The Sympathizer – S01E04 – Give Us Some Good Lines | Transcript

The Captain encounters an uninvited guest on his drive north to consult on the Auteur's war movie. While on set, the Captain's frustrations grow as he navigates the Auteur's volatile ego, temperamental Hollywood actors, concerns of Vietnamese extras, and his own emotional response to the film.
The Sympathizer - S01E04 - Give Us Some Good Lines

The Sympathizer
Season 1 – Episode 4
Episode title:
Give Us Some Good Lines
Original air date :
May 5, 2024

Plot: The Captain encounters an uninvited guest on his drive north to consult on the Auteur’s war movie. While on set, the Captain’s frustrations grow as he navigates the Auteur’s volatile ego, temperamental Hollywood actors, concerns of Vietnamese extras, and his own emotional response to the film.

* * *

(film projector rolling)

(birds chirping, cawing)


Nicos Damianos: Huh.

(low grumble)

Parrot: (squawks) Don’t fuck up my movie!

(light, tense music playing)

(parrot laughs)

(alligator grumbles)

Parrot: (squawks) Don’t fuck up my movie!

(parrot laughs)

Nicos: Huh.

(Nicos typing)


(clears throat)

I read the script.

Uh, I think the, uh, loss of innocence thing…

I want you to be frank.

I want you to speak freely in this room.

Alright? Is that in your nature?

Is what?


Oh, uh, you mean as, as an Asian?

As a what? No. As a, a person, f-fuckin’ human.

I don’t believe in racial characteristics and all that bullshit.

Come sit down. We’re all the same.

So, in this case… we’re both just soldiers.

Oh, so, you were a soldier too?

No. What? Are you gonna take everything I say fucking literally?

Not literally. No.

I’m talking about in this space.

You were a ranger, probably, right?

Somethin’ like that?

Uh, Secret Police.

Fuck me.

Now I understand why Claude and Ned were so adamant advocating on your behalf.

They want you to spy on me.

You think I’m an idiot? You’re a spy.

Uh, actually, I worked in counterintelligence, so…

Spy, counterspy, wh-what’s the difference?

It’s all the same. Hello? Yeah, I got a spy here.

He says he’s a counterspy, so it’s cool.

What the fuck?

(whispers) How ’bout this?

(softly) You work for me while pretending to work for them.

Suss out how these scheming neocons are tryin’ to use my movie for their own nefarious good.

So you’d be a double spy.

A spy and a counterspy at the same time.

Are you game? Are you up for it?

Uh, uh, l-look, I-I came…

(Nicos laughing)

Look at you all serious.

Terrible casting for a spy.

That’s how I know you’re not one.

‘Cause you got no poker face.

Thankfully, there’s only one thing I need from you.

O-O-Of course. Authenticity. Right.

Uh, well, have you had a chance

to look through my notes?


Um, should we go over…

Oh, you think I’m not authentic?

I don’t have any authenticity myself?

I did my research, brother.

I read my Buttinger, Fitzgerald.

I sat down with a Green Beret

who fought alongside the Montagnards,

told me how the V.C. hung him upside down,

drained red pepper tea through his nostrils.

He shat himself hangin’ upside down right there.

After hearing his story, I almost shat myself,

but instead, I yacked in a toilet, flushed it,

and hired this motherfucker

as my military advisor

’cause that’s how I do it.

I go from reality into life.

But now I’m thinkin’ it’s not enough.

What am I missing? Oh, what am I missing?

Answer is the perspective

of the Vietnamese people.

That’s where you come in… right?

Innocent. Modest. Docile.

Much like the water buffaloes, right?

Their simple plows

pulling them through the paddies.

Captain: Right. Got it.

Well, then here’s a suggestion, uh.

Nicos: Yeah?

Why don’t we give our Vietnamese characters some lines?

That way they can describe their suffering, you know?

Just a couple of lines.

So predictable.

What, you’re countin’ the lines like an insecure actor?

Th-There were, there were no lines to count.

Here, get high.

Forgive me, but when you say that,

I know you don’t understand cinema.

Not a bit. I don’t wanna hear people

talking about their suffering.

I wanna feel it! Fuckin’ feel it!

Feeel it!

Ya understand? It’s a, it’s an emotive medium.

Feeling is believing.

(chuckles) You see, the Vietnamese farmers

are actually somewhat different to the water buffaloes.

For one thing, we’re a lot more talkative.

You’d be surprised.

It’s a creative choice.

I’m making a creative choice.

Do I have to teach you the fundamentals of cinema?

You can render emotion without the use of dialogue

through (in French accent) mise en scène, montage.

Are you aware of Murnau, Dreyer?

My first vision was that no one in my movie would speak.

Not a word.

But ya didn’t do that.

But I stood my ground on the Vietnamese characters

who live on in that metaphoric space.

Whereas the Americans, they’re quite chatty,

less Murnau and Dreyer, more Wilder and Hawks. (clears throat)

Oh, I get it. You wanna pitch me some dialogue?

