The Book of Days

In October of last year, I worked on a movie which was code-named Boise. This movie carries a very important distinction in my career history: it’s the first lead I’ve had in ages, and it’s the first movie I’ve done since deciding to focus more on writing and my family than acting and the hollow pursuit of fame. It was very strange, but not unwelcome, when I dug my actor pants out from under the bed and put them back on. Initially, they weren’t very comfortable, but they did feel familiar, and when I got used to them again, I decided that I’d never be able to fully take them off — I feel incredibly naked without them.
Wow. That was an extended metaphor from hell.
Anyway, I was really happy with the work I did. My satisfaction on the set, was matched by the joy and satisfaction I took in writing about my experiences on the set each day. Everyone who reads this lame website has been so supportive, and ridden the violent ups and downs with me for so long . . . I felt like something good had finally happened, and I really enjoyed sharing those experiences with you. (If you want to relive it, follow that link, and click the >> to get to the next day’s entry.)
Tomorrow night, the movie will air on the PAX network, and we get to see if the work I did on the set translates to the screen.
Before one of my projects is released, I’m always apprehensive — I feel unsure about how the music is going to play, how the director cut the scenes together, things like that. I also feel apprehensive about my performance. Will the audience see what I intended? Will I get caught “acting?” I don’t feel all that apprehensive about this project, which is surprising and rewarding. I feel very confident in the work I did on the day. I’m sure I’ll find things in my performance that I don’t like, and I bet many of the things I find will be found only by me. Some people say that I’m ripping myself off when I do that, but if I don’t look for those flaws, I never improve.
My gut feeling on this film is that it’s going to be pretty good. It’s not going to be spectacular –there’s some badly written courtroom drama in the middle, where I think it really slows down — but I think audiences will enjoy it.
They’re calling it The Book of Days. Check your local listings for details.

192 thoughts on “The Book of Days”

  1. D’oh! What a stupid time to be on the wrong side of the Atlantic! I’m pretty sure that Sky doesn’t carry PAX, but a quick tip for British monkeys: The one channel here in Merrie Olde England that it’d be most likely to be on is the Hallmark Channel (which *is* on Sky!) Hopefully soon…

  2. Another dissapointed Candian here. No Uncle Willy for me. Will have to wait for it to show up on CITY TV on a Sunday afternoon in a couple years. Or perhaps fox will pick it up to run with craftmatic bed commercials and I can watch it on the Buffalo affiliate. :(

  3. I, too, shall be watching!
    In fact, it may be the first time ever that I watch something on PAX. 😉

  4. My DVR is set. I’m skipping my weekly viewing of “Cook’s Tour” to record this, so it better be good. :p
    The synopsis sounds interesting. I know others have already posted it, but here’s what my listing says: “A courier gives an insurance agent a mystifying book that lists the dates of when people will die.”

  5. I tried to post yesterday, but once again, I have AOL and this site wouldn’t let me.
    Hey, I didn’t even know that I had the PAX channel until I used the search engine at TV Guide online for The Book of Days! It’s on channel 31 where I live in NJ at 8:00PM. I’ll be watching!
    Don’t be nervous, Wil. I’m sure it’ll be great! :-)

  6. Damn, no PAX and I can’t get anyone to tape it for me! Can someone post it up on the net so I can download it?
    Scott M

  7. “Book Of Days” does not show in Memphis tonight, it is replaced by NBA basketball, New York Knicks & Memphis Grizzlies at Memphis.

  8. Right on Wil! Finally we will be able to see actual proof that you were making a movie and not just haning’in out with the “Chef” this whole time.
    Looking forward to seeing the movie…. keep up the good work!

  9. Wil,
    It must be strange to see how the movie will turn out. I mean, you were just one of the lead characters. Eventhough you worked in it , you will be seeing it for the first time too. I’m sure it will turn out fine.

  10. OMFG! Wil in a suit! That is just too cool! You know, I have to admit, I’ve never seen you in a suit. Well, not a normal present day business suit. That “spacesuit” really doesn’t count I suppose.
    Heh. I’ve only seen the first half hour so far, but your performance has been damned good to this point. I was impressed in the first few scenes. I know that crying on camera has never been your favorite thing to portray, but the the tears looked pretty darn real! IF you managed to muster the real thing up, that just proves how good of an actor you are. If they had to use onion juice or whatever they use, well, the thought of that alone would be enough to bring me to tears.
    I know you won’t read this before the flick is done, which is cool, but if the first few scenes can be taken as an example of the rest of the movie, all I can say is damned good job man, *damned* good!
    Incidently, I had the choice tonight, between watching 4 episodes of TNG or this movie. I think by this post it is obvious which the winner was :)
    One last thing, your costar is a cutie ;}

  11. OK, we’re getting close to halfway through, and I am *quite* enjoying the movie. And I think your acting pants are fitting just fine–I’ve actually been able to forget I’m watching Wil Wheaton for fairly long stretches at a time. Then the way you utter some line sounds just so “Wil”, and I get kicked back to reality :-)
    But it’s driving me crazy who the actress playing the nun is. I’ll have to look it up later.

