All four players were looking for a career boost about now. Cameron hadn't properly followed up on the unprecedented success of "Titanic" and the aging Arnold was seeing his macho image slipping away slowly but surely while Tia was eager to escape the prison of her syndicated weekly TV show. Jamie Lee, well, she needed more to do than sell phones.
"As you recall, when we last saw Tia's character Juno Skinner," Cameron explained. "She was regaining her senses after getting belted by that champagne bottle by Helen Tasker, Jamie Lee's character. As she stared out the rear window of her out of control limo, Juno realized the limo was about to plunge into the ocean.
"However, unlike the other villains in the movie, the audience couldn't be sure Juno perished. Her limo didn't explode, she was awake, if not completely alert and the limo had an open sunroof. Escape was possible. Well, I'm here to tell you, that escape she did, and in this script," he slammed a thick sheaf of papers on the table, 'True Lies 2: Juno's Revenge' she's looking for big time payback."
Tia's eyes lit up and she shot a none-too-friendly glance at Jamie Lee as Cameron continued to provide plot details, "In the original script, Juno was the lone female in the terrorist plot but this time, it's her show. Her top assistant is a ruthless, sadistic redhead named, Bianca Van Pelt who'll be played by Angie Everhart."
Tia's grin widened as Cameron continued, "Dana, the Tasker's teenage daughter originally played by Eliza Dushku, has grown into a woman now. Eliza's presently unavailable so we've got a new Dana standing by her mom's side - the lovely Kirstin Dunst! Now, in order to have some ironic fun with the indestructible Schwartznegger image, the climax of True Lies 2 will show the helpless Harry Tasker, completely at the mercy of Juno and Bianca. It'll be to the Tasker woman to save their man!"
Arnold questioned the climax, but Cameron assured him they'd gotten some 'feminist screenwriter off the Internet who works cheap' and, after checking with his wife, he immediately approved. It seems Arnold loved the idea of shedding his macho, action image for a more sympathetic, family-oriented role.
Jamie Lee figured this was a perfect opportunity to spice up her career as she assumed she'd be reprising her sexy striptease from "Lies I" as it was now being called during meetings. Tia too was ecstatic as she thought of vamping her way through a super-villainess leading role; probably the best part she'd ever been offered. Also, Tia knew her salary and percentages were far below Arnold and Jamie Lee's so she insisted on a demand, namely that the movie be promoted in print and on TV as starring Tia and Arnold - in that order - with the rest of the cast in small print as their co-stars.
Cameron quickly agreed. He understood that made perfectly good business sense. He also realized that by giving in on that point, Tia would owe him the performance of a life time to justify her top billing. The fact that Jamie Lee was no longer smiling as the meeting ended also pleased Cameron. He wanted to build the tension between the female leads to a fever pitch and he'd gotten off to a fine start!
A few weeks later, just as the filming began, the cast was finally provided with the final version of the script. They quickly noticed that the final, climactic scene was missing. Cameron explained that the magic of this movie would be that the final showdown between the Tasker women and Juno and Bianca would be totally improvised by the actresses, there as no set dialog or plot.
"Do you mean we just wing it? Without a pre-determined result?" asked a bewildered Jamie Lee.
Before Cameron had a chance to answer, Tia snapped, "He means anything goes; may the best women win. You don't have a problem with that, do you ... sweetheart?".
Carrere and Cameron understood that if the movie ended with Arnold still in the control of the triumphant villainesses, that the movie would be hailed as a genre-busting, ironic send-up of the traditional Schwartznegger action saga and they'd all be congratulated for their courage and daring vision. On the other hand, Cameron know that an inspiring victory by Jamie Lee and Kirstin would deliver a huge, feel-good ending that would produce great "word of mouth" advertising, regardless of what the critics may say. He smiled inwardly, figuring no matter what happened, HE couldn't lose. Therefore, he spent the next few weeks, creating the maximum amount of animosity between his actresses so the final scene would be driven by personal animus. Hell, that was the easy part!
