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American Star Screenplay

American Star

The abandoned son of a former actress is on the verge of an Oscar nomination at the young age of 20. He falls in love and comes of age, risking his career and unwittingly exposing a hidden trauma which could destroy the only family he has left.

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EXT. HIGHLAND PARK – DAY

The cold and desolate little park is littered with turning leaves as two sit on a bench. An entrance sign reads: Highland Park

SUPER: 1992 – Los Angeles

THE BENCH

RICHARD JENNINGS (30’s) sits with his son, MERRICK JENNINGS (7), somberly watching him play with a little red car.

RICHARD
Merrick, I need to talk to you about mom.

MERRICK
(frowning)
I never see mommy anymore. When is she coming home?

RICHARD
That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. It looks like she’s left us.

Merrick stops playing.

MERRICK
(looks at Richard)
Where did she go?

RICHARD
I don’t – I don’t know. I need you to be strong now. You and I, we’re going to be okay. I promise.

Merrick looks away for a moment, then back to Richard.

MERRICK
(on the verge of tears)
Mommy’s not coming back?

Richard says what he’d give anything not to.

RICHARD
No.

Richard grabs Merrick as he begins to cry, their movement causing the little red car to roll of the bench and to the ground. Richard holds sobbing Merrick tightly in his arms.

RICHARD
Shh.. Shh.. Shh.. Daddy’s got you.
(voice cracking)
And I’m not going anywhere.