  12. I just turned on the TV so I’ve missed most of the Book of Days. But Wil, you’re really cute! I love the short hair. And such pretty eyes… Seeing you again on the television makes me miss Wesley. Nice job, Wil.

  13. Okay, I feel bad now Wil. I referred to your long-time friend Maureen Flannigan as “your costar” in my earlier post. My apologies! That was not a nice thing for me to do.
    Feel free to scold me as you see fit…
    Anyway it is cool that two real-life friends got the chance to work together. The two of you really hit the mark in this film. Kudos to the both of you!

  14. Wil,
    Just finished watching the movie. It was really, really a nice movie… take that as a compliment. I like really nice movies! I hope you make more!
    Sharon C

  15. Great job Wil! Richard Grieco was another matter, however. I have rarely seen a worse performance. Being a criminal defense attorney myself, it is utterly inconceivable that an elected D.A. would look or act like he did in the movie. D.A.’s are not supposed to look cool, they are supposed to be dull and boring and mean. It wasn’t just his looks, though, he is just a bad actor, period.
    Thank goodness you and Maureen were in this movie, Wil. Otherwise, it might have been killed by Grieco. I consider this a triumph for you, Wil. Good job.

  16. OK, I cried. And I’m not quite the type to cry at the drop of a hat. The birth scene especially got me as I went through a difficult labor with my now one-year-old, but I was also crying when your character was trying to finish what he’d started (don’t want to spoil anything for those who taped it or otherwise haven’t seen).
    Great job, Wil. Kudos all around to you, your fellow actors, and the writer, etc.
    “Kindergarten Cop”! Pamela Reed! That’s where I knew her face! I can now rest easy :-)

  17. That was a great episode of the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits/Amazing Stories.
    Really hope it gets you more work.

  18. I just finished watching the movie. It was great. Wil, you did a fabulous job. You had nothing to be worried about. By the end, I’ll even admit that I had a tear in my eye. The movie did give me a chance to think. None of us know when our time, or the time of a loved one, is up. We should cherish every moment we have with them and have no regrets. Live life to the fullest everyday and accomplish everything that we set out to do. We are all here for a specific reason, otherwise, I should have been dead a long time ago, find out why and work to achieve it. In closing, I’m going to be a complete Trekkie-geek and quote Patrick Stewart because I think it fits. “Time is a companion that goes with us on the journey. It reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived it. After all…we’re only mortal.”

  19. My SO always teases me for reading WWDN and makes snide remarks about Wil Wheaton being “your little boyfriend”. (What can I say, SO is not the most mature person on the planet, neither am I) So I was surprised when I walked in at 8:05 tonight and SO was watching Book of Days. We watched it together and enjoyed the show. :)

  20. Sorry for hording space here Wil, this being my third post in the last hour…. but:
    “My gut feeling on this film is that it’s going to be pretty good”
    You have a gift for understatement, Wil. It was more than just “pretty good”. I think it was damned good! Hella hella good!!!
    You can’t see this, but I am giving you and Maureen and everyone else a standing ovation. Bravo!

    I must say that after watching the movie and having just watched the whole first season of star trek on dvd i am happy to see that the talent and potential you showed then has really evolved very well.
    you have a very natural disamrin and charming quality to your acting. The very thing that made you so “cute” in your work on TNG has made for a very interesting quality in you as an adult actor.
    There were moments of true effortlessness were i truely forgot that i was watching wil wheaton the guys who’s blogging i’ve followed since i first heard about it almost a year and half ago.
    some of the most subtle points in the movie made me realize how much of yourself you put into the roles.
    the end when you look up at the actress who plays your wife and say nothing summed up so eloquently all the love and appreciation that your character felt for her and the chance he now had at a life with her.
    I truely congratualte you. Its was an enjoyable movie and you carried the lead of it very well.
    I can now understand the sort of physcological challenge it must have posed to play the part of a man with knowledge of life and death,
    not an easy feat.
    On another note your chemistry with the cast was very good, you and Issac Hayes looked well together on camera ( a comment speaking as a photographer)
    I hope the movie does well ratings wise and that it opens the door for more acting work…correction not just acting work but challenging roles that really allow you to felx that acting muscle.
    I was sorry to hear about I, robot being a fan of asimov i would have loved to see you in that role.
    I think you would have done well in it aswell for many reasons.
    alas this has gone on a bit long so i’ll wrap it up.
    goodluck and bestwishes.
    Luis Sosa

  22. I want to tell you, Wil, that I was totally drawn in by the movie – it was excellent! You and Maureen were spectacular; the scene where she admitted her love for Danny had me in tears. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing you again on the screen, and the biggest compliment of them all is that I quickly was enrolled in watching Danny, not Wil. Wonderful! Thanks so much.

  23. Wil…..What cant I say………..I laughed, I cried, I peeeeeed my pants! Two thumbs up from me great job!!! You had to like making that movie(that lady was pretty hot I think!). Anyways nice job proud of ya!

  24. I was flipping channels, saw the movie. The topic intrigued me. About half way through I recognized Wil Wheaton, an actor I have admired for his talents, and it made it more special. I thoroughly loved the movie, the message and the acting was great. Great work!

