Stranger Than Fiction – Adult Females – Comedic

“Excuse me.” from the film “Stranger Than Fiction.” Penny, an assistant hired by Kay’s publisher, shows up just when Kay is trying to decide how to kill Harold in her book. She doesn’t want Penny’s help in any way, but Penny is persistent. Ideal for Adult Females in their 30s. 1-2 Mins.

Written By: Zach Helm

PENNY and KAY:

Int. Garment Loft— Afternoon

 

Kay stands on the end of a factory table in a large poorly converted downtown loft. She wears the same clothes as she did on the building and her foot dangles over the edge.

 

PENNY (O.S.)

 

Excuse me.

 

Kay turns.

 

A formidable stern-looking woman in a sensible outfit stands in the doorway of the loft.

 

PENNY (con’t)

 

Are you Ms. Eiffel?

 

KAY

 

Yes.

 

PENNY

 

Excellent. What are you doing?

 

KAY

 

Research.

 

PENNY

 

Am I interrupting?

 

KAY

 

Yes.

 

PENNY

 

My name is Penny Escher. I’m the assistant. The one the publishers hired.

 

KAY

 

The Spy.

 

 

PENNY

 

The Assistant. I provide the same services as a secretary.

 

 

KAY

 

I don’t need a secretary.

 

PENNY

 

Then I’ll have to find some way to occupy my time.

 

 

KAY

 

And watch over me like a vulture so I don’t get distracted.

Because the publishers think I have writers block. Is that right?

 

 

PENNY

 

Do you have writers block?

 

 

Silence.

 

PENNY (con’t)

(seeing pages on the floor)

Are those pages?

 

 

KAY

 

They’re letters. To me.

 

 

PENNY

 

Are you writing back?

 

 

KAY

 

I don’t respond to letters.

 

Penny moves to pick up the letters. Sees the pile of cigarettes.

 

 

PENNY

Ah. And I imagine you smoked all these cigarettes.

 

 

KAY

 

No. They came pre-smoked.

 

 

PENNY

 

Right. They mentioned you were funny.

 

Kay steps to the other edge of the table, finds a cigarette in a tissue and lights it.

 

KAY

 

What do you think about leaping off a building?

 

 

PENNY

 

I don’t think about leaping off a building.

 

 

KAY

 

Yes you do.

 

 

PENNY

 

No. I try to think of nice things.

 

 

KAY

 

Everyone thinks about leaping off a building. Everyone.

 

 

PENNY

 

Well, I certainly don’t think about leaping off a building.

 

 

KAY

 

They say– I read this in this fantastically depressing book—

That when you jump from a building, it’s rarely the impact that

actually kills you.

 

 

PENNY

 

Well, I’m sure it doesn’t help.

 

 

KAY

 

There’s a…. There’s a photograph in the book, a photograph

From the L.A. times around forty years ago. Called “The Leaper.”

It’s old but… it’s beautiful. From just about the corpse of a

woman who had just leapt to her death. There’s, there’s blood

around her head like a halo. And her leg is buckled underneath her.

And her arm has snapped like a twig

(pause)

But her face is so serene. So at peace.

(pause)

And I think it’s because when she died….

She could feel the wind against her face.

KAY (con’t)

 

I don’t know how to kill Harold Crick.

That’s why they sent you.

 

 

PENNY

 

Yes. That’s why I’m here, to help you.

 

 

KAY

 

How are you going to help me. Hm? You.

Who never thinks of leaping off buildings,

what great inspiration will you bestow on me?

Because I’ll tell you the quaint ideas I’m sure you’ve

gathered in your adorable career as “an assistant” are to

no avail when faced with killing a man.

 

 

PENNY

 

I understand. But do you?

 

 

KAY

 

I can’t just…

(sighs)

As much as I’d like to, I can’t just throw Harold off a building.

 

 

PENNY

 

Ms. Eiffel. Kay. I have been an assistant for 11 years. I

have helped more than 20 authors complete more than 35

books. I have never missed a deadline. I have never lost a

writer to a block for longer than three weeks. I will be available

to you every minute of every day of every week until the final

punctuation is embedded on the final page. I do not like loud

music. I do not abide narcotics. And I will gladly and quietly

help you kill Harold Crick.

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