Angie and Tia relished, "staying in character" throughout the shoot and they quickly became the two most hated woman on the set. Indeed, among the camera crew , make up staff and service personnel there was near universal hope that Jamie Lee and Kirstin would ultimately give these hags the butt kicking they so richly deserved.
Meanwhile, Jamie Lee and Kristin were bonding beautifully. They actually came to think of each other as mother and daughter as veteran Jamie Lee took naïve Kristen under her wing and guided her throughout their scenes together. Jamie even hovered off camera when she wasn't in a scene, nodding and whispering encouragement to Kristen.
Despite their grueling work schedule, Jamie and Kristen had secretly agreed to work out and train in secret, after hours. As the weeks passed they were slowly but surely honing themselves into a fearsome fighting duo while Tia and Angie partied, danced, preened and generally annoyed everyone else around them -- all night, every night.
The days passed until the script called for the penultimate final scene, the one just before the climax. In that scene, a helpless and handcuffed Harry Tasker is suspended by the wrists and ankles in the middle of a dark room, being circled slowly and taunted by Juno and Bianca. He is wearing nothing but a pair of polka dot boxer shorts while the two ladies are resplendent in some 'barely there' lingerie. Angie Everhart is the personification of kinkiness while Tia is giving the most blatantly erotic performance of her career. Arnold's raging erection might cost me an R-rating, Cameron thought to himself, but who could possibly 'remain calm' with the number that Juno and Bianca were doing on him?
While they were shooting, Cameron instructed Jamie Lee and Kristin to stay 'in character' as they witnessed the sexual humiliation of their husband/father. The coaching worked like a charm and when Cameron yelled "Cut" and Tia and Angie left the stage giggling and hi-fiving, the "Tasker women" were glaring bullets. Tomorrow couldn't come too soon. That night, Jamie Lee and Kirstin practiced every move they knew until the clock struck midnight. They both headed off to bed with hatred in their hearts.
The next day, Cameron walked the four actresses through the set where the final scene would be filmed. He showed them the various 'killing options' designed into the set -- high voltage equipment, swords, grenades, high fall platforms, etc. and he set out the rules. The losers were to "die" in the end, but it was important they all understood that nobody should "really" die so he went through a few appropriate "checkmate" scenarios so the ending could produce victories the audience would accept and believe.
Otherwise, he told all four actresses, "...the dialog and action is completely up to you."
The only other player would be the handcuffed and caged Harry Tasker, suspended eight stories above the sound stage. After several hours of walk-thru's and checking the safety equipment and camera angles, Cameron broke for lunch. He encouraged the actress teams to discuss their strategy, now that they were familiar with the set. While Angie and Tia, laughed and discussed vague plans to, "...kick ass and take names" Jamie Lee and Kirstin immersed themselves in every detail of their assault plan, down to when and where to use the special tactics they'd developed the night before.
Both duos left the lunch table supremely confident and as they headed to costume and makeup, the tension was building like the sound of an approaching herd of galloping buffalo.
Cameron decided to open the scene with Juno preparing to go to an exclusive private party, leaving Bianca behind to torture Harry. Tia returned to the set wearing a magnificent gold sequined backless evening gown with a very seductive front and rear slit, and a sapphire necklace that ended with a finely -cut oval nestled deep in her beautifully exposed cleavage. Her partner Bianca was wearing the shortest pair of cut off denims in the world and a white button down Oxford shirt with only the two middle buttons buttoned. It was tied in a knot above her navel. Her awesome red hair was teased out into a wild, arousing mess that contrasted starkly with Tia's pulled back pony-tail.
Kirstin and Jamie Lynn spent far less time getting ready. The script had called for them to endure many physical hardships in getting to Juno's hideout, so they came to the set in casual wear that was soiled and muddy. Dana in jeans and a flannel shirt, Hele in khaki carpenter's jeans and a green corduroy baseball jacket.
As Cameron prepared to roll film, Juno sat on a stool in front of a mirror vanity. She removed the necklace, and signaled Cameron that it was OK to roll the cameras. The scene opened with Juno slowly and erotically placing the jewelry around her neck, lifting her ponytail sensually, then taking her sweet time getting the necklace adjusted to maximize the appeal of her bosom. Then Bianca, entered the room, slice of pizza in hand.
She smiled approvingly. "Don't worry", she sneered. "There'll still be a little bit of him left for you after I'm done."
Juno snickered cruelly, "Be sure you save the best part for last. He deserves a final, bittersweet good-bye, don't you think?"
Bianca exits, taking the elevator up to the 8th floor where Harry is caged. She has provided herself with a sofa, big screen TV, even pizza and popcorn. As she approaches the sleeping Harry in his cage, she grabs a nearby baseball bat and violently rakes it over the bars of the cage. As Harry struggles to focus his eyes, Bianca jams a slice of pizza between the bars and sneers, "Bon appetit, Big Boy".
Meanwhile, the Tasker girls are climbing over a high fence surrounding Juno's hideout. Their awkward efforts are clearly seen on a closed circuit security monitor over Bianca's shoulder, but the villainess is too busy watching, "Bordello of Blood" on HBO to see it. Harry, however, does catch a glimpse of his daughter as she drops and lands safely inside the fence. He permits himself a small, quiet smile.
The Taskers are now on the grounds of the complex and the first person Helen sees is Juno's limo driver, nervously waiting for his boss to finish dressing. The scene shifts to Juno, still standing in front of her mirror, dabbing cologne on her neck and breasts. Then she winks slyly at her own reflection, bends slightly and reaches inside the slit of her gown to apply more cologne to the insides of her thighs.
Juno reaches for her purse, whips out a portable phone, and tells her limo driver, "Max, meet me at the front door immediately, I'm running late."
As soon as Max hangs up his phone, the younger Tasker attacks him from behind with a neck twist and knee to the groin that neutralizes the driver. At the same time, Helen moves into place to the left of the mansion's front door. As Juno walks through the door and looks around for her limo, Helen pounces. A solid right hand strikes the villain on the chin and she drops butt first for the pavement. Helen hesitates for a moment, telling her daughter, "Go inside and find Harry. Don't worry," she adds confidently. "This'll only take a moment."
As Helen turns her attention back to Juno, however, she fails to see the perfect leg whip that Juno was executing. Down goes Helen and, as Juno has a moment to recover, she pushes a panic button in her purse that activates the alarms. Bianca springs immediately off the sofa, sending popcorn flying.
Bianca quickly shuts off power to the elevator, then sneers contemptuously at Harry, "Let's see if your little chickadee knows how to fly."
Meanwhile, back on the front lawn, the fight rages on with neither woman able to take control. Helen had underestimated the residue of evil energy that Tia had stored up in the years since the original 'True Lies.' Tia had literally become Juno, a woman who spent years plotting cold-blooded revenge. The dividing line between Juno and Tia had become dangerously thin. As Juno connected with a vicious knee to the crotch, she followed by straight right that bloodied Helen's nose. Jamie Lee realized it was time for her to 'become' Helen, the mother whose entire family is under brutal, mortal attack by a scheming seductress.
Helen rose and wiped the blood from her nostrils, the camera caught a look on her face that expressed the instinctual, indomitable will of the Mother-Protector. At that moment, the mocking, self-assured Juno was doomed. She didn't know it yet, but the look on Helen's face told the camera that her victory was a certainty.
The next sixty seconds would ensure "True Lies 2" would be remembered as the greatest Hollywood catfight ever filmed. Despite Juno's determination and toughness, the pure will of Helen Tasker prevailed as she attacked the villainess with her fists, feet, elbows and knees until Juno could take no more. As Juno fell back helpless on the lawn, Helen nailed down her shoulders with a perfectly executed schoolgirl pin.
Helen forgot for a moment about the danger her daughter and husband were in. It was time to get personal with this poor excuse for a woman she was straddling.
She looked Juno in the eyes as she sat back and slowly spelled out, "My name is...H-E-L-E-N T-A-S-K-E-R."
Each letter was punctuated by a nasty slap to the face that soon erased what little capacity to resist Juno had left. Helen then relaxed her schoolgirl pin and moved to the side of her beaten rival. Shoving her hand deep into Juno's cleavage, Helen ripped the gown in half and stripped Juno down to her necklace and panty hose. This got Cameron and the crew excited enough to muster a standing ovation.
Even Cameron himself screamed, "You go, girl!"
But the best part was yet to come. Straight-laced Helen, ripped off the baseball jacket she was wearing, then pulled her dirty T-shirt off over her head. Out flopped her world class breasts. She resumed her schoolgirl pin as she jerked Juno's arms up over her head and leaned over and placed her hard, erect nipples within inches of Juno's frowning face.
"Face it, Juno. You're lookin' at Numero Uno," Helen laughed.
Just at that second, a loud sound from inside the complex reminded Helen there was more work to be done. She got off of Juno and ran toward the front door to the complex, leaving Juno sprawled on her back in the front yard, beaten, battered but still breathing, Cameron remembered that this was just as 'True Lies I' had ended.
Dana Tasker had a problem. She standing on the first floor of the hideout, but her Dad and Bianca were eight stories up and the power to the elevator was off. Fortunately for Dana, Juno always kept a few hand grenades around. After a frantic search , she found them and, acting without thinking, she reached back and, just like in the back yard football games with Dad, Dana launched a perfect strike on to the eighth floor balcony. The ensuing explosion sent Bianca flying backward on impact. The redhead now had a soot-covered face and much faster heart rate. Fortunately, Harry was unhurt by the blast as the bomb landed more than 50 feet from his cage. As Helen raced into the compound, Bianca realized that her partner in crime Juno must be out of action. It was two against one!
Bianca restored the power to the elevator so that she could move up one floor to the roof. There, she had prepared a parachute for just such an eventuality. Unfortunately, however, Bianca couldn't shut down the elevator from the roof so the Tasker women now had a way to get to Harry. Bianca figured that by the time they reached Harry and freed him, she'd have enough time to escape. The Taskers called the elevator and rode it back up to the eighth floor as fast as they could. While Helen raced to release Harry, Dana ran up the stairs to the roof to deal with Bianca. [Don't ask, it's a movie!]
Dana found the villainous redhead still struggling into her parachute harness. Approaching from behind, Dana put a muddy print from her Timberland boot in the small of Bianca's back. Bianca stumbled, but quickly righted herself and returned the favor, landing a perfectly executed spin kick to Dana's face. After a brief, but fierce struggle, both women were bleeding from the mouth and nose. Then, Dana caught Bianca in an awkward crouch near the edge of the roof. Summoning all the strength that she had left, remembering the devastating spinning 180 degree kick she'd perfected in the gym the night before, Dana drove her boot into the bridge of Bianca's nose. The impact knocked the big redhead against the wall. As she bounced forward involuntarily, Bianca was met by a two footed kick to the chin, that lifted her over the wall and down to a well deserved death 90 feet below. The kick knocked Bianca out cold and there was no way she could pull the ripcord.
Of course, the crew had a safety net waiting so Angie Everhart was safe, but Bianca was history!
Meanwhile, as Helen tried to figure out how to free Harry, she forgot that she had come to free him while still topless. Harry was now even more motivated to be free from the cage those bitches had forced him to live in for a week. He told Helen that Juno kept a powerful laser gun in her makeup vanity, or so he'd heard Bianca mention. Helen took the elevator back down to the first floor dressing room where Juno's vanity was.
Bianca's body had landed on the lawn only a few feet from where Juno had been lying, dazed, confused and stripped naked. The impact shook her out of her semi-consciousness and, as she looked angrily at her dead associates crumpled body, Juno found her second wind. Scrambling to her feet, Juno made her way back into the compound. On the way, she stopped and pulled Max's revolver from it's holster beneath his coat. Now, it was time for Juno to take her revenge on the Tasker family.
Dana, meanwhile, took the elevator from the roof back down to the eighth floor to look for her parents. When she greeted Harry, the first thing the teenager did was whine that she was dying of hunger; "Mom never lets me eat when we're slogging through swamps or climbing walls looking for you, dad."
Harry pointed to the remaining slices of Bianca's pizza and wisecracked, "I'm sure she would've wanted you to have them."
"Where's Mom?" Dana suddenly asked as she stuffed a piece of pizza in her mouth.
"Oh, she went downstairs to Juno's dressing room to get her laser gun," he grinned proudly.
Then, as the father and daughter peered down from the balcony, they saw Juno, slowly limping toward the dressing room carrying the revolver menacingly.
"Hey, loser," Dana shouted down from 80 feet above. "With a body like that, I see why you would be in a hurry to get to your dressing room!"
Juno angrily whirled and fired off two shots in the direction of the voice as Dana and Harry ducked back chuckling at Kirsten's great ad-lib line.
Helen, of course, heard the commotion outside. She'd searched almost every drawer in the room, throwing Juno's cosmetics, lingerie and underwear all over the floor as Hollywood custom dictated whenever a place was being searched for a laser gun. When Helen looked up, she saw Juno in the doorway holding her pistol. Juno fired off two shots that barely missed the quickly crouching Helen.
Neither woman heard the sound of the elevator carrying Dana Tasker down to the first floor where she knew she could find another grenade. With the grenade in hand, Dana headed for the dressing room where she shrieked at Juno. The villainess spun toward her summoning a strength that only adrenaline could provide, and squeezed off a shot before the younger girl could remove the pin. The shot was not fatal, but Juno turned back toward Helen and smiled cruelly as she considered the joy that finishing off Dana in Helen's presence would bring her.
What Juno couldn't know was that in the brief seconds she was distracted, Helen had found the laser gun. She wasn't sure how it worked, but she had an idea. Her instinct was right. The lever she pulled released a blinding and an instantly lethal ray that Helen had inadvertently pointed directly at Juno's pubic area. The ray burned a hole three inches in diameter clear through her astonished enemy.
Juno's earlier applied perfume now filled the room with a strange, sweet aroma as it reacted to the heat of the lasert. At precisely the same moment, from just inches behind Juno, the concussion of a hand grenade rocked the room. Neither Tasker woman ever knew for certain what had killed her, but there was no doubting that Juno was no longer a problem.
After they collected themselves, looking with pride and relief at the charred corpse at their feet, they wasted no time getting back to the eighth floor and applying the laser's power to the lock on Harry's cage. They sped out of the compound and found a confused, but otherwise sound Max near Juno's limo. Harry suggested that Max might want to look for a new employer and, that if he drove them to the nearest motel, he'd give him a letter of recommendation.
As the limo prepared to leave, Max decided to speak up. "I
know it's really none of my business, but if you plan to check
into a hotel, it might not be smart for the lady to go into the
In all the excitement and confusion, it had escaped everyone else'
notice that Helen was still walking around topless. Everyone had
a big laugh, and as Max moved the limo around the circular drive,
he stopped near the place Helen had left her T shirt and baseball
jacket during the fight. She got properly dressed then hesitated,
and walked over to the wreck of the gold evening gown she had
torn off Juno's body and the purse that had been left nearby.
She picked up both triumphantly, and sat back down in the back
seat to the sound of joyful applause.
She looked at the gorgeous gown, then at Harry and Dana, "I
can't help it. I guess I'm just the sentimental type, collecting
mementos wherever I go,, she deadpanned. Then a great idea struck
her. "Oh Max, we really don't have any money to pay you,
but I've got an idea".
She reached into the purse and pulled out a Gold American Express
card issued to Juno Skinner and handed it to Max.
"Hey, there's an unlimited credit line, and I'm guessing
it may be a while before the card is reported missing," she
Max humbly accepted the card, and began imagining what he might
like to buy in the next 24 hours.
It would now be up to Cameron and his team to supply the special
effects required to properly dramatize Juno's final demise. The
laser gun and grenade, after all, were just expensive props. Angie
and Tia were still quite alive, although Tia, in particular, had
a swollen face thanks to Jamie Lee's 'spelling lesson' on the
lawn. She took a fistful of Advil before making her appearance
at the wrap party.
The party was lively. Cameron couldn't have been happier about
how well his gamble -- the unscripted ending -- had worked out,
and how well the actresses, particularly Jamie Lee, had responded.