  25. Wil,
    I must commend you for the wonderful job you did in the movie. If the “Powers That Be” in LA don’t respond favorably to this movie, then, they don’t know what acting is. You carried a leading role against other fine actors and got the job done.

  26. I posted in the thread WWDN too, but I wanted make sure :) You were wonderful, Wil! It doesn’t even seem like you ever left acting… you are just a natural and true on screen as you ever where, and it’s nice to see you back!!
    I hope that this opens the door for many more opportunities! Lots of love, Wil!

  27. Okay, I’m definitely not a “fanboy” so here’s a little honest criticism of the film. There was not enough development of the relationship between Danny and the doomed wifey (although she was awful cute – maybe a bit much so). The opening was rushed and I felt nothing when Mr. Drunk plowed into the newlyweds. Since I felt no emotional impact from the crash, it was hard to identify with Danny’s subsequent tear-squeezing. Another byproduct of the rush to tragedy was that it occurred before I had time to get over the “Hey, it’s Wesley Crusher!” aspect of the film. The rest of the story flowed pretty well from my perspective – possibly helped along by liberal consumption of Guinness. “Wesley” eventually transmogrified into “Danny” and I was able to experience the story without focusing on Wil the actor. The story was compelling and, in the end, I cried (again, possibly related to alcohol consumption). Hope this leads to bigger and better things. I keep thinking of John Travolta and his years of post-Kotter obscurity before finally bursting onto the scene as an “adult” actor. With any luck, your’s will be a similar fate.

  28. Wil, dude, they spelled your name wrong in the credits!!!! What’s up with that?
    Good job in the movie, though. The directing left a little to be desired but you and Maureen were excellent.

  29. Wil! I thought you did a jolly good job on the movie. It was great to see you acting – you do such a wonderful job. Gush, gush. The good chemistry totally showed on screen, too.
    You definitely succeed at the things you set out to do: the acting, the writing, the being a general nifty person. Much luck and happiness for you in the future. You rock, Wil.

  30. Wil:
    Just watched The Book of Days. I want you to know that i hardly ever watch Pax. I’m out in an area that doesnt get cable, and i dont like Sat. TV, so I only have what my antena can pick up, and one of those 5 chanels is Pax.
    Dude… You Rock! The show was awsome. I hope the director of I Robot watched the show, and changes his mind.

  31. Okay Uncle Wil’ly, here it goes. As I missed the first 1/2hr of it, I will give you my thoughts on what I saw.
    Not bad, my man. Your warning that the courtroom drama was a bit overplayed was right on, until the end. The last portion of that courtroom sequence was slammin though. An added plus was the way your character reacted and tried to save the pregnant lady. It was rough to watch and I felt for him. If my wife had seen that, she’d be a crying mess all night long. Luckily, it was just me here, sobbing like a little girl with a skinned knee. (Don’t tell anyone I said that) Anyway, the rest of the actors were great. The judge played out well, as did the character played by Isaac Hayes. Also, that closing monologue/voice-over about him taking your place was powerful. Pretty moving stuff. (Sniff-sniff. Dammit. There I go again) Anyway, since I am not an actor yet (I am headed to Santa Fe in the morning to try to be an extra in Ron Howard’s new western flick), I won’t criticize your or any of the other actors. Kick ass job, bro. To you and all the others from that film.
    Peace, love and Cheez-whiz,

  32. Go you. Not bad at all… the editing was a bit clipped in places, causing your emotional reactions to be a little erratic, but I thought the performance was excellent.

  33. Whatthehell? I set up my DigitalVCR to record the movie tonight while I was out, even checked to make sure I got the time and channel number right, and instead of your movie, they had on some ancient black and white movie I’ve never even heard of. I was really looking forward to seeing it, too. Hope they do an encore presentation of it so I can catch it then.

  34. Wil, just saw the movie. I was truly into the story of the movie which was done by some great performances, and I liked the story. On a more comical moment, I had to laugh every time you said fricken, haha how times was that now. I know a clean cut pax show, but still had to laugh. I did love it though, and by the end of the movie I new The Chef’s character was going to sacrifice himself………..what a great story! I watched it at work with some of my co-workers (I work ambulance duty so we can watch tv at work and get paid for it, haha) and it led to a big discussion if we would want to know if we were dying. The consenses, possible knowing we would die years from now, but not the exact date. Awesome job will, it took me a bit to put you into that role but once I did I loved it and thought you did a fabulous job. Congrats! Be proud of your work!

  35. just finished watching Wil bust it out on pax (alright, i missed the first half hour- but it was TNG on TNT!!). I must say Wil, your performance was very good, as well as the performances of your costars (quote from my brother- “Oh my friggin gosh! It’s CHEF!!”). The acting pants must be fitting quite well now, because your performance was very nice. the only bit of criticism i have isn’t even for you, but for….whoever this applies to…(i know, my extensive knowledge of the business is amazing)- I, personally, didn’t like the soundtrack of the movie. I felt that the music didn’t really go with some of the scenes that it played under. just my opinion though. thought you were good.

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