Is that it?

(sarcastically) Wow. First time.

Don’t be intimidated by my Oscars as I am.

Show me what ya got.

Well, just for instance, in the scene where

the Viet Cong are torturing Commo Kim?


The stage direction says they coerce him to confess.

So, maybe, at the very least,

they need a line like…

(desk rattles)

(shouting in Vietnamese)

You know? “Confess, you fucker.”

(light, tense music playing)

(birds chirping)

(cars honking)

(siren wailing)

(ambient street noise)

(outside chatter)

Man: Go.


Go and be the voice of our people.

How much influence can a mere advisor bring?

Your influence may be small,

but as they say,

“If you keep rustling,

the winds will gather and become a storm.”

Give us some good lines.

These are the ones I gave you, right?

You ever listen to them?

Of course.


(Sofia playing guitar)

Sofia Mori: Right, and you’ll be gone 17 weeks?

And leave me, stranded?

Have you been to the Napa Valley?

You could come visit on the weekends.

(sighs) Yeah. Wow, let me get my autograph book.

Are you upset?

Ya know, this movie’s gonna be made with or without me.

So, wouldn’t it be better to have someone there to say,

“Hey, your portrayal of Asians is totally bullshit”?

I mean, someone should’ve been there to tell David Carradine

to stop squinting like the fuckin’ sun was in his eyes.

I find it rather sexy.

I find it sexy when you squint, too.


Well… don’t let my deep-rooted skepticism of white men

burst your bubble.

I really hope this doesn’t blow up in your face.


Lana: Four months away from here?

It sounds like bliss.

(General speaking Vietnamese)

I don’t like it.

It’s a long time.

Who’s gonna chauffeur me?

It’s a movie.

Well, if you insist, I won’t go.

General: No, no, of course not.

If it’s important to Claude and his friends,

it’s important to us.

This is also an investment.

A-An investment in what, may I ask?

Investment in a project to reclaim our homeland.

“Reclaim our homeland”?

I might have something to share with you

by the time you return from your Hollywood mission.

(“Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes playing)

♪ Don’t leave me this way ♪

♪ I can’t survive ♪

♪ Can’t stay alive ♪

(person coughing)

♪ Without your love ♪

(lowers volume on radio)

♪ Don’t leave me this way ♪


♪ I can’t exist ♪

(turns off radio)

(tires screeching)

(body thumping in trunk)

(person grunting)

(tires screeching)





(coughs, sniffles)

Can I come with?



(bird cawing)

I’ll just hitchhike… hm?

Americans do it all the time,

so it’s gotta be safe, hm?

Oh, and can you tell my parents?

And, uh, let them know you left me here alone…

on this desolate stretch of highway.

(“Ain’t No Time for Stoppin'” by Fat City playing in car)

(car honks)


Can I trust you to behave?

I don’t wanna find you hiding out in James Yoon’s dressing room now.

Am I supposed to know who that is?

You’ll recognize his face.

He’s the Asian guy you see in every Hollywood film.

I don’t see an Asian guy in every Hollywood film.

But when you do, it’s him.

I mean, he’s never there for long.

They always kill him off.

But in this film, he’s got quite a run.

So, what’s this movie about, anyway?

Officially, it’s the story of six Green Berets

who get stranded in a Vietnamese hamlet.


it’s the story of a small Vietnamese farming community

who are forced to take in a bunch of uninvited guests.

Crew Member (over speakers): Welcome, cast and crew, to “The Hamlet.”

Make yourselves at home.

Everybody’s got two drink tickets. Let’s party.

(groovy music playing)

Lana: Right. But, officially, what happens in “The Hamlet”?

Captain: While trapped with villagers he doesn’t trust,

Captain Shamus becomes consumed by paranoia

and an impending sense of doom.

Speaker: Hey!

You a communist sympathizer?


I’m talkin’ to you.

Lana: So, who plays Captain Shamus?

Ryan Glenn.

Another one I’ll know when I see the face?

Absolutely. He’s a legendary method icon.

(laughter, chatter)

You speaky English?

(laughs) Maybe you’ve had a little bit

too much to drink, Mr. Glenn.

I mean, Captain. Shamus.

Ah, fuck, man. (grunts)


Don’t fuck with me, slant-eye.

It’s a term they use to refer to an actor who’s always in character.

Captain, Captain, Captain!

Hey, easy, easy!

Let go.

Apparently, you have to address ’em by their character name

or, uh, or they freak out.

Let go, let go, let go!

(Captain winces)

Film climaxes in this macho showdown between Shamus

and the idealistic young Sergeant Bellamy,

played by the newcomer Jamie Johnson.

The Jamie Johnson?


(indistinct chatter)

(sighs excitedly) Check it out.

He looks just like he did on “Soul Train.”

Speaker: Hey, you! (indistinct)

What the hell, man?

Oh, no way.

173rd Airborne.

Bon’s friend, you remember?


Wild nights back in Saigon.


