Celebrity Encounters: Lunch with Bo Derek

Matty Simmons recalls lunch with Bo Derek. The noisy cafeteria got so quiet when she walked in, "It was like church."

Bo Derek

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Around the time I was casting Jaws 3, People 0 (a film I hope you never see), Blake Edwards invited me to a screening of his newest comedy featuring an unknown actress. I instantly knew this was the woman I wanted for the female lead in my Jaws sequel, so I arranged for her to meet me at my office at Universal. We then walked to the studio commissary, a bustling, noisy place that sometimes got so loud you had to strain just to hear across the table. But when we entered, the sound level suddenly dropped to zero. I could see every eye in the place staring at us. It was like entering church.

We sat down. Waiters with notes from other diners started to arrive: “Who is she?” “Matty, can I drop by and say hello?” “Introduce me or I’ll shoot myself!” I looked around the room, smiled, and showed her the notes. She smiled too. She was used to it. And that was my first day at Universal with Bo Derek.

—Matty Simmons is the producer of Animal House and other films

This article is featured in the September/October 2017 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

 

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