To do the film or not to do the film!

Casper and I both got offers to do a film.

The glitch is that our characters are both married to other people. My husband is Zeus, and his wife is Medea – who traditionally goes crazy and kills her children, but unfortunately for me – does not in this modified version of the Greek myth. Instead they go off happily into the sunset. To make matters worse, my character sees his character be all lovey-dovey with his screen wife. Puke!

(How immature do I sound right now?!)

At first, I was really excited at the prospect of working again – it’s been a while since I have done any acting– and, I like working with Casper.

He and I met on a film, we got engaged on a film, we have had many adventures working together around the world.

The character I have been asked to play is Hera, Queen of the gods. This would be a reprisal for me.  The 1st time I played her was for a Lexus commercial in 1998. I will never forget my audition – I tripped on the hem of my long white dress and did a face plant! I was mortified!

I started off reading the script – I was loving my character, loving the dialogue – the writer/director had written this character with me in mind, and he had gone a fantastic job. This dialogue fit me like a glove. This was such a great role. It would be so much fun to play the  goddess of them all!

And, then, all of a sudden, I got to a scene where Casper’s character has to smooch his wife, (not me!) in front of my character and tell her that he loved her. My heart sank. Ugh. I don’t know if I could stomach watching that without freaking out.

In previous films, where we have been confronted with similar situations, things have not worked out so well. In one film, I was so traumatized, that I froze and could not, for the life of me, remember my lines. It took me 30 takes. It was awful for me and for everyone else in the scene. In fact, that might be why I decided not to act for a long while!

I wish it didn’t bother me. But…it does. I am embarrassed to admit it. It doesn’t sound sophisticated or mature.

It sucks because I would really have loved to play this character. On top of that, how do I tell the director, who is a friend of Casper’s, the reason why I can’t be in his film? How professional does that sound?

I sound so silly. I keep telling myself – It’s just a job! – Why can’t it be just a job? I don’t know. I am a very visual person and I have a hard time erasing images from my memory. I tend to torture myself by regurgitating and reliving these flashbacks.

I didn’t always admit to being so messed up! I did try to be the supportive wife, dutifully attending every premiere, pretending that it didn’t bother me. But, deep down, it did. And, eventually, I had to be honest and decided that I had to take care of myself. It was better for me not to see him ‘acting in love’ with other women. Even if I knew intellectually that it wasn’t real, my nervous system and my heart couldn’t tell the difference. So, I stopped going to his screenings and I still change the channel when one of his films is on TV. Not all, just the ones where he has a romantic interest.

I feel like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand – As long as I don’t see Casper kissing or making out with anyone else, I can just about handle it.

We have a policy that our children don’t watch many of his films for the same reason. It is too confusing for them.

Over the years, Casper and I have gone through a lot of negotiation, figuring out what types of roles we could and couldn’t do as a married couple – and as parents.

We came to the conclusion that it would be best if we didn’t do love scenes with other actors anymore. It is just too weird and creepy.

I know that there are plenty of other married actors who say that it

doesn’t bother them at all – It is just part of the business. I really wish I were like that!

After reading the script, I went through some serious thinking last night, and, before I definitively say no, I am going to ask the director if he can stage the scenes so that I don’t have to see anything I don’t want to see (This is taking ostrich theme to an extreme!) We have a meeting on Thursday – let’s see what he says…

I want to make it work, i want to be brave, I just don’t know if I can!😦

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Casper Van Dien
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 23:52:22

    I love you and you are my only wife. I love that we gone through so much together. The hardest part for me was when I watched you tell another man on screen that you loved him. For some reason that crushed my heart like it was a piece of cellophane paper. I remember that it brought me to tears…And I realized that it had affected me so deeply because I believed you when you told him that you loved him and I had wished that it had been me. I wanted to hear you tell me that you loved me the way you said it to him. It was one of the greatest moments of pain in my heart because I wanted those words that came off of your lips so passionately and pure to be mine. Not for this other man. I knew intellectually you did not even like the guy but you were so true in your delivery that I have never been able to forget the image. It is hard. But I am grateful that we get to explore even deeper the levels of intimacy because of our open dialogs. It is better than pretending that it does not affect us.
    You will always be my Goddess.

    Reply

    • Michael
      Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:36:38

      Wow, what a reply from Casper! Catherine should do the film and just read this every day until the film wraps up.

      Reply

  2. Harley
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 00:12:14

    Catherine, what a remarkable post. Casper, what an amazing comment.

    I’ve never turned down work for a man, but I’ve done it many times for my kids. Which is maybe why you two have a long term marriage along with kids, whereas I have . . . well, kids!