Yeah. Fuck me, man.

Military advisor.

You shat yourself upside down, right?


How’s Bon? He get out? What about the other guy?

You three were practically brothers.

Uh, yeah, um…

Nicos (on microphone): People, people, people, people.

Please, please.

Your undivided attention just for a moment.

Feel free to move in and make me feel,

uh, self-important.

(crowd laughs)

We lucky few are an army

in the war against war.

Freddie: Mm.

Nicos: On the eve of battle, my Greek ancestors

in Lincoln Park, Michigan, hee-hee-hee-hee.


They would invoke the gods: Zeus, Athena, Ares,

and ask for their protection.

And tonight, I call on you,

all, to resurrect the Pantheon.

Yahweh, Muhammad, Baal, Beelzebub.

Let’s make room for Satan too, huh?

Can I get light applause for Satan?

(applause, cheering)

This is Vietnam. Devil’s at the table.

Devil’s runnin’ the fuckin’ table.

Where’s my, uh…

There’s my man, right there.

Our Vietnamese consultant, huh?

He’s keepin’ us honest.

God bless him. Give him a little hand.

Um, everybody’s got a god. Who’s the god of Vietnam?

Uh… Um…

Invoke his name or her name.

…I-I don’t know. Just God?

“I don’t know. Just God.” That’s powerful.



Join hands, if you will.

Take a knee and pray. Please indulge me.

I do this before every successful project.

(singing) ♪ Hum-num-hum-a-gumnum-hum-hum-a-gum-num ♪

♪ Hum-hum-a-gum-num ♪

Dear gods,

tomorrow, we wade neck-deep into the evil

dung of the bowels of our ancestors.

But if we do this right,

we can drag the whole sham artifice of war

down with us to hell and rise.

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?

We’re doin’ it on the studio’s dime.

Come on!


Spirits of ancient Egypt, shadows of ancient Rome.

Blessing on this cast and crew,

for tomorrow, we ship out!

(band playing groovy music)

(cheering, applause)

The champagne is flowing.

Is that tune familiar? Come on!

Who’s the artist who sings said hit?

Oh, shit. He’s a cast member!


Hey, soldier.

Why don’t you get up and sing?

That’s what you do, right?

You sing.

Nicos: Come on.

You know I’m gonna ask.

Let’s encourage the voice of his generation.

(cheering, applause)

I’m doin’ this just for you.

Hey, cast and crew.

Why you sittin’ there cryin’

with your head down?

Don’t you know when you cry, you cry alone?

But when you’re mad…

(sings) ♪ Ooh, baby, keep smilin’, baby ♪

♪ Keep smilin’, keep smilin’ ♪

♪ Let your smile be your umbrella ♪

♪ ‘Cause to me, you’re my Cinderella ♪

♪ I’m not a prince, girl, just a fella ♪

♪ Oh, who has a heart that’s full of love for you ♪

♪ Ooh, baby, keep smilin’, baby ♪

James Yoon.



It’s an honor to meet you, man.

Hey. Thank you.

Uh, so, you’re the guy who got beaten to death

with brass knuckles by Robert Mitchum, huh?

Robert Mitchum, yeah.

And the Chinese railroad worker

that got stabbed by Ernest Borgnine.


Japanese soldier.

Got shot in the head by Sinatra.

Oh, man.

You know I’m playing Korean American for the first time.

First time.


You’re the Vietnam consultant?

Yeah, that’s me.

Um, that’s why he brought me here.


keep me honest, alright?

Of course.

Stay on me.

Yeah. No, I’ll-I’ll do whatever I can, man.

Um… (chuckles)

Thank you.


(camera rolling)

(inhales) Hi.

Captain: Hey.

My name is Monique Thibault.

The production designer is responsible for the look

of every nonliving aspect of the film.


This is my third outing

(exhales) with “L’Auteur,” as I call him,

the one and only true genius in the universe.

Well, how’s it all going?

Well, it wasn’t easy.

Why hasn’t it been easy?

Because the vegetation’s all wrong around here.

We had to have the plants imported from the Philippines.

All the way from the Philippines?

Yes, Captain.

Huh, that’s impressive.


the hamlet.

(pigs grunting)

(chickens clucking)

(anxious music playing)

We have imported all the livestock.

We have chicken, buffaloes, pigs.


So, as you see, no expense has been spared.

I must say, we have a lot of support from the boss. (chuckles)

You made this?


He’s pushing very hard for…


(pensive music playing)

Monique Thibault: So… do we pass?

I can even smell my mother’s cooking.

Ah! (laughs)

Oh, that’s wonderful.

Come, let me show you something.

Captain: What else?

Monique: So, what do you think?

Captain: This is extraordinary.

Ah, thank you.

Do you think I can do anything

to make it more persuasive?

(ambient nature sounds)

Can you put this on one of the gravestones?

Oh… Your mother?

She died when I was studying here.

She was sick for a while.

Never contacted me.

(chuckles) Didn’t want me to worry.

She was buried in some sunless grave.

Unmarked, because we were poor.

You know, in Vietnam, this spot would get the highest price.

(Monique chuckles)

(Captain speaking Vietnamese)

(Bon speaking on phone)

(Bon speaking Vietnamese)

(clears throat)

(Bon speaking)

First A.D.: Alright. Go, sound.

(recorder rolling)

Sound speed.

(indistinct chatter)

Roll cameras!

(cameras rolling)

Crew Member: Scene three, take one.

First A.D.: Ready? Here we go! Camera!

Nicos (over megaphone): And like there’s no camera rolling.


Shamus: Go, go, go, go!


(intense music playing)



Green Beret: Clear!

Go without me, Captain, I won’t make it.

Hey, you fuckin’ quitter.

You’re not gettin’ out that easy. Come on.



Come on.


(both yell)

(birds chirping)

(helicopter hovering)


Are you even limping?

Did you forget… You-You-You-You forgot

you got shot in the fuckin’ leg?

Nicos: Cut!

You gotta limp! We gotta,

we gotta go back to one.

first A.D.: Cut!

Ryan Glenn: The singer lost his fuckin’ limp!

Nicos: I just lost my hard-on.

(light, solemn music playing)

Crew Member: Ready? “The Hamlet.” Scene seven, take one.

Nicos: Action!

(intense music playing)

(shouting in native language)





(overlapping shouting)

Get down! Drop!

(overlapping shouting)

Hold it, hold it! Shut up for once!

(tense music playing)

(music fades out)

(chicks chirping)

(chuckles) Well, I guess that’s one for Sergeant Bellamy.

And cut.

Let’s cut.

Dig it.

Captain Shamus, how’d that one feel?

Like dog shit.


Sergeant Bellamy did not advance in proper posture.

Nicos: Yeah, I-I’m not, I’m not worried about…

You’re not?

Uh, no, I just think it feels like total chaos and…

Chaos that’s not military.

You-You-You dug incompetence?

That’s what you dig?

I trust you, if you’ll trust me,

I’d like to move on just this once.

Uh, we have to do one more.

Vietnamese advisor has a problem with that last take?

Yeah, uh, that old lady, uh…


…she doesn’t sp…

That old lady? Yes.

I told you this is Vietnam, right?

So, if you have to speak,

let’s do it in Vietnamese, okay?

I don’t speak Vietnamese.



(softly) Why doesn’t she speak Vietnamese?

What? Why don’t you speak Vietnamese?

Because I’m Chinese.

Was I talkin’ to you?

Okay, hey. Um, okay, um…

I understand that it’s a different accent,

but are you able to make it sound Vietnamese?

Do you speak Danish?

Dude, just fuck her.

I don’t speak Danish.

Just swap her out for, uh, an extra

that speaks Vietnamese.

None of them speak Vietnamese.

That’s the thing.

None of the extras speak Vietnamese, I see.

Did you know this?


I speak Vietnamese.

Oh, are you an old lady?

Can somebody explain to me

why I’m shooting a Vietnam War movie

with Vietnamese extras who (yells) aren’t Vietnamese?!

That was obviously directed at you, Mikey.

I’m just lookin’ over here.


Right, sir. Sir, there was, there is no line in the script,

so we didn’t need a Vietnamese…



Oh, wow.

Look, she got too excited back there,

and she just… Sir, she just…

Don’t gloat.

She just blurted that out spontaneous,

so it’s not…

I like spontaneous.

It’s Altmanesque.

Right. I know.

Okay, let’s, let’s bring it all down.

Let’s not fight in front of the kids.

I need 100 Vietnamese extras

ready to shoot by zero six hundred Monday.

Thank you. Authentic Vietnamese.

Sir, that’s two days from now, sir.

Nicos: Yeah, th-there’s

no fuckin’ “sir.”

No, sir.

That’s two days from now.

There’s no “sir,” just do it.

Hey, sir, that’s two fuckin’ days from now.

Yeah, then you got

two days, brother! You got 48 hours!

Crew Member: I’ll call casting.

Mikey: Call “The Chronicle”

and get some ads.

Nicos: Fuck!

Mikey: And put up fliers, Violet.

I can do it.



I’ll take care of it.

Go then.

General (over phone): What accents are required?

Northern or Southern?

Mm, Northern is better,

but if they’re from the South, I can coach ’em.

I mean, sorry to call at such short notice, but it’s just,

Claude seems so invested in this, and…

General: I’ll assemble the troops.

You’ll have your extras by tomorrow morning.

Now, let me speak to Lana.

Uh, Lana?

(whispers) No.

Um, Lana is busy now.

She’s on set working hard as my…

(slams receiver)

(dial tone)


Call him, or your father will kill me.

(scoffs) You’re still scared of my father?

Guess I’m the only one who’s matured over here.

Be a man, man.


Maybe I could be an extra.

Crew Member 1: Camera, roll!

