"7 Attempts to LA" interview with the star producer/writer CeCe Christian
TCM sat down with star-producer-writer CeCe Christian on the roof deck of the aptly named Huxley complex, in WeHo, to discuss what she’s planning as her breakout project, 7 Attempts to L.A. The Huxley, as well as it’s neighboring lux-complex, the Dylan, are both named after famous 20th century writers.
An attractive actress and top hand model who has stayed remarkably thin and in shape in spite of the hard knocks and disappointments of pursuing an acting career since the 90’s without stellar results yet, CeCe met us, looking foxy. Years of doing the hard work seem to finally be paying off, as reviews of her script are overwhelmingly positive and there is industry buzz around the project and pitch trailer. She took a break from finishing that trailer to meet with us.
Moving into fund raising after an epic two decade long writers quest and years of development hell, she sat down with us over a glass of Pinot Grigio and an incredible view of the Hollywood Hills. With the corner of Fountain and LaBrea five stories below and the sun about to set over Santa Monica, we dove right in to a few quick questions:
TCM: You’ve got some buzz around your project. Tell us about it.
CeCe: So, 7 Attempts to L.A. is all about dreams; not giving up on your dreams and being persistent until you see them through.
TCM: We hear you had some encounters with some pretty interesting people when you first moved out here.
CeCe: Yes, I did.
(she laughs, reminiscing)
CeCe: The very first person I met when I moved out here in 1994, was Jared Leto, who was a rising star on My So Called Life.
TCM: What was he like?
CeCe: He was cool and confident.
TCM: How soon are you hoping to go into production on your film?
CeCe: We don’t have a start date set in stone yet.
TCM: You moved out here from Texas?
TCH: What was that like?
CeCe: Well, it felt good to finally be able to pursue the dream.
TCM: You’ve been out here quite awhile. A lot of others would have given up by now.
CeCe: But that’s the whole message of 7 Attempts to L.A. Like Winston Churchill famously said- never, never, never, give up.
TCM: Why do you feel it’s so important? Some suggest having a time line, for example, “if you’ve not met your goals within a certain time, you assume that the universe is just not co- operating and move on to something else.”
CeCe: To quote Will Smith, “I don’t believe in having a plan B because it distracts from plan A.”
TCM: Can you tell us a little more about your brushes with fame?
CeCe: So, after meeting Jared and finding out that he was my neighbor across the street on Cochran, I met Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the MallRats premiere. They were writing their movie Good Will Hunting. They were writing it and shopping it. Next up, I met Leonardo DiCaprio when he was going away to film Romeo & Juliette.
TCM: So did you date any of those guys?
(CeCe acts all coy and shy)
CeCe: Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out!
Laughs all around
TCM: You can’t give us just a little teaser or a hint?
CeCe: Well, let’s just say I was the real backseat kiss before Titanic.
TCM: Ah-so you did date Leo?
CeCe: Well, nothing serious. He almost ran me over at the Milk Bar right after that...
TCM: OK, fair enough. Do you think any of these guys remember you now?
CeCe: That’s kind of the heart of the movie. Well, the other heart of the movie.
TCM: You mean besides the not giving up part.
CeCe: Right. I really don’t know if any of them will remember me and that’s part of the fun and excitement. Maybe all of them will. Maybe none of them will. Maybe some will, some won’t.
TCM: How exactly do you plan to find out?
CeCe: One step and one day at a time.
TCM: But I’m talking specifics: how exactly are you approaching them?
CeCe: Through their publicists and agent.
TCM: OK, got it. So tell us about the script.
CeCe: So, the script is basically a mixture. It’s a hybrid of fantasy and reality. It’s a marriage, a blend. It’s my memoirs wrapped in a modern day Cinderella Story with a twist.
TCM: Kind of a genre-busting free for all?
CeCe: I guess that’s one way of putting it.
TCM: Sounds interesting and obviously one of those guys is the handsome Prince at the Ball?
CeCe: We shall see.
TCM: Well, Kenneth Brannagh’s Cinderella did really well at the Box Office, so you might be on to something.
