample .