We have all been in a moment where we wanted to say what we were thinking, but put on a filter so that it came out nicer, more polite, or maybe even said something completely different. Unless you are just a blunt person in general, it takes a really ridiculously insane situation to bring the harsh truth out. What comes to mind when the words “Entitled Drama Queen” come up? Whatever image you have in your head, keep that in mind when you read further. This was one woman who took that title very seriously. And then she took it way too far.
From bluffing her way into a job to playing the victim at every threat to her illusion, “Molly” was a force to be reckoned with. She was a con-woman at best but once exposed, everyone saw how revolting she really was. After all, the name Molly means, “unfortunate, or ill-fated.” It was practically her destiny to get caught in her conniving acts. And it is even more hilarious because Molly was a self-proclaimed actress. Too bad she couldn't act.
Once upon a time, “Ronnie,” a budding screenwriter, decided to move forward with producing his first screenplay. It was a murder mystery and he was excited to finally get his step into the film industry. His screenplay had been picked up by a film producer, “Tom,” and director, “Jim.” Things seemed to be coming together. Ronnie had a mentor, “Judy” who was pure “gold, a wonderful person” and had connected him with an actress who claimed 20 plus years of acting experience. This woman was blue-eyed, blonde, mid-forties, white, and appeared to be a great fit for a small part in the film. A small part, with big conflicts. This is important to note since it all went downhill so fast.
It turned out that Molly was not the perfect actress that she put herself out to be. She was actually more of “a spoiled toddler trapped in a 40-something woman's body.” Ronnie had worked immensely hard on his work and his screenplay had been copyrighted for over six months. This was crucial. His work was legally his, and only his. Since Judy had previous experience with Molly, Ronnie “trusted [her] judgment.” So he “messaged Molly and sent her the entire script.” Warning to any who are new in the film industry, “never send your entire script.” Ronnie definitely had to learn a few lessons after meeting Molly and this was just the beginning. At first, Molly “seemed quite lovely.” She became Ronnie’s “go-to confidant.” Ronnie didn’t realize it, but “as Molly and [he] grew closer, Judy and [he] grew further apart.”
As the good people got further away from him, Molly became more comfortable. She even went as far as to ask “if [he] needed [his] script proofread.” Ronnie assured her there was no need since the piece was already copyrighted. Molly was not having it and “practically begged” to help. Ronnie made sure to explain she wasn’t being paid for this and there was absolutely no need for this. He was confused. Why was she so concerned with the script?
Everything became clear when Judy called Ronnie about a week later. Judy wanted to know why “Molly was now claiming she was the co-writer of [the] script.” Ronnie was shocked. How was this possible? After getting over the initial shock, Ronnie called Molly to get some answers. He brought it up right away, but she was skirting around the issue. So he tried to bluff and told Molly multiple people had told him about this problem. And then it all finally started coming to the surface.
Molly didn’t start off strong, saying, “Well, I did help you correct everything.”
Ronnie kept his calm and said, “Volunteering to copy edit my script does not make you the co-writer. You did a poor job, by the way. My work was already copyright protected in my name six months before I met you. This constitutes plagiarism.”
She immediately became defensive, “No, it doesn't!“ She paused then, “What's plagiarism?”
Ronnie quipped, “Look it up. Delete your copy of the script right now. You will only get a new one when and if I choose to cast you.”
Molly was angry when Ronnie ended the call, but he didn’t think much about it right away. Although, he wished he had considered the fact that she might have wanted payback.
It all happened so quickly. Even though he thought the problem had been addressed with that phone call, he was soon proved wrong. While he was over at Molly’s he spotted his script on her laptop! He immediately deleted it permanently. But Molly was quick and convinced another cast member to send her a copy of the script. She had enough time to complete a “whole illegal rewrite” and proceeded to claim she was the sole writer and also placed herself in the starring role. By the time Ronnie found out what she had been doing, he was furious, but also knew that there was no way she could get away with it in the end. Firstly, his work was copyrighted. Secondly, the lead role was for a Puerto Rican woman, and Molly was nowhere near that physical description. Also, Molly was an awful writer and it was clear whose copy was the real deal. Although she claimed to have a college degree, it seemed more like she dropped out before learning any grammar at all. Everything about Molly seemed like a lie. Most definitely her entire resume was false.