CeCe: I know I’m on to something. I’ve known this for many decades. The first thought was planted in my mind when I was fifteen.
(CeCe hesistate’s wistfully
TCM: Go on...
CeCe: Well lets just say that was a very hard time of my life. I was going through an identity crisis.
TCM: Isn’t that kind of typical though of being a teenager?
CeCe: Absolutely but mine was different I think because of my up-bringing.
TCM: Which was?
CeCe: I was brought up in a very strict Christian home and due to some stuff that happened in my childhood, I rebelled.
TCM: Well, still. That’s a pretty common experience but most people don’t end up making a movie about it. How did that all happen?
CeCe: It’s about the struggle. Life was hard. I saw so many of my friends give up and I’ve always had people that came into my circle that dealt with suicide, addictions and abuse.
TCM: Do you mind if I re-state that? I get all that, what you’re saying but millions of people go through all this- struggling to make it out here, suffering through abuse, struggling to survive but none of them...so far, are actually making an autobiopic with A-list actors, about it. What do you think it is that sets you apart?
CeCe: Uhhh, I feel that it was my calling particularly to make a movie about all those things due to what I personally experienced and what I saw my friends go through and some of my closest friends are still going through it. The loss of Robin William’s last year really helped me re-focus as well. So many greats here in Hollywood have fallen victim to suicide, addiction and depression and I’ve always had a heart for that, for people who have gone through that and I just knew I had to make a movie. In fact I literally said when I was fifteen, “I will make a movie about this one day.” I felt like this was my destiny and I knew it like I knew my own name and it was something I had to do no matter what...
TCM: But things seem to be looking up for you now. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself at fifteen, what would you say?
CeCe: I would say: life is hard but you have to keep on keeping on. It’s not about the destination but the journey and I think it’s important to have something that you’re passionate about, something that drives you to know who you are and who you want to be and what you want to do and not let anything stand in your way. Finish school, graduate, go to college, continue to work on whatever it is that you are passionate about and pursue that 110% regardless of what obstacles stand in the way, even if you don’t see any fruit for a long time. And when you make a mistake get up, dust yourself off, learn from it and hang with the wise. Proverbs says that “He who walks with the wise will become wise but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” I think the reason I suffered a lot of harm in my past was that I was hanging with broken people, just like myself...but we’re all broken in some way; we’re all born into a broken world but its up to us to live with and rise above that brokenness and turn those scars into stars. And I think it’s really important to forgive yourself and forgive others.
After a brief break to stretch our legs, we resume:
TCM: So, you told us what you would say if you could talk to your fifteen year old self. How is that different than what you heard from those around you?
CeCe: Well there was a lot of peer pressure. Just as I’m sure there is today.
TCM: So, you met these guys before they all hit it big. What about today? Are you friends with any future Leo DiCaprios?
CeCe: Yes I am but I’d rather not say who they are.
TCM: Again, can you at least give us a hint?
CeCe: As you know history repeats itself.
TCM: Are you dating this mystery person?
TCM: Back to the movie. Will you be filming here in L.A.?
CeCe: I plan to, yes.
TCM: And these former, now stellar friends of yours- assuming you get them to participate, are they going to be in it?
CeCe: Yes, they all have cameos. The plan is to reach out to them to invite them to work for a few days at the Dolby theater.
TCM: Aha-now we’re getting somewhere. That sounds like that would be the Ball where Cinderella meets, or re-unites with, as it were, her Prince charming’s?
CeCe: You got it.
TCM: So, this whole thing sounds like it’s got some flavor. You’ve got this star-packed climax goin’ on.
CeCe: Yep, it’s all about the flavor.
(We were wrapping it up with another great September heat-wave sunset, pretty in Pink)
TCM: OK, CeCe, it’s been great meeting you. Good luck on your project- we can’t wait to see it!
CeCe: Yep. Thanks for your interest in my so called life.
TCM: Let’s talk again when it’s in the can.
Photography: Barry L. Young
Stylist: Darcey Silva
Designs by Darcey & Stacey Silva
House of 11 Celebrity Celebrity
Makeup: Au Naturel