    If anyone knows how to meditate, contemplate and consult the gods themselves, it’s you, Catherine, so I have no doubt at all you’ll make the right decision. Maybe you should write a letter to Hera.

    Reply

  3. Stormie
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 01:18:55

    Just by what I read about you, you are a very strong person, comfortable in your own skin and with your Marriage. I think you can do anything you put you
    re mind to as you are a great person. Most of all it appears you have an unshakable trust/bond with Mr Van Dien. You are an Actor, he is an Actor, it’s just a job, but you have to feel comfortable for the situation. I know the two of you will make the right decision. Maybe you can do your scenes seperate? Best of Luck

    Reply

    • catherineoxenberg
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:34:38

      Stormie, I am meeting with the director tomorrow – who happened to read this blog – i am bit embarrassed that he now knows that much about me! – and i was going to ask him to do exactly what you suggested! So, thank you! I appreciate all the loving support🙂

      Reply

  4. K C (@Kcat10)
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 04:32:44

    Wow. This is a bit of a challenge, and not an easy decision. Yet you and Casper have such a powerful bond… it feels like this thing is drawing the two of you even closer together. Some bonds are unbreakable, no matter what. I think that’s true for you two. When I have to make decisions that are scary, I ask myself am I choosing from fear, or from faith. I’ve found faith works better. Whatever you choose will be the right choice, Catherine. I wish you and Casper and your family every blissful blessing the Universe has to give!

    Reply

    • catherineoxenberg
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:32:04

      Thank you KC. You are right, i am definitely coming from fear. I am not proud to say! But sometimes, i sift through the fear before i can rise to faith. if i pretend that i am fine, and do not work through my issues – even the ones i would rather not admit to – it can backfire – which would be awful it that happened while i was filming! Eek! I do sound like such a drama queen! (which i guess is perfect for the movie in this case!)

      Reply

      • K C (@Kcat10)
        Apr 19, 2012 @ 05:35:25

        Dear Catherine, Yes, you are 100% right; so often we must work our way through fear in order to get to faith. I admire your strength, courage, and honesty in being so open with us… that takes guts. I never, ever think of you as a drama queen. I think of you as a very human person dealing with some very tough issues and decisions. Thank you for the example you set for all of us. You are a Teacher, Healer, and Light for others. You and Casper have a twin soul connection that is so powerful it is indestructible. I have a feeling that taking this job will only strengthen your soulmate bond. I support you both in whatever you choose to do, and I wish you every happiness.

  5. Anine Ferreira
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 05:33:59

    I respect your honesty Catherine. The love have for your husband and children is so real so I can understand how you must feel. My husband is a professional saxophone player and teacher. I have seen woman’s reactions when he plays😉 and it bugs me a lot! But I am also flattered because he is mine, all mine!!🙂

    Anine

    Reply

  6. Bunny Dunn
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 05:54:34

    Dear Catherine,
    Does your character have to like the kissing scene? If not, then perfect circumstance, no acting required you can dislike it within character. It’s all staged and make believe. Your man loves YOU the real deal. To quote Shakespeare, “Love does not alter when it alteration finds”. If all reason and rationale fail you, always trust your gut and go with it. xoxo’s

    Reply

  7. caroline dhelft
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 07:21:59

    Dear Catherine,
    The story off Casper is amazing,and i can understand him very well he love’s you so much with all his heart and his reaction is very normal.But i’am sure you’re and honest woman with a heart off gold,you’re family comes on the first place,but you are and actress and Casper is and actor so you just play and if you go home it’s Casper you love!!! And that he have to try to accept that he is the only person for him,it’s just a job you doing!! May god bless you both…..