Unfortunately, a good samaritan actress named, “Lana” was still under Molly’s spell. She had highly recommended her to Jim, who was the film director. Suddenly Molly was very involved and had too much power. “Molly's entitlement and complete lack of professionalism was duly noted by Jim.” However, he tolerated her. Why? Somehow she had convinced him she was the “writer” and was Lana’s friend. Ronnie found out from Jim later on that he was against Molly’s involvement, but was waiting until she “failed her audition.” That would be the perfect time to get rid of her without making it seem personal. But it was way more personal than Jim knew at that time. However, in the meantime, this meant Lana was in charge of reigning Molly in all while under Molly’s firm grip, “as she excelled at emotional manipulation and tugged at people's heartstrings to get her way.” Other than what she had done to Ronnie, Molly was digging her grave on the front lines. She was claiming “the second coming of Meryl Streep” and throwing around the stolen script as if she was the best writer of all time. “Her narcissism had reached new heights,” and “Jim was quickly losing his patience.”
Ronnie found out that Molly had stolen his script and was knee-deep where he should have been. He tried to consult Judy, but she “hated conflict” and was already washing her hands of the situation. Ronnie was left alone, to fight against the beast (that’s Molly).
Ronnie had to make the hard decision about what to do. Should he give up on the project altogether? It was a huge mess at this point. But he knew he held something that would be the end of Molly’s power-hungry crusade: the copyright certificate. Why he didn’t bring this out right away we shall never know.
Since Ronnie was still somehow involved in the project (and watching Molly destroy his hopes and dreams) he received an email about “a copy of the conceptual video done” that was for the screenplay, from a “Don” a “California based graphic web designer.” In this video, Molly was listed as writer and lead role, with Ronnie completely absent from the entire thing. Ronnie chose to give Molly a chance and messaged her to ask about it. She was clever with excuses and quickly backpedaled to say there was a mistake and she would get it all sorted out. Oh! So this was how Ronnie was still stuck! He was hopeful she wasn’t as bad as she could be. Big mistake Ronnie. Molly said she just had “no time” to “get [Ronnie] involved.” This was a ridiculous response since she had Don, “flown in from across the country to be the still photographer.” She just ignored his questions and moved on. Ronnie didn’t know what to do. The film industry is complicated, and he wasn’t sure how to go about getting rid of Molly while also saving the project. After all, this was his “labor of love,” his pride and joy. He was “caught between tears and rage for a while” and began to plan revenge when Molly called out of the blue. There was never a convenient time for her to call. And Ronnie did not want to give her the time of day, but he also wanted to hear what she was going to say.
Ronnie answered annoyed, “What do you want?”
Moll began with an “emotional rant as she beat around the bush in an attempt to justify her despicable, entitled behavior all the while maintaining she was just an innocent bystander yet acting guilty as sin.”
Ronnie saw right through her, “Who did you [tick] off this time?”
She said nothing, so he continued, “You overstepped your bounds again.”
There were crickets on the other line. Nothing to say, Molly? That’s a shocker!
Molly had finally overstayed her welcome with Jim and Tom, the producer when she “tried to play the big boss.” She “copped an attitude” saying “her orders were the director’s orders.” Tom went to Jim to verify this and “Jim saw red.” Molly was pushing everyone’s buttons because that was exactly who she was. This was the last button, the big red one. Because now, Jim and Tom “wanted anything to do with Molly.”
Ronnie went all in and started calling her out right away, “What right did you think you had to do that, Molly? Keep in mind, I know more than you think I do. If you lie, I will know. ”
She said the worst thing she could have at the moment, “Because I'm the co-writer.”
She really had convinced herself that she was a co-writer! Ronnie cut her down a few pegs and said, “No, you're not. I'm so sick of you saying that. It's not only untrue, it's fraud.”
Molly snapped back with, “But I made changes to it.”
“Unauthorized changes. You just admitted to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Can you bring forth documented proof that you were given permission from me to rewrite my entire script? You can't. What you did was highly unethical and illegal,” he said back.
She tried to start making excuses, but Ronnie wasn’t finished and began speaking with a more serious angry tone, “I'm speaking! You're listening. I'm not gonna keep going in circles with you on this. If I have to scan my copyright certificate and put it on the net for everyone to see, I will.”
Molly said nothing. So he “turned [his] printer/scanner on and scanned a blank document,” and “she totally freaked out when she heard it.”She didn’t catch his bluff. “She was caught in her tangled web of deception, and her brain was short-circuiting as she kept trying to come up with convincing lies.”
Ronnie went in for the gut punch and said, “You did know my work was copyright protected, didn't you? If you did and I know you did, that doesn't just make you a criminal, it makes you a stupid criminal. You knowingly committed willful copyright infringement. I have a lawyer on retainer and the means to pursue a lawsuit. Believe me, when I tell you, I have more than enough solid evidence to prove my case if I choose to sue you.”
Molly shouted, “Don't do that!”
“You're right. I'm not going to waste my time dragging you into court when the court of public opinion is so much more effective,” Ronnie stated matter-of-factly.
Molly gave a shocked, “What?”
“I have a file ten inches thick: screenshots, text messages, e-mails, all detailing the subterfuge and dubious tactics you employed to try to [trick] me out of my creative property. I also have the plagiarized hard copies containing your distinctive moniker on the title page in place of my name. All have time stamps. Add all that to my original hard copy of my script and my copyright certificate? I swear, I'll crucify you. All people have to do is [look up] your name and they see you're full of it. Being a wannabe is one thing, but you'll never be able to shake the reputation of being labeled a liar and a thief. If this gets out, you'll be unemployable. It's not like people are beating down your door with job offers. Stick a fork in you. You're done,” Ronnie said, effectively ending any argument from the thief.
When there was no response from Molly, he continued, “What? No retort? No spin doctor explanation? Go on. Lie. It's what you do best. Of course, you could always shock the [heck] out of me and give the truth a whirl.” She started a half-apology, but he wasn’t having any of it and said, “Why? Because you're wrong, because you're caught or because now everyone knows you for the scam artist that you are? Maybe all of the above. Either way, it's absolutely clear you have nothing even remotely resembling a conscience. Your pride and ego are too big to leave room for one.”
Molly said, “I really am sorry.”
“Not yet, but you will be,” Ronnie replied.
Molly was worried and said, “What are you gonna do?”
Ronnie told her she was fired, she was out of the project. And she immediately objected, claiming he couldn’t fire her. Ronnie spat back, “I'm speaking! I can do whatever I want. I own the copyright to [script name]. I'll say it again in case you weren't listening. I own the rights to [script name].”
Molly stated that she was aware of this. But this just enraged him further, “Then why did you do it?! Did you honestly think you’d get away with trying to usurp my work and turn it into your own little vanity project?“There was no chance for her to speak because he continued with, “You know what? It doesn't matter anymore. Now, starting now, your name is off of this project. That's my call. The writing credit you think you deserve because you plagiarized my script? Gone. The leading role that you retooled to fit someone of your age and appearance? Gone. The producing credit you demanded you receive for illegally rewriting my script? Gone.”
Molly had her “fake tears” going and claimed Ronnie hated her. Ronnie was not going to give in to her and said, “Spare me the crocodile tears. If you put the energy you wasted conning people into actually going out on auditions and booking jobs, you’d be a working actress right now. Instead, you're a nobody that no one wants to work with, let alone be around. You're just a bored housewife chasing a pipe dream. Make no mistake. I'm not calling you a has-been. You're a never-was.”
He tore into her with all he had, “Save your empty promises for someone who cares because I have no more [fricks] left to give. You better hope Lana can do some fancy footwork and prevent Tom and Jim from quitting. I won't blame them if they do. They're professionals.”
Ronnie went on and finally told her to just leave and never come back to the project. She didn’t belong and he had proof of her crimes.
Although everyone ended up quitting the project after the mess Molly had made, Ronnie was finally free of her. He had proved that he was the original and only legal owner of the script, but it wasn’t enough to save the project. He went on to have a career in the industry and his murder mystery will be coming to film one day. Molly didn’t quite stay out of his life entirely, but he dealt with her accordingly.
Ronnie knew that he had done the right thing by putting Molly in her place. Why he didn’t do it sooner I will never understand. In the end, it was more important that Ronnie made it out with his script and got Molly as far away from it as possible. Although people can be awful, it is always best to solve the problem at its roots. Ronnie learned not to assume people were trustworthy just based on a reference from a mentor or a friend. And he made it out and continued to do great things."