(camera rolling)

Crew Member 2: Scene seven, reshoot.

Take one.

(camera beeps)

Shamus: Get on your knees!

Bellamy: Shut up!

Get on your fuckin’ knees!

Shut up!

(speaking Vietnamese)

Nicos: And cut!

first A.D.: Cut!

How was that line? “Don’t shoot me. I’m a peasant.

I’m only a peasant.” Right?

Uh, yeah, it was good for me.

No, that was great. That was great.

First A.D.: Camera, roll!

(camera beeps, rolling)

(upbeat funky music playing)

(music dwindles)

Nicos: What the fuck? Cut!

Laughably horrible.

first A.D.: Cut!

You… Are you trying to ruin my movie?

So now we got real Vietnamese extras,

but it looks like they’ve never seen war!

What the fuck?

You’re not, you’re not Charlie, you’re Charlie Brown.

I’m not scared.

I should be terrified, you fuck-ups!

Tell ’em!

Well, maybe they need a line,

uh, uh, to yell at the, uh, the farmers.

Who? Which amongst them?

They all look like fuckin’ children!

He’s okay. You, you’re hired.

Get him up front. Give him a line.


Nicos: Get him riled up!

Okay, uh.

Let’s go!

Nicos: Enough, let’s go.

Crew Member: “The Hamlet,” scene 35, take one.


Nicos: Cut!

That’s in the movie! That was great.

First A.D.: Cut!

Nice work, buddy.

Uh, sir, we have a small problem.

No, we have no problem.

I’m happy.

First A.D.: Let’s keep it movin’!

Ladies, outta the water!

Someone’s gotta do it. I’ll take the money.

Uh, I’m sorry, but the script says

they’re supposed to be men.

Uh, thank you, though.



(unsettling music plays)


(tense music playing)


No… Leave him.

We gotta go back. We lost Kim.

Charlie’s swarmin’. Come on.


(Captain speaking Vietnamese)




Nicos: Cut! That’s a cut!

(camera rolling)

(indistinct chatter)

That damn sure looks like someone gettin’ shot.

That was fuckin’ real.

(camera stops rolling)

Captain: Wait, did I mention that Bon was there?

Okay, sorry. I’ll go back.


(ambient nature sounds)

(upbeat music playing)

Captain: Ah, it was great to see.

Nicos: Movin’ on!

Takes someone who’s killed a lot

to know how to die, right?

It is fun getting killed.

Yeah. (laughs)

Captain: I don’t mean it was great to see him

make light of our dead comrades.

You’re gonna die some more.

Captain: He shouldn’t have said that.

Nicos: Don’t fuck up my movie. Action!

Captain: What I’m trying to say is

that it was great to see Bon regaining his spirit.

(gunfire, explosion)

Nicos: Cut! Great stuff!

Captain: For the first time since we’d come to America,

he was truly happy…

Crew Member: “The Hamlet,” scene 45, take four.

Captain: …dying, over and over and over in myriad ways.

Nicos: Cut! Lovely.

Crew Member: Mark.

Nicos: The squibs! Waste ’em!



Captain: But Bon wasn’t the only one who wanted to get in the act.

Friends and family in!

Mourn! Mourn!


(speaking Vietnamese)

Cut-age. That’s cinema.

(birds chirping)

Not bad.

Crew Member: Comin’ through.

What’s wrong with you?

Why do you wanna act so much, huh?

Well, just…

(Lana chuckles)

You were so good, Lan.

Thanks, Jamie.

Of course.

“Jamie”? “Lan”?

That’s what he wants me to call him.

By the way, uh, Little Miss,

about those lines you added all by yourself.

“Don’t shoot.” And then, and then the second one was, uh,

“Don’t die, Grandpa.”

Okay. Not bad.

Might be in the movie. Hey, Tommy!

Let’s use that girl again!

Yes! (squealing)

(Captain scoffs)

(birds chirping)

Hey, Violet.

Uh, I can take that off you.

I’m going up there anyway.


He asked to see me.


Captain: Uh, Violet wanted me to bring you this.

Thank you. Put it on the light table, yeah.

Is that it?

I didn’t wanna disturb you,

but I was afraid we wouldn’t have any other time, uh…

I’m gonna need some lines for the torturers after lunch.

They don’t need lines.

Uh, alright, um,

but if they’re gonna be torturing him,

they’re gonna probably need some lines to extract information.

This is war.

This isn’t a courtroom drama.

This isn’t a fuckin’ light comedy.

It’s sadism, animal cruelty.

It’s, it’s…

So, in fact,

I thought of some lines

that might help convey that, ya know?


Not lines.

A line, pick a line. No, pick a word.

Something they can scream or repeat like a chant.

A chant?

Yeah, a chant.


Do you mind?

This is not some hobby I’m dabbling in.

I’m trying to get inspiration for the end of the movie.

It’s personal.

I feel like you’re watching me masturbate right now.

Right, uh…

Great. You wanna watch me get off?


You don’t look sorry.