Evry member of the crew, from makeup artists to gaffers, personally
thanked Jamie for fulfilling everyone's fondest wish -- to witness
arrogant Tia's humiliation.
As the party moved into full swing, Tia and Angie showed up in
drop dead gorgeous pant suits, looking no worse for the wear.
And as they made the rounds, it was clear that they planned to
be the same conceited, sullen frauds they had been throughout
Cameron had finally had enough of these two trying to bring the
party down. He stepped right in front of Tia.
"Everyone on this set saw what happened today. In case you
hadn't noticed, Jamie Lee gave us a thoroughly professional performance
today. She outclassed you in every way possible. She was faster,
stronger, smarter, wittier, cuter.. I could go on. And I know
I speak for every man here, when she pull of that shirt and compared
her breasts with your sorry pair...Believe me, it was unanimous."
A cheer of approval rang through the party as men pumped their
fists into the air in support of Cameron.
"So, you see, Tia, after the total ass-kicking Jamie Lee
gave you, you have only one thing left to lose".
"What's that?" asked Tia sullenly.
"My phone number. Your next feature film will be "Wayne
and Garth's Assisted Living Center Party". Now, if you don't
leave I may be forced to ask Ms. Curtis to escort you out."
Tia took the hint.
"And take that oxygen-wasting redhead with you", added
Arnold from across the room.
In all the excitement and confusion, it had escaped everyone else' notice that Helen was still walking around topless. Everyone had a big laugh, and as Max moved the limo around the circular drive, he stopped near the place Helen had left her T shirt and baseball jacket during the fight. She got properly dressed then hesitated, and walked over to the wreck of the gold evening gown she had torn off Juno's body and the purse that had been left nearby. She picked up both triumphantly, and sat back down in the back seat to the sound of joyful applause.
She looked at the gorgeous gown, then at Harry and Dana, "I can't help it. I guess I'm just the sentimental type, collecting mementos wherever I go,, she deadpanned. Then a great idea struck her. "Oh Max, we really don't have any money to pay you, but I've got an idea".
She reached into the purse and pulled out a Gold American Express card issued to Juno Skinner and handed it to Max.
"Hey, there's an unlimited credit line, and I'm guessing it may be a while before the card is reported missing," she said sarcastically.
Max humbly accepted the card, and began imagining what he might like to buy in the next 24 hours.
It would now be up to Cameron and his team to supply the special effects required to properly dramatize Juno's final demise. The laser gun and grenade, after all, were just expensive props. Angie and Tia were still quite alive, although Tia, in particular, had a swollen face thanks to Jamie Lee's 'spelling lesson' on the lawn. She took a fistful of Advil before making her appearance at the wrap party.
The party was lively. Cameron couldn't have been happier about how well his gamble -- the unscripted ending -- had worked out, and how well the actresses, particularly Jamie Lee, had responded. Evry member of the crew, from makeup artists to gaffers, personally thanked Jamie for fulfilling everyone's fondest wish -- to witness arrogant Tia's humiliation.
As the party moved into full swing, Tia and Angie showed up in drop dead gorgeous pant suits, looking no worse for the wear. And as they made the rounds, it was clear that they planned to be the same conceited, sullen frauds they had been throughout the shooting.
Cameron had finally had enough of these two trying to bring the party down. He stepped right in front of Tia.
"Everyone on this set saw what happened today. In case you hadn't noticed, Jamie Lee gave us a thoroughly professional performance today. She outclassed you in every way possible. She was faster, stronger, smarter, wittier, cuter.. I could go on. And I know I speak for every man here, when she pull of that shirt and compared her breasts with your sorry pair...Believe me, it was unanimous." A cheer of approval rang through the party as men pumped their fists into the air in support of Cameron.
"So, you see, Tia, after the total ass-kicking Jamie Lee gave you, you have only one thing left to lose".
"What's that?" asked Tia sullenly.
"My phone number. Your next feature film will be "Wayne and Garth's Assisted Living Center Party". Now, if you don't leave I may be forced to ask Ms. Curtis to escort you out."
Tia took the hint.
"And take that oxygen-wasting redhead with you", added Arnold from across the room.