The Assistant (2019) - full transcript

A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive. As Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position.

This is the
process of starting, simply enough.

It's gotta happen eventually,
but it might not be tomorrow.

Meanwhile, over on the west side of
the city, things were good for a bit,

and now we're starting to see the
beginnings of it here in Hell's Kitchen.

Morning.

Hey.

- How was your weekend?
- It was all right, I guess.

Hey, the grosses,
we need them printed out,

maybe by rank
and also by market.

WME came back
with 250K and three points.

- Gross?
- Adjusted gross. We can get them down.



- I can check with biz affairs over there...
- What time is he in?

And we can't give him an "And."

- What?
- He can't get an "And."

He gets a single card.

I get it. I get it.

No bagels.

What'd you get?

Hey, check your in-box.

They want to
move the test screening up.

- Wait, Los Angeles?
- Yeah.

No. What?

Morning. His schedule.

How was your weekend?

Amazing. Yours?



I was here.

Oh, right.
Thanks for that.

Wait, what? Tomorrow?
We had it on the calendar for Friday.

Office of...
One moment, please.

- Office of the chairman.
- I have Tony on one.

- Let me see if I have...
- Office of...

I don't have him right now, but I'll
have him return as soon as possible.

I'm sorry,
I don't have him right now.

- Thank you.
- Is he in yet?

- No, not till 10:00.
- Look, we're all set

for Friday and... Okay. Okay.

He can leave tonight.
We'll clear his schedule.

I'll get her
into the travel now.

Okay, thanks.

- Hi.
- Gary. Hi. Just need a confirmation.

Yep. It's right here in front of me.

Uh, yes, out of Teterboro
tonight at 11:00 p.m.

And what time does that
get him into Los Angeles?

Wheels down at 2:15.

Okay, great.
And as of right now,

there are
two additional passengers.

- All set.
- Okay, great. Thank you.

Thank you.

Bill, hi. I'll need the suite ready
for tonight, plus two additional rooms.

- John, hi.
- Hey.

1:30 a.m., Van Nuys.

I'm not sure I can...

I'm sorry. I didn't catch that?

Oh, okay, uh...

Well, how are you feeling now?

I'm really not sure
I can tonight.

Okay, I understand.
Don't worry. I'll sort it out.

I'm just a little dizzy
and my stomach is...

Okay, you look after yourself.

Yeah, I'm definitely gonna
stay in bed.

Okay. Take care.

I got your e-mail.

Well, what about the manuscript?

We know you have
the manuscript, right?

Hi, Javier.
John had to call in sick

and we need a car
at Van Nuys at 1:30 a.m.

Oh. Okay.
Well, is it watermarked?

No. My daughter,
it's her quinceañera.

- Jesus.
- Where are those new pages?

I want those new pages
before I get on the plane.

He promised them first thing.

Is there any way for you
to rearrange that?

Apparently HBO
didn't pick up her pilot.

- Where are we at?
- 200K and two points.

- We can get them down.
- That's bullshit.

- Sorry, what?
- My brother can help. I'll be there.

Okay. Great.
Thank you so much.

Hang on. Let me get this down.
1:30 at Van Nuys.

- Then straight to the hotel?
- Yes, straight to the hotel.

The Peninsula.

Okay, thanks.

"Boom. Gunshot.

Bonnie has been shot through the back.
Her body lurches forward."

That script change
you wanted in the first act?

It has ripple effects
all the way down the line.

- Even Nick is saying it makes no sense.
- Hey.

The new draft.

She's gotta get out of here if
we're gonna get her to that screening.

What?

He wants you
on the Los Angeles trip.

When?

Tonight.

Fuck.

Have fun.

The car leaves at 9:00.
Wheels up at Teterboro at 11:00.

Does 6:00 p.m. work then?

Okay, great. Perfect.

And I'll shoot you an e-mail
with everything and the details.

- Thank you.
- Okay, thank you.

- Hello?
- Hi, we spoke earlier.

Listen, his schedule has shifted
and he no longer has the afternoon.

- Oh.
- Does 7:00 p.m. work?

Yeah, I can do 7:00 p.m.

Great.

Perfect.

- Still at the hotel, or...
- Yes.

- The Peninsula. Beverly Hills.
- Okay.

Will I be able
to find him easily?

Yes, yes. There is a
restaurant inside the hotel.

Cool. Um, where do I park?

Ow.

- What?
- Can you deal with this?

- Wh... What is it?
- The wife.

Why me?

Fine.

- Hello?
- He blocked the cards again.

- Sorry?
- The credit cards. They're blocked.

- All of them.
- They're blocked?

He must have canceled them.

I'm... Surely not.
Let me get in touch with the bank. It's...

It's not the bank. It's him.
He's doing this.

I mean, you have
your personal cards, right?

That's not the point.
You're not listening to me.

I... I really think
that this is a misunderstanding.

Are you listening to me?
You're not listening to what I'm saying.

No, I am. I'm just...
I'm trying to help.

Why is he doing this to me? Why?

I really don't... Uh...

Why is he doing this to me?

- Uh...
- He can't treat me like this.

Are you... Are you still there?

Now what did you say to her?

What did you say...
What the fuck did you say to her?

Filling her head with this
bullshit is not your job.

I thought the last girl was bad,
but you have somehow

- lowered the bar even further.
- Hey, how'd it go?

They told me you were smart.

- Act like it.
- No way! Oh! That is awesome.

Go back to the one thing you're good at.
Ordering salads.

Yeah.

- Focus on that.
- I'm sorry.

Don't waste my time.

You should add, "I appreciate the
opportunity to work for this company

and will not
let you down again."

- You okay?
- Yeah, of course.

They're begging us for
three more weeks, but I don't see...

...soft money out of the fund
over there.

We've got all that money
sitting in Cologne... like, two million.

I don't think we can push more than
a week. Can you get into it with them?

I can try. But who knows?

- Mom?
- What? I can't hear you.

Mom. Can you...
Can you hear me now?

Well, where are you?
Shouldn't you be at work?

- I'm at work.
- In the office?

Yeah, of course.
Of course I'm at the office.

- What's going on?
- Well, I don't... Nothing.

Are you okay?

Yeah, I'm fine.

It was your father's birthday
yesterday.

He knows you're busy. Maybe call him
tonight though, if you get the chance.

I... I will.

I don't know, for some reason
I thought it was tomorrow.

He knows you're busy, sweetie.

Excuse me.

Possibly.
What was this regarding?

Okay, one moment. I'll check.

Sorry. Which carrier?

I'm sorry. Can you spell that?

He'll be just a moment.

- What?
- Uh, just a moment.

- What?
- Uh, Tony is on the line.

He wants to discuss this week's theater
expansion. Should I put him through?

I don't need the details.
Just have him e-mail me.

- Okay.
- We're done.

Send her in.

Okay, you can come through.

- Uh, this way. Yeah.
- Oh.

Do you think you could
make that work on your side?

If so,
I'll make it work on ours.

Yeah.

Yes, get back to me. Thank you.

Thank you.

Hey.

He... He just stepped out.

Uh, he's in the screening room.

I'm not sure.

Listen, drop by at 3:00.
He may have a window from 3:00 to 4:00.

I mean, I can't promise
anything, but I'll try and get you in.

Great. Thanks, man.
Catch you later.

This is turkey. I said chicken.

Forget it.

- Office of the...
- Does he have a moment?

Yes, certainly. I can put you
straight through. One moment.

Hey.

Oh, no. Not again.

You're on.

Oh, wow.

- Who is it?
- Shh, shh.

Oh, my God.

Oh, wow.

Oh! Huh.

Brutal. Brutal.

No.

How do I get out of unscripted?

I'm serious.

- Have you spoken to Jonathan?
- In production?

Yeah.

I heard
he wants to leave.

- Yeah?
- Mm-hmm.

Maybe he can put in
a good word for you.

You never know.

No, he'll hire externally.
There's no way he's going to move me over.

Uh...

What's happened? Where'd he go?

Huh?

Sí. Yeah.

Uh...

No, no, no. It's... It's not...
It's not your fault. It's...

- Thank you.
- It's not your fault. Um, I'll fix it.

Uh...

I'm sorry.
Who are you looking for?

No, I don't think
she works here anymore.

Um, hang on one second.
Please hold.

Hi.

Uh, hi.
It's... This is yours.

Um, it's... Um...

Thanks.

Yes. Okay.

Yes, he wanted to make
sure Brian got the invitation.

Of course, any donation will be
appreciated, but the seats are comped.

Thanks.

- Hi.
- Hi, it's me again.

Yes. The last two checks
don't have a name or anything,

just the dollar amount.

Uh, ignore it.

Okay. And will he know
what it's for?

Yeah.

Okay.

He'll know.

Okay, sure. Thank you.

Let's go.

Can you watch him
for a second?

Yep.

Hey.

- What's that?
- Your s... suit.

I don't need this suit.

They misplaced the DCP.

- Wait. What?
- It hasn't arrived yet.

- Well, isn't there a tracking number?
- I'll get them on the phone.

He's gonna freak.

Hey.
You do not bring the kids here.

Jesus Christ.

Now you do it.

Louder!

Hey.

Hi.

No, he threw that one
on Weekend Read.

Um, Friday.

Mm. I don't know. Let me check.

Well, get back to me. Yeah?

Thanks.

But when was it
supposed to arrive?

- Hi.
- The new assistant is here.

- What address do you have?
- Okay, uh, hang on.

Right. I'm not sure
what happened there. Um...

- Sorry, who?
- Okay. Let me check on that. I'll get back to you.

A girl.
She says she starts today.

Uh, hey.
There's a girl waiting at reception.

She says that she's supposed
to start here today.

Working here? With us?
Where's she from?

Where's she from?

Idaho.

- Idaho.
- Idaho?

Is that the one he met
in Sun Valley?

Oh, her. She's been here before.
A few times. Uh, send her in.

Send her in.

- Can I?
- Yeah, take one.

Cool.

Thanks. Okay.

So, here and here.

And this one here.

Here and here. Initial here.
Sign there.

Thanks.

Do I need a...

Do I need a lawyer
or something?

Do you have a lawyer?

Is it nice?

Sorry?

The hotel.

Oh. Yeah.

Cool.

- It's really nice. Yeah.
- Oh.

Is this where they put
you when you started?

- No.
- Oh.

Where'd they put you?

Um, they didn't.

Oh.

So, you're from Idaho,
right?

Yeah. Um, Boise.

You been?

Mm-mmm. No.

There's not much to see.

So, did you...
did you come straight from there, or...

Yeah. I mean, there was this whole
conference thing a while back.

- I was working there.
- Oh, okay.

Yeah. Just waitressing.
But I've worked in film before.

- Oh.
- Yeah.

I did some work
on this movie

that shot in
Salt Lake City, so...

I know a bit.

My uncle
is in craft services.

Yeah, but the sub log says
it came in to her.

It didn't?
I'm looking at it right now.

It's right in front of me.

No, he hasn't seen it yet.

Well, then you should change the sub
log, because if he sees that...

Yep.

Goldman hasn’t sent the revised deck.

They said he wants to add four more films.
And talk about the library

I haven’t had a chance
to revise the report.

But he can add ten more films,
the problem is...

the domestic marketing. And of course,
the overhead fee.

The talent pool.

He still insists on a gross fee

for the executive producer fees.

But we will be executive producers, no?

But not included in the pool,
according to…

And what happened
to the release requirement?

Still holding at 100 screens.

- We told them we need a thousand.
- I know.

Hi.

Hi.

Um, his three o'clock is here.

Where is he?

Uh, he's in a personal.

Understand Mr. Li had
agreed to remain this extra day

in the hopes that we could come
to some general agreement.

- Again, I sincerely apologize.
- We will need to address all these issues another time.

Absolutely. Again,
I apologize for the miscommunication.

I will have the office reach
out to you as soon as possible.

I can't thank you enough for...

What?

She wants you.

Just say he's in
an important meeting.

He'll get back to her
as soon as he can.

No, say he's in a screening.

Something that isn't
so easy to interrupt.

I'm not gonna lie to her.

- Hi.
- Where is he?

I'm sorry,
but I don't have him right now.

Oh, right. Where is he?

Uh, I... I'm not sure.
I don't have him right now.

- Who is he with?
- I... I can get...

Just tell me where he is
and who he is with.

- I... I... I'm not...
- Just where and who.

I really don't know.
I don't have him.

- I'm so...
- Fine.

Well, I promise
to give you a 15-minute warning

before he walks
into your office.

That's the best I can do.

Okay. Catch you later.

I don't know about
that final scene.

Let's just see
what he has to say.

- Has he got the latest draft?
- Yeah.

I thought
there was comp coverage.

It's just
the last two scenes.

And the flashback?

Gone. Right?

I wouldn't sit there.

Never sit on the couch.

Hello! Where is he?

Uh, where'd you take her?

- What?
- The girl. Where'd you take her?

The Mark.

The Mark.

- It's like that time in Cannes.
- That was in London, dude.

I would remember where it was.
It was Cannes.

Seriously,
you would not remember,

given how late to the du Cap
you and what's-his-name were.

- Who is... Who is this?
- It was Cannes! Jeffrey was there, remember?

I'm sure we can add her.

And for the auction, yeah.

Uh, yes, a lunch
and a script consultation.

Yes, in New York.

Uh, okay. Let me ask him and I
will get back to you. Okay. Thanks.

He won't make it to the theater
in time. Should we just cancel or...

- It starts at 7:30.
- Okay, he's not going to be happy.

We could push for an earlier
wheels-up, but we'd have to...

Shoot him an e-mail,
see if you get a response.

Can I help you?

Uh, no, I just work
in the other building.

Hi. I was wondering
if someone's free.

- I remember you. I did your onboarding.
- Oh, yeah.

I don't see anything on
the books with you, though.

Uh, no.

Okay. Have a seat.
There's a chair over there.

Thank you.

He's in there. Just go in.

Here it is.
There isn't much there.

- If Don calls, let me know.
- Of course.

- He can see you now.
- Oh. Thank you.

- Welcome. Have a seat.
- Hi.

Did you want to
take your coat off?

Uh...

Uh, no. No, it's okay.

Actually, maybe just my scarf.

Yeah.
Looks more comfortable.

Um...

I... I didn't know
who to come to.

In that case,
you came to the right place. So...

- I mean, it's just. It's just...
- Hey.

Whatever's going on, you can tell me.
That's what I'm here for.

Um, there's this girl
who arrived today.

She...

She's from Boise.

Mm-hmm. Okay.

And she's very pretty.

- And she's young.
- Okay.

She was waitressing in Sun
Valley when she met him.

And he just liked her,
apparently,

and just gave her
an assistant job.

And?

Well, she doesn't have any
experience, or not much experience,

and he just flew her over from Boise
and is putting her up at a hotel?

She's very young.

Is she too young
to be an assistant?

No. No, no. Uh...

Well, okay, um...

And this girl, has she done
something to make you... uh...

Do you suspect that she's done
something to harm the company?

No. No, no, no. I mean, I don't...
I don't think so.

I dropped her off at The Mark,
the hotel.

- Uh-huh.
- We had a reservation for her and I left her there.

- Yes.
- And when I came back to the office...

he was... he was gone.

And he was gone
for quite a while.

And you were
looking for him?

No, he was just...
he was gone and she was gone

and they were both
at The Mark apparently.

Apparently?

I mean,
that's what everyone said.

Who said?

Um, the...
the production executives...

and all the assistants.

- I mean, they were just laughing about it.
- They were laughing?

Yeah.

Okay, maybe let's back up here a bit.
What did she say to you?

- Who?
- The girl.

The girl?

Uh... Nothing.

Nothing?
Have you spoken to her?

No. I mean, just in the cab
on our way to The Mark.

But I haven't
talked to her since.

- Since when?
- I haven't seen her since.

When I found out,
I came straight here.

Sorry. What did you...
what did you find out?

What... What can we do?

Do about what?

About the girl.

Okay, let's...

Bear with me here. So,
a new assistant arrives from out of town,

- and she's being put up at The Mark...
- Mm-hmm.

...and your boss at some point
left the office.

To meet her at The Mark, yes.

Yes, according, apparently,
to the jokes at the office.

- Yeah, I guess, yeah.
- Okay.

Okay, so that's...
that's it?

That's why you came in?

And... And I found...
an earring.

- In the office today.
- An earring?

By his couch.

- And a hair tie on the floor last week.
- Ah.

Forgive me, but are you often,
um, cleaning things off his floor?

I mean, we have a janitorial
crew, right?

I'm supposed to tidy up.

And... And a girl came
and... and...

she picked the earring up.

I've never seen her before,
and it was hers.

Okay.

Sorry.

Just a sec.

Hey.

No. No need.
We're fine, really.

What?

You think I give a shit
about the Rangers?

Yeah.

All right,
we'll pick this up later.

Okay.

Sorry about that. Uh...

Where were we?

The earring.

Okay, listen,
you're relatively new to the company.

I mean, I've been working
here for nearly two months.

Five weeks.

- Well, yeah.
- And you're under a lot of stress.

Entry-level jobs in this
industry are tough, right?

Long hours?

- Yeah...
- First one in. Last one out.

- Well, yeah.
- I bet you haven't seen your friends in a while.

Um, I... I missed
my dad's birthday.

That's tough.

- Yeah, but that's...
- Where'd you go to college?

- Uh, Northwestern.
- It's a great school.

It's a great school.
You're smart.

You have to be smart
to get into Northwestern.

Plus a 3.8 GPA.

And you're on a fast track in this
business, working here. You are.

So, what's your plan?

- Sorry?
- Where do you want to be in five to ten years?

Oh. Uh, I want to produce.
I want to be a producer.

- You do?
- Yeah.

Okay, that's excellent.

We could use more women producers.
It's a tough job.

But I can see
that you've got what it takes.

Thanks.

So why are you in here trying to
throw it all away over this bullshit?

- Sorry?
- This.

Whatever it is.

Let's make it official.
Call it a complaint.

Let's assume I were to
do you the disservice

of writing it up for you.

So, your complaint
is as follows.

The company hires
a new assistant.

She's young and, in your
opinion, she's very pretty.

- And she's maybe a little inexperienced.
- She's a waitress.

Exactly. And they possibly
offered her a job just like that

and they're putting her up
in a fancy hotel.

And you live...
Where do you live?

Astoria.

Astoria?

Okay. I understand.

- That's not the point.
- And by the way,

how experienced were you
when you got hired?

Couple of internships?
Am I right?

- The last one paid me.
- Do you know how many people work at this company?

I have to make sure all
of them are taken care of.

And do you know how many
people want to work here?

I've got 400 résumés teed up
for your position alone.

Ivy League grads,
4.0 GPAs.

And here you are sitting in my
office, stressed out,

jealous of some new assistant who's
getting more attention than you.

I'm not... I'm not jealous.

I was just...
I was worried for this girl.

She's a woman.
She's a grown woman.

- Sorry, yes.
- You think a grown woman can't make her own choices?

- I never said that.
- Because she's a waitress?

- Nope, I didn't say that.
- What then? What then?

Listen, honestly...

what do you want from me?

- I just...
- Tell me what you want me to do here.

Do you want to
keep working here?

I do. I...

Look, frankly,
it's your call.

I could file a complaint for
you if that's what you want.

But I think you know
how it would come off.

Should I file this?

No, don't.

Okay.

Okay.

Okay. Thank you.

Don't forget your scarf.

Thank you.

I don't think
you have anything to worry about.

Hmm?

You're not his type.

Yeah, that's an IT thing.
I don't know.

You know you can always come to
us, right?

Come to us first, okay?

It's for you.

You better get it.

I'm not gonna yell at you.
Am I yelling? No.

Because you're not someone
even worthy of that.

Because you didn't even have the
fucking courtesy to talk to me

about whatever the fuck fantasy
you decided to spew all over me.

So, let me ask,
do you want to keep this job?

Yeah.

Okay.

Then send me a fucking apology.

I overreacted.

It was not my place
to question your decisions.

Yeah, good.
That's good.

I appreciate
the continued opportunity

- to work with you...
- ...continued opportunity to work with you...

...and will not
let you down again.

...again.

Hi.

Hi.

You, um...

They, um, gave me this desk.

They said
you'd teach me the phones.

Okay, sure.

Are you okay?

I can't figure out
how to dial out.

Oh. Nine-one to dial out.

So, the extensions
are marked here.

One is his cell.
Two is his home in the Village.

Three is his home in Connecticut.
He's there most weekends.

Four is Amagansett,
the Hamptons,

but you'll only need that
for the summer.

And then five is his wife.

Six is his wife's assistant.

Seven is Amir, his driver.

And then
president of distribution,

president of marketing
and president of production.

Okay.

And here is the LA office.

And here's the London office.

- Amir?
- Yes.

- You're outside, right?
- Yes. Out front. I'm waiting.

He's in a meeting.

The traffic is no good.
I told them that.

- When will he be done?
- I have no idea.

There's construction in the
tunnel so we need to hurry it up.

I don't... I don't care.
I don't care.

Just... You're ready to go
when he is, right?

Yes. Of course.

Okay.
So that's all I need to know.

Sorry. I didn't...
I didn't mean that.

It's... It's been a long day.

You work hard.
He respects you for that.

- He said that?
- Yes.

He told me you're smart.
Very smart.

Thanks, but...

But, uh... Thanks.

Okay, I'll be waiting.

Thank you.

You can go if you want.

Oh. Thanks.

- I, uh... Should I leave these?
- Oh, yeah. You can just leave them.

- See you tomorrow?
- Yeah.

Where to?

Willy's?

Dahlia's? I need to eat.

- I need to drink.
- I hear that.

Come through this way.

I brought this along.

Sure.

I just threw it together myself.
It's pretty lo-fi.

Great.
Pack it for the trip.

We currently have 30 projects
in development,

some of which
will go in the next year.

Hi.

- Did you get a car?
- Yep, downstairs.

Hey. Dahlia's?

I'm not
waiting around for that.

- You've been to France?
- Uh, no, I haven't.

Is this for LA?

Yes.

Who was that?

Oh, that?

A waste of my time.

Okay.

That woman before
asked me what your name was.

And I didn't know
what to tell her.

I didn't know whether to say...

"It's David."

Whether to say your name like
that straightaway, because...

I don't know. It might've seemed
like you were too familiar.

And I didn't know
if she was asking

in that way, or if she was
asking in that other way.

The way that I imagine that
people whisper to one another

when they see you
walking down a hallway,

or checking your e-mail
at a traffic light.

"Is that that professor?"

Mm.

What did you say?

I told her I didn't know
what your name was.

I told her
I didn't really know you.

That's for Los Angeles.

Okay, sure.

Schedule?

You forgot the power cord
for the DVD player.

- Yeah?
- I don't need you. You can go...

I can go?

Hello?

Has he left yet?

No.

Don't worry.

She'll get more out
of it than he will.

Trust me.

Good night.

Good night.

Hello?

Happy birthday, Daddy.

Hey! Well, thank you.

It was a good day.
Quiet, but good.

I'm... I'm so sorry
I didn't call you.

I just... I've...
I... It's been busy.

Of course. I understand.

It's a great opportunity
you have there.

We're excited for you.

Thank you.

So, well, how's it going?

Your mom and I
want to know everything.

Are you having fun?

Um... It's okay. It's, uh...

You know, it's just, like,
long hours and...

- It's just stressful, you know?
- Oh.

It's always a little
stressful in the beginning.

It gets easier.

You can handle it, honey,
I know you can.

Yeah.

Well, give us a call
on the weekend, okay?

We want to hear all about it.

- I promise I will.
- Okay.

Now it's getting late and
I've got to take this dog out.

- But we'll be waiting for your call, okay?
- Okay.

And get
a good night's sleep, okay?

- Okay.
- Good night.

Bye. I'll talk to you later.

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