(Captain grunts)


What in the world inspired you to climb all the way up here?

War is about sacrifice.

(frame freezes)

Captain: Okay, I know what you’re thinking.

Yes, I am recounting something

I didn’t actually witness myself.

Forgive me. Some of the dialogue is conjecture,

but it helps to explain the events that follow.

I would gladly lay down my life for my men.

And I expect the same in return.


But when I look in that rookie’s eyes…

I get (shouts) nothing back!

And that makes me feel like a chump.

And I don’t like that.

Yeah, no, no, no. You’re so right.



Mistake. Mistake, Captain.

You’re a hunter, an apex predator, a lion.

Hm, mm.

Top of the food chain.

Top of the class at West Point.

Three times decorated.

Youngest Green Beret ever to make Major,

but were demoted back to Captain

o-only because he took on that fuckhead of a General.

So maybe not a lion after the demotion, but you’re a leopard.

That’s good enough.

Meanwhile, Bellamy, he’s an antelope,

a fawn destined to be eaten by you.

That’s it. He’s a meal.

You think a leopard looks into a fawn’s eyes

and gives a shit what it’s thinking?

They don’t. They pounce. They swallow.

They ingest. Shit out the carcass.

That’s you.


A leopard.

I like that.

(chuckles) I like that you like it.

Come on. You got the afternoon off, right?

Yeah, yeah. Recuperate. Maybe have a shower.

Oh, fuck that. No showers in the battlefield.

(radio playing)

(“Heartbeat, It’s a Love Beat” by The DeFranco Family playing on radio)



How do I look?


(both chuckle)


Yeah, it’s lunch. Would you like me

to help you down or something?

Fuck outta here. You know how long it took me to get in this rig?

(Captain chuckles)

Water at least?

That’s good. That’s good. That’s good. Thanks.

So, today’s the day. You nervous?

(song continues)

(laughs) Fuck no.

Lookin’ forward to it. It’s gonna be fun.

Well, good luck to you.

Alright, man.

Crew Member: “The Hamlet,” scene 32, take one.

First A.D.: And action.

(electricity zapping)

(indistinct yelling)

(projector rolling)

(tense music playing)


Nicos: Come on.

I love it.

James Yoon: Thank you.

Nicos: You… It’s real, it’s real.

Come on.

Fuck yeah!

(Lana yelps, gasps)

Aw, man. Dude! Come on!

(exhales) Ooh. God damn, that was hard to take.

Right? Bravo, buddy.

If you look close, you can see the boiled egg I had for breakfast.

That yolk will be in the final cut,

I promise you.



James: Thank you.

Alright, the marvelous James Yoon, everybody.

(cheering, applause)

Nobody dies like James Yoon.

James Yoon, everyone.


That is the most authentic thing

we’ve captured so far.

I love you. Thank you.

Why are you clapping?

Nicos: Fantastic death.

Why are you clapping?


I’ll tell you why.

Because Commo Kim was hangin’ there for four fuckin’ hours!

He skipped lunch.

Commo Kim was in torture for real!

Do you think any of us would have felt what we just felt

if he had flirted and farted

and lounged his way through lunch,

and then just spritzed on some fake sweat

a minute before the take?

Elvis Presley was prepared to serve!

Cassius Clay was not!

What the fuck is that supposed to mean, huh?

Nicos: Uncomfortable is okay.

This was a great day, and we just saw great dailies.

All is well.

(loud thud)

Oh, fuck.


Get the fuck out of my way.

Before this war is over,

we will all be covered in blood.

(door slams)

Nicos: Alright. See you tomorrow, pal.

(whispers) Wanna get outta here?

Nicos: Wow.

I don’t know.



Ooh, it’s a night full of inspiration.

Thank you all. Huh.


(muttering to himself)




Have you ever seen a Sagittarius that bright?

Nicos: Half-man, half…

Ryan: Gittarius.

My mind is racing, wandering.

I got a fuckin’ great idea.

I think this night has offered inspiration

for the both of us.

A-And-And-And it’s a new scene.


And I’m gonna go write it right now.

And I think you’re gonna dig it, brother.



I’m gonna go.


Kiss me…

Beautiful little…

(planes passing)

Kiss me…


King of the Hamlet.


(indistinct shouting)


(indistinct chatter)

Violet: Good morning, everyone.

Our Captain Shamus is missing.

(crowd murmuring)

He does have a gun.

We think it’s unloaded,

but, uh, until that is verified,

production is halted.

We’re working with local authorities to find him.

He has a very pronounced smell,

so we’re confident the K-9 unit

will locate him soon, right?

In the meantime, hang tight and, uh,

remain on the premises.

Don’t go. You can’t leave.

(indistinct chatter)

(chickens clucking)

(birds chirping)

(plucky lute music playing)

Jamie Johnson: Girl, you somethin’ else.

This whole shitshow is comin’ down fast.

