The challenge was to pick an opening line and roll with it for up to a thousand words.
The line I chose was suggested by Mari Bayo.
"Prima donnas aren't born."
An Interview With Bella Donalds
Prima donnas aren’t born.
We are created. Formed from on high by the gods themselves, darling, to fulfil some role known only to the divine and the little voice in our heads urging us to greatness.
Why yes, it was that little voice that led me to acting. ‘Petunia,’ it told me, ‘you are meant for the stage and the screen. The only reason men put the boards together was so that you could tread them.’
Who was I to deny destiny? So I took the name Bella Donalds and made my break into show business. I dropped everything when I was seventeen and made the move to Hollywood.
It wasn’t easy of course, there were so many of us girls competing for the same roles, so I had to make myself stand out to the casting directors. You’d be surprised what a girl can achieve on her knees or back. Or with a simple pair of scissors, I’m not ashamed of cutting a few strands of hair or a few pieces of thread to get where I am today.
That’s how I got that part as one of Capulet’s guests in Archie Lockwood’s Romeo and Juliet, a number of the other girls had such unfortunate accidents. One’s hair just fell off her head when she twirled and another one’s stockings fell down and tripped her up, the poor things, they cried their eyes out while everyone laughed at them. It was a real shame.
I’d have felt bad, but I had a destiny to fulfil after all. Fate wasn’t going to wait for me just because I wanted to be nice. That could wait until I got on top of the business.
Oh yes, she was my friend in those days, we went for different roles though. She was always more into the theatre, whereas after my first few years in Hollywood I was all about the screen.
We actually met during the filming for that movie. She had a wicked sense of humour, and when I told her about what I’d done, she laughed. ‘Remind me not to get in your way any time soon,’ I remember her cackling. She was the closest friend I ever had.
In a way, I think her disappearance is what made me what I am today. Losing my best friend like that... sorry, every time I think about it, I tear up a little. Well, losing her, I had to be even tougher on my own, so I could succeed for both of us.
I had to fight through my tears, you know, during that audition.
Didn’t you know? She went missing the day before the casting call for An Inspector Calls, it was terrible, she was so excited about it too.
‘Bella,’ she told me, ‘this is my big break, if I can make it into this movie, movie and theatre directors will take me seriously as an actress.’
I knew something terrible had happened when she didn’t show up for the audition, but I was so busy that I didn’t have the chance to go to the police until it was all over.
It must have been the heartbreak of missing that opportunity that killed her.
It’s sad, but her disappearance is what drove me to try my best at the audition and then at the role when I got it. My success was really for both of us.
Are you all right, darling? You look pale.
Here, have a drink of water.
Now, what else would you like to know?
What do I think of these current charges?
Darling, Kathy Monroe was a flash in the pan starlet, she was never a threat to me. The director was only considering her for the role in the first place because of her uncle.
Just another talentless bit of fluff with friends in high places.
Why on earth would I ever want to murder a nobody like her?