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Star-Struck at the Almost Marigold Hotel

Page 5

Bill had been discussing touring in Australia while stoned, his colleagues stoned, the driver stoned. He was surprised he was still alive, my husband told me later. ‘What do you do?’ I casually asked Bill. I had turned to face him fully at this stage, pretending I hadn’t eavesdropped his earlier conversation. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to hear, let alone listen to two conversations and pretend you’re only involved in one. ‘I’m a musician,’ he smiled warmly. ‘I was chatting to your husband about this.’ Still lying, I thought to myself. He acted as an aging rock star in Love Actually but seriously can’t call himself a musician. That’s method acting taken to the extreme. An air-guitar? He’s clearly delusional. Bill is an actor, not a musician. ‘What do you play?’ I continued. ‘Lots of instruments really,’ he replied. ‘Do you have a favourite?’ ‘Probably bass guitar.’ ‘And do you sing?” I smiled knowing that Bill Nighy was neither a singer nor a musician and would fabricate his response. ‘Yes, somewhat.’

‘My wife sings in a choir,’ my husband piped up. I cringed in embarrassment. We are talking to a famous actor, albeit a liar, saying he’s a musician, a pipe-dream he’s possibly had for years. My husband is talking about a community choir and I’m not even a soloist, though I do like karaoke after three Sauvignon Blancs.

‘Do you still play or perform?’ ‘Yes, doing my own thing now, previously in a band.’ I smiled. Sounding cool and casual I wondered how long he could perpetuate the charade, what answer he’d come up with. This dishonesty was now appearing to be a pathological issue. I pictured Bill in Love Actually in those budgie-smugglers. I didn’t know whether to smile or shudder. 

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