You just sit here by the water,

singin’ some old song that was taught to you

by your grandma’s grandma’s…


(sings) ♪ Do you understand a word I say? ♪

(sings, broken English) ♪ A word I say? ♪

Yeah, you got it.

(ambient nature sounds)

Captain: “The Hamlet: The Musical”?

Lana: Oh. (scoffs) Yeah, yeah.

Isn’t she amazing? We’re rehearsin’ her new scene.

Violet (over megaphone): Cast and crew, return to your rooms immediately.

I know you’re out there. This is not a fucking joke.

We, uh, can pick this up later.


(Jamie grunts)

What’s the matter?

Uh, apart from the writing?

You hate the scene, huh?

No, I mean,

I’m happy he’s finally giving you some lines.

Well, not lines, technically, more like words, but…

Well, it’s kind of a big break, you know?

It’s not her only scene. She’s got another.

Go ‘head, show him.

I have a final scene with Captain Shamus.

Gets rough with me, and, uh, Bellamy comes to my rescue.

Que-Linh? Your name is Que-Linh?

My mother’s name?


(Captain chuckles)

(distant scream)

Crew Member: Oh, my God! What is that?

(tense music playing)

Monique: This is your new ending?

It’s fucking insanity.

They weren’t built for it.

You can’t do this out of nowhere.

Baby, I got inspired while I was painting because of you.

Remember, you’re the one who told me

to use my gift of painting.

And things changed.


Everything’s gotta go.

Everything. No exceptions.

Madness wins. Anarchy, chaos.

Carpet-bomb the world.

Like what?

“Zabriskie Point”?


Exactly. Exactly! But bigger.


A million times bigger.

Fuckin’ billion times bigger than Antonioni!

This is my, this is my vision!

No! It’s dangerous.

But you won’t listen to reason.

You’re a child.

That’s why you love me?

Monique: Yes, I love you.

Because I’m a baby?

Monique: Yes, you’re a…

I’m your petit chou?

Huh? Oui, oui, mon amie.

So, Shamus came back.

Knew he would, that son of a bitch.

(snaps, claps hands)

How can I help you? More notes?

No, no, no, hold that thought. Let me guess.

You’re here to suggest that instead of having

Bellamy teach English to the village girl,

I should have her teach Vietnamese to him, am I right?


Uh, no. Not quite.

I-I mean, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the scene.

It offers a perspective, um,

that shows the Vietnamese are real people…

Boring. Boring. Boring.

The fact that I’m even thinking of such things, don’t you understand?

This is, this is an indication of your positive impact.

You should just be happy, proud of yourself,

all that happy horseshit.


Unfortunately, your language itself,

it’s fuckin’ garbage.

It’s just… It-It’s impossible.

Especially to squeeze into the petite brain of our pop idol friend,

so can’t help you.

Right, uh…


And, uh…


Scene 64.

Scene fucking what?

Scene 64.

Okay, right on it. I’m gettin’ on it.


Captain: Is it really necessary?

Unfortunately, yes.


You know, it’s funny, when I wrote that scene,

I knew I was gonna hear from you.

I wrote scene 64 in “The Hamlet”

as a tribute to her.

(scoffs) To my mother? A rape scene?

A tribute?!

To her pain.

You don’t know anything about my mother.

I understand that she was raped,

like everyone in your country.


Not literally, but raped.

Am I wrong?

I’m tellin’ you, the audience will react

with visceral revulsion.

They will be permanently scarred.

It’s the right thing to do!

And I fuckin’ did it for you!

Yeah, well, maybe, maybe Lana.

Have you thought about that?

You know, she’s still young.

She’s not even a real actress.

You’re right, you’re right.

That’s why she looks authentic.

Just like your mother, Que-Linh.

Don’t say her fucking name!

Lana’s a real Vietnamese

who will now get the privilege

of representing the tens of millions of Vietnamese

who never got a chance to speak up for themselves.

Isn’t that what you fucking wanted?!

What are you fuckin’ mad at me for?!

You should be thanking me.

Thank you for getting us to where we are.

We’ll take it from here.

Don’t touch me.


You know you’re fired, right?

I’m so lucky. Antonioni had Monica Vitti.

Monique: Thanks.

But I’ve got Monique Thibault.

(soft rock music playing)


Captain: Yes, once again, I admit

I am recounting events I didn’t personally witness.

I don’t think this scene is extraneous,

but if it offends you, feel free to skip ahead.

Let’s dance.

(Monique moans)

(Nicos grunting)

(Monique laughing)

Woo! (exhales)

What’s that?


The fuck is that?

I don’t know.

You fucking with me?

I’m not.

What is that?

I don’t know.


Looks like a…

(horror music sting)

(Nicos yelping)

(ominous music playing)

What the fuck?

This guy is one dangerous fuck.


We’re ready for what?




The dead shall depart!

Thanks for everything, everybody!

Hey, well done, James.

James: Thank you.

Freddie: The dead shall depart.


James: Indeed they shall. How’s the deer?

(unsettling music playing)

Uh, surprisingly not bad.