    Reply

  8. Sy Lazovik (@SyLazovik)
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 09:49:54

    Do the movie, Catherine! Do it, and shine in it. Be as you always are. Be a real goddess! The queen of them all… Shine as you always do, and overshadow all other characters in the movie. I know you can.
    Neither I, my dear Princess, not any other reader of this blog can describe this situation as well and clear as Casper did. He said all that has to be said in a perfect way. You know him well, you know his soul and his mind. He’s all yours, Catherine! All yours, never to be shared with any one. As a man, and as a husband of a remarkably cute little woman that is my wife, I know very well how Casper feels right now. I do my best not to hurt her, I keep distance from other women (although I doubt any of them would be interested in me🙂 ), but there are situations in life when one must do what one must do for the sake of a greater good.
    Do not think for a moment that we men see things from a different perspective. Au contraire, ma chère! We boil with jealousy each time an other man gets near our loved ones. And even though, in your case, you both know well that there is no man or a woman in the world who stands a chance to come close to being a serious competition against you or him, even though you both know that there is no one better then him or you, there are often moments and situations when our possessive instinct takes over your feelings (just like with any other couple). Let’s take for example this little incident, when this Saudi man offered to buy you. I do not know if he was joking or not, but even if he was joking – I’m very certain that it gave Casper a desire to punch the guy in the face (and I’m sure if time and place were different, and if Casper was not a much greater man than this Saudi idiot, he would have really punched him). The point is, you are both extremely good looking, and in real life you often attract the eyes of every one around you. But on the other hand, every one knows well not to mess with your relation. For that reason, I don’t think this other actress who gets to play “the wife” would even dare to think of trying to compete with you. I’m certain that she’s even more nervous than you and Casper are. You will be there, watching, observing… she’ll be nervous, intimidated and even scared of you. Your Tarzan boy will also be in a very difficult situation. Do not think he will enjoy this few artificial kisses with this other actress. It will be a torture for him, a heavy cross that he will have to carry, a real hell (do not make fun of what I said here now, because I mean it. He will really, truly suffer). That’s because he doesn’t want to hurt you, Catherine! When it will come to shooting this unpleasant scenes, you must know that Casper’s heart will bleed and hurt. His pain will be as big as your jealousy. May you be the master of your feelings in order to ease his pain, and may you make a great movie!

    Reply

  9. Kevin VanHook
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:31:54

    I’m sure the Director is a good guy and will work very hard to make you feel comfortable.

    Reply

  10. Michael
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:29:59

    Great article! Although I can’t relate, I can understand why it would bother you, because you’re human. Maybe they can edit you in the scene afterwards. Try to stick with it. Best of luck.

    Reply

  11. Christy
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 12:07:02

    Catherine,
    I had commented on your “stepmother/building a family” blog about the situation my family was in prior to and after the death of my brother Todd. We kept to the promise to Todd of never saying anything negative about the mom, even though she has and still lies about us. We prayed that someday we would be able to see one, if not both, girls again.
    The youngest on, Jessica, did contact us and is coming to see us. When my mom said she would have a small birthday party for her this Saturday, complete with the Dairy Queen cake that she and her daddy loved so much, she was so excited that she posted it on Facebook.
    The path to healing has begun. I have forgiven her for the things she has said to me, but the trust has to be built up again. I wanted to give her something meaningful as a birthday gift, so I found 3 pendand necklaces of the Tree of Life which happens to be the symbol of LifeSource and of Organ Donation. Since it is Donor Awareness month, I thought it was fitting and I plan to tell her that I have one, she will have one, and one day Bailey will have one.
    I posted on Twitter a photo of Todd and I in the 1970’s if you want to see what he looked like. You follow me – I am @cas126748.
    As for this post-stick to your beliefs. You know what is best for you. Stick to it and follow through.

    Reply

    • catherineoxenberg
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:06:07

      Christy, thank you for sharing your journey with me. I am so happy to hear that the healing you prayed for with your family, is truly in sight.

      Reply

      • Christy
        Apr 22, 2012 @ 19:14:46

        Catherine,
        The party we had for Jessica went very well. Lots of emotion, lots of tears – my mom and I looked at each other last night and just said that we now know what a wrung out wet dish cloth feels like because we literally had no emotional or physical energy left in us. I posted an “incomplete” family picture on my twitter account @cas126748 if you would like to see. I saw incomplete because without Bailey, it isn’t complete. Jessica is between my parents and they are looking happier than I have seen them in a long time!
        Christy

      • Christy
        Apr 22, 2012 @ 19:15:59

        Thanks again for your prayers!

  12. Vany Huber
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 17:04:51

    You can do it.. You have to do it!!
    I know you will shine through it, and you know what? Casper is yours anyway!!

    Reply

  13. Les Floyd (@Lesism)
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 18:51:39

    Paraphrasing Herman Hupfield’s ‘As Time Goes By’…

    A kiss is just a kiss…

    You could kiss anyone on the planet, but without heart, without love, it would be simply a kiss – the physical touch of lips… nothing more than a movement.

    Too many souls in this world we share do this; in relationships where the fire of love has been allowed to ebb to an ember, and, instead, familiarity has become a routine, they just go through the movement. They make love without making love. They kiss without passion. They live together without experiencing that true joy of live and love.

    You and Casper have what all those who don’t have it long for, including me! I’m sure many are envious, but my heart smiles when I read your words and Casper’s comments.

    You… have… love.

    So, a kiss – between you both – is not just a kiss. It’s something higher, with a beauty that can’t be told in words, with emotion that can only be felt between you both, in that moment.

    It just is.

    This fear comes from ego, Catherine, and you are a wise soul who, I know, can rise beyond that.

