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A month after I divorced my fourth husband, I earned the lead role in a gender-swapped
remake of a wilderness survival film from the late nineties. For forty-five days we shot on
location in Alaska, alongside a fifteen-hundred-pound Kodiak bear. It was a miserable shoot. We
spent the majority of each endless day tramping through dense forests of spruce and pine,
shambling over frozen outcroppings of sharp rocks, and plunging into arctic water so cold it
numbed the skin on contact.
Copying Oliver Stone’s method from Platoon, our director deepened the emotional
desolation of our performances by shooting the film in the sequential order of the story and then
sending each actor back to LA immediately after their character died on camera.
By the beginning of the fourth week of the shoot, me and Larry II were the only two
actors remaining on set. Because of my divorce, Larry’s overprotective handlers, and the
grueling difficulty of the first half of the shoot, I hadn’t paid Larry much mind up until then. But
once me and Larry started filming our scenes together, I was mesmerised by his graceful control
of his body, his mastery of the craft of acting, and the breathtaking emotional nuance of his
Since our characters were on opposite sides of the “survival equation,” as the director
described it, he didn’t allow me and Larry to fraternize off camera. But I couldn’t help myself.
Something raw and hungry and primal had awakened inside me, and only Larry could satiate my
Later that week, as the midnight sun hung low and dim in the pale pink sky, I snuck in
through the window of Larry’s trailer. He was already awake. His big beautiful eyes stared at me
the whole time, as if he knew I would come. I stared back at him. The woody musk of his body
filled the chilly air. Stepping into a dull blade of light, I drew a deep breath and peeled the
clothes from my body.
Larry’s hot breath warmed my skin as he kissed my collarbone, my neck, the corners of
my lips. Soon all the words I’d wanted to say for the past week came tumbling out of me. He
took them in. Swallowed them as if they were nourishment. But he wanted more. So I gave him
everything. I leaned my head back and offered myself to him. For a moment he paused, as if
unsure of what to do. Then he eased me to the ground. He opened his massive mouth. He
wrapped his jaws around my neck and gently started to squeeze.