Captain: Mm.

I wasn’t surprised one bit when he came back

with that buck on his shoulders.

You know why Ryan hasn’t been in a decent movie

in the last five years?

He punched Ken Omaha’s nose… and broke it.


Why did he do that?

To get a real reaction from his scene partner.

Watch your back, alright?

Take care, fellas.



(raining, thundering)

First A.D.: Alright, roll cameras. Marker.

Crew member: Scene 64, take one.

(camera beeps)

first A.D.: And action!


King of the Hamlet. I am King of the Hamlet,

and you will be my queen!

Gimme a kiss. Kiss me.

(Lana crying)

(rain pattering)

Excuse me. Sorry. Is Lana in there?

With Shamus?

Jamie: He’s fuckin’ unstable.

He went off-script, pointed his gun at me

with “nigger this, nigger that.”

He’s out of fuckin’ control.

But let it go. Lana will be cool.

I’ll make sure she’s safe from that motherfucker.


What the fuck?! Let me in there!

Shh. Quiet. Use this.

Sorry, can you ask if Lana’s okay?

First A.D.: Who is Lana?

The-The Vietnamese actress.

Her? She can take this, okay?

Crew Member (over radio): Stand by for the cue.

Copy, copy that.

When I get the signal from the director,

I’m gonna wave this flag from right over there

and you go, okay? I’ll wave this flag.

Alright? Then you go. Good, stay.

Copy. I heard you.

(tense music playing)


Shamus: …don’t you recognize me?

I’m your King! You’ll be my

beautiful, little, obedient Vietnamese flower.


Just kiss me. Kiss me and you will see

that I’m your king.

On your knees! (yelling in Vietnamese)


(shirt rips)

(screaming, struggling)


Get your fuckin’ hands off her! Get off her!

The fuck?!

Did we cue him?

(punch landing)

(grunting, yelling)

Fucking motherfucker! Get the fuck off me!

Fuck you!

Jesus Christ, what have they done to you?

(whispers) Did he say “cut”?

And cut!

Finally! You give me somethin’!

Yeah, that was fuckin’ real!

How the fuck did this happen?!

Jamie: Evil fuckin’ genius.

Ryan: My man!

Hey! Are you crazy? Why’d you let him in before the signal?

First A.D.: Sir, the Vietnamese guy just took my flag

and started waving it.

You what?

Trust me, Lana. You don’t know.

They… He-He would’ve done it for real.

Well, you didn’t know that I could’ve handled myself.

You. Again.

You just ruined my best take, you schmuck.

My only take!

I can’t shoot it again ’cause these fucking mutts

just bashed each other’s snouts.

Are you happy? Huh?

The cultural consultant I fired came back for free

to destroy the film.

That’s what you just witnessed.

That is a first in film history.

Really, that’s all you care about, huh?

If I’d let it gone on, she would’ve been raped!

Lana: Stop! Shut up!

For real! Do you care about that?!

Would you be happy…

Fuck you!

Would that be the first in the history of cinema?!

Lana: Stop!

(crying) Stop! What are you doing?

Shut up! It’s just acting. It’s not real!

Why are you ruining my fucking life?!

Jesus fucking Christ!

(all murmuring)

Nicos (over megaphone): Fuck.

(Captain sighs)

(wind blowing)


(tense music playing)

(indistinct chatter)

First A.D. (over megaphone): Planes! In five…


…four, three…

(laughs) Yeah! Come on!

(planes approaching)

(suspenseful music playing)

(booming explosions)

(echoing shout)

(music stops)

(Captain speaking Vietnamese)

(percussive music playing in distance)

(“Live It Up” by The Isley Brothers playing)


(“Live It Up” continues)

(electric guitar riff)

♪ Ah, ah nah ♪

♪ Live, live it up ♪

♪ Right now, one time ♪

♪ Live, live it up ♪

♪ Gotta, oh ♪

♪ Live, live it up ♪

♪ Show you how ♪

♪ Live, live it up ♪

♪ I’m gonna make you ease your mind ♪

♪ I know I’ll have a little luck ♪

♪ To make you have a real, real, real, real good time ♪

♪ Gonna make you live it up ♪

♪ ‘Cause everybody’s gotta move ♪

♪ Everybody’s gotta groove, yeah ♪

♪ Everybody’s makin’ love, sure ‘nough ♪

♪ Everybody’s gotta live it up, well ♪

♪ What did I do that was wrong, yeah ♪

♪ Just wanna have me big fun now ♪

♪ Been holdin’ back for too long ♪

♪ I gotta, gotta, gotta live it up, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

(guitar solo)

♪ I gotta live ♪

♪ Live, live it up ♪

♪ Gonna live it up ♪

♪ I’m gonna live ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ I wanna dance ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Make romance ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ I wanna sing ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Wanna swing ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ I wanna hey, hey ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Ah ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ Ah-ha-ha ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Live ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Live it up ♪

(guitar solo)

(music fades out)


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