Tuesday March 15, 2016
Lois Chiles by Arthur Laurents
“In New York, Ray [Stark, producer of ”The Way We Were“], bubbling with that infectious enthusiasm, worked overtime at the job he wanted: casting young actresses. He took me with him to a casting session at an excellent Chinese restaurant convenient to his apartment on East Fifty-seventh. The other guests were Oleg Cassini and his very pretty girl who had no interest in becoming an actress, and an even prettier girl who was an actress and extremely interested in being recognized as one.
”Her name was Lois Chiles. I liked her; it was a pleasure just to look at her. Although she gave the impression of being the well-spoken, fresh-faced graduate of a very good private school, she got all Ray's jokes which flew thick, fast and dirty. The part she wanted in The Way We Were was a good one. The requirements for the role were simple; understanding the requirements for getting the role was also simple. Lois understood.
“'In other words,' she said to Ray as though she were talking to a broker who had just explained the contents of her portfolio, 'I get the part if I fuck you.'
”'Right!' Ray winked and laughed as though he might not have meant it. No one was going to catch him. Lois got the part.“
[Several months later...]
”The first person I saw on the set, however, wasn't Barbra [Streisand]; it wasn't Sydney [Pollack] or [Robert] Redford; it wasn't even Ray. It was Lois Chiles. She raced over, threw her arms around me as though we knew each other, and burst into tears. Sydney was mean to her, Redford was glacial, Barbra invisible, Ray ignored her—could we please have dinner please? Of course. Here, take my handkerchief, call me at my hotel later to fix the time.
“When she called, she asked: 'Would you mind if I brought a friend? Would it be alright?' 'Sure. Who's your friend?' 'Bob Evans.' Jesus. 'You don't need me, Lois. You're doing fine.' The Great Gatsby, her next picture, was produced by Bob Evans. Hollywood was full of Chinese restaurants.”
And it all began in a Chinese restaurant.