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Theodora Twist
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Theodora Twist

Written by Melissa SenateAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Melissa Senate

· Delacorte Books for Young Readers
· eBook · December 18, 2007 · $4.99 · 978-0-307-43405-0 (0-307-43405-2)

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Ashley Bean

Ashley Bean Talent Management 1000 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Date:March 8

From:Ashley Bean

To:Theodora Twist

Re:Acceptable Answers to Interview Questions

Dear Theodora,

Please memorize the following for the Family press junket tomorrow. If a reporter presses you, repeat answers.—AB

Possible Question: Are you a virgin?

Answer (Adopt serious, thoughtful expression): As a role model for teens, I really think it’s best not to discuss such deeply personal matters.

Possible Question: Is it true that you and your mother don’t get along?

Answer (Adopt pained expression):Like many teenage girls and their mothers, we don’t always see eye to eye. But we always love each other.

Possible Question: Is it true that you and Lara Miles hate each other?

Answer (Adopt reverent expression): I have the utmost respect for my costar as an actress. I learned so much from everyone while making Family.

Possible Question: Is it true that you’re dating both Bellini brothers?

Answer (Adopt slightly embarrassed expression. Giggle nervously): Bo and Brandon Bellini and I are just good friends!

At first the reporter is all nicey-nicey: “I loved the film—and you’re great in it, Theodora! . . . Oooh, I love your shoes—Choos, right? . . . You’re so poised for sixteen!” But then she morphs into the Devil. “Is it true that Lara Miles dubbed you the Jailbait Diva because of your relentless flirting with the very married Cash Dayton?”

Well, I wouldn’t say relentless. That’s a joke, by the way. I have two gorgeous seventeen-year-old boyfriends. Why would I flirt with anyone, especially someone more than twice my age—even if he is a mega-yummy A-lister? If I said hello to my male costar at the craft service table and he got an erection? That’s not flirting. That’s being sixteen and hot.

I’m about to say this (well, the first part) when I remember I can’t admit that Bo and Brandon are my boyfriends. One Bellini brother would be okay. Two, apparently, makes me a little too PG-13 for the tweenies. The Bellini Brothers are the new It boy band, identical twins with identically great voices, identically great faces, and identically great bodies. They’re also just identically great. Truly nice. Like me, smarter than anyone gives them credit for. And they’re mine, all mine. The three of us have been dating for a month and I’m crazy about both of them.

“Honestly, I don’t know where these kinds of rumors start!” I chirp good-naturedly to the reporter. It’s a devia- tion from Ashley’s memo but she’d approve.

The reporter—an anchor for a TV entertainment news show—rolls her eyes at the cameraman filming us. Does she think I missed that? She’s sitting less than a foot away from me. And people say I wear short skirts? Every time this woman crosses her legs, I get a glimpse of thigh cellulite.

“Come on now, Theodora,” the reporter says. “Rumors are running rampant. Here’s your chance to tell your side of the story.”

At least she’s keeping me awake. It’s eight p.m., and I’ve been in this chair—in this tiny, airless meeting room in a swank L.A. hotel, the revolving door of reporters spinning every fifteen minutes—since nine this morning (and all day yesterday). Just to wake myself up (I have a hot date in an hour with Bo and Brandon—but we’re just good friends!), I think about saying Lara Miles is a jealous shriveled prune with bad breath!

But you can’t say that at a press junket. If there isn’t a television camera capturing your every facial expression, there’s a tape recorder picking up everything you mutter under your breath. The whole point of the thirty-plus interviews I’ve given over the past two days to newspaper, magazine, and television journalists and reporters is to promote my new film, Family. From the title you can tell it’s not a teen flick. Which is why I’m sitting here in a dress I’d normally reserve for a funeral, trying to be good, as Sasha, my personal stylist, and Assholia, the film’s stylist, hover around me, sucking all the air out of the room. (Okay, that isn’t her real name, but believe me, it fits.) You should have heard their cat fight over my dress. I’m contracted to wear House of Ruchioux for all non-red-carpet TV appearances. But their designs are way too risqué. Ruchioux doesn’t do demure. So Family’s stylist got creative with sticky tape and a clothespin and voilà—no cleavage!

Anyway, Family is my third movie, but my first major film. Meaning: the first in which I’m not running around in a tube top, shaking my tits so that everyone with a Y chromosome will shell out ten bucks for a movie ticket. Granted, there is a bikini scene, but what else does a teenager wear at the beach?

The first thing I told Ashley when she signed me as a client was that I wouldn’t even test for one of those stupid teen flicks about a supposed geek (take off her glasses and guess what—she’s gorgeous!) battling Miss Popular. I consider myself a serious actress, and thanks to Family, so will American audiences, and the world, when the film opens internationally in a few months. Ashley supports my “vision” one hundred percent. Her mantra is “Start as you want to continue,” which means no “why don’t those mean girls like me?” scripts. She doesn’t even bother sending them to me.

My goal? An Oscar. Yeah, I know I have to learn my craft and all that, and I am. I pay attention. I spy. I listen closely. I work my ass off. Sometimes I surprise myself by how good I am, and sometimes I wake up in a sweat, wondering when this dream that’s become my life is going to poof! disappear. Ashley tells me not to worry about that. I’m hot right now. And if I work hard, if I’m “smart about my career,” I’ll be thanking the Academy within five years. She’s been right about everything so far, so I listen to her.

Family premieres next week, which means I’ll have to do the talk show circuit. I hate doing talk shows. I’m supposedly on your television screen as me, Theodora Twist, but it’s not me. Take the past two days, for example. Everything that has come out of my mouth has been scripted, except for hi.

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from Theodora Twist by Melissa Senate Copyright © 2006 by Melissa Senate. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.