    There’s a great lyric from Morrissey, back in his Smiths days:

    “Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things you want to.”

    Replace shyness with ego – which, essentially, shyness is a manifestation of.

    Casper loves you. You love Casper.

    Make a deal between you both – and stick to it for all time to come – that when you kiss another person that isn’t your beloved, your heart and mind is kissing them.

    Close your eyes. Kiss the man you love (Casper, you can adjust my terminology here).

    If you do that, then you have captivating passion on the screen, but it’s a kiss with Casper, and when he watches the footage, he knows it’s him you’re kissing; it’s him you tell you love; just as he wished for in his comment.

    Take the job. Don’t let ego stop you from doing all the things you want to.

    Reply

  14. catherineoxenberg
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:14:59

    Les, I couldn’t stop smiling when i read your post. I thought i would not pretend that i had it all together in the places where i am less than perfect! And, now that i have gotten my vent on page – i promise i won’t wallow or be paralyzed by those small, shy places! And i will definitely pass on your suggestions to my beloved.🙂

    Reply

    • Les Floyd (@Lesism)
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 03:55:49

      Perfection is a thing of perception. You’re aware of your inner struggle and that is a wonderful thing. If you weren’t aware, you wouldn’t have a chance to change things. Be happy.🙂

      Reply

  15. sanjuro
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:31:51

    Well, since you are querying people about their opinion, mine is that you probably should try to do it. The difficult of it will make the performance all the more valuable. See it as an acting challenge, a professional challenge, nothing more. Sometimes it may be a good thing to take on those challenges, to step out of your comfort zone. It’s very rewarding, too. But of course, in the end, it’s entirely your call.

    Reply

  16. TheReluctantRufus
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 09:39:34

    Would love to see (both of) you do the movie!

    Reply

  17. Kathrine Galvan
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 23:18:52

    First, Love leaves a legacy. Second, 100% of an attempt to overcome a personal obstacle is better than 100% of attempt to surrender ones’ fear. I say, “Do the film.” Period pieces are the best when the actors are as talented as you and Casper.

    Reply

  18. LifeDr Tina Morse
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 19:47:43

    Catherine, …I agree that you know your self well and should honor that part of you. It’s clear that it is difficult for both of you. Let the director know that you would both love to do the film, but you want a double or CGI for that scene, which is real (on a certain level) and traumatizing. You don’t need to watch that to “act-out” a reaction as a professional. 🙂

    Reply

    • catherineoxenberg
      Apr 22, 2012 @ 20:10:50

      TY Tina, Casper and i did sit down with the director this past Thursday after he read my blog – which i didn’t know he would! – it does feel silly admitting one’s vulnerable, wounded places – but it all worked out. He was very understanding and said he would film according to my wishes. Thanks for your comment.🙂

      Reply

  19. michalohayon
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 21:43:13

    Catherine and Casper congratulation for the breakthrough, love you both you are a great couple, you worked very hard to build your relationship to the highest success. Now is the time to manifest your career together with love ease joy and fun. May this movie will be successful and bring you back to fame
    GOOD Light

    Reply

  20. Bonni
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 05:53:46

    Dear Catherine,

    I was working as an extra on “Higher Mission” the day you filmed the scene with Victoria and your husband in the court room. I was not familiar with the backgrounds of the other cast members so while searching for information I found your blog. Your family history is so fascinating and I plan to spend more time reading the posts because I love history but once I read your April 17th post I wanted to reply. something I never do, I don’t do Twitter and I don’t even have a facebook! ( I’m really not against technology) I may be the one person who says, please don’t do roles were you have to kiss another person. Find a creative way to do the role and kiss your real husband. Kissing another person at work would not make sense in any other occupation that I could think of. You made a covenant to your husband and he to you when you married. I know society views the word covenant as old fashioned word but I believe even if directors disagree with your stance if they are true professionals they will work with you. You are writing your “life story” ever day by the choices you make, what story do you want to be able to tell? Okay it seems creepy to me to post when you don’t know me. Your husband said I reminded him of a co- worker Dena M. and you were both so kind to take a picture with my son by the elevator at the state capitol (I asked about missing your children). Out of the many people you have worked with on the set maybe that will ring and bell and you can put a face with my post. You are both, lovely, talented, and genuine and it was a pleasure to watch you work. Kindest Regards.

    Reply

    • catherineoxenberg
      Feb 07, 2013 @ 18:26:00

      Dear Bonnie, i do remember you and your son. “Covenant” is a word that i use often as i believe in it deeply. I was wondering if maybe you might want to direct your opinion about kissing to my husband rather than to me – as in the blog you mention, the issue was me not wanting to see HIM kiss another woman!Not the other way around!

      Reply

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