We're not intimately familiar with the work of writer-director James Toback, but the New York native's film credits are somewhat impressive. He directed Two Girls And A Guy, wrote Bugsy and is working his magic on a Mike Tyson documentary due out this fall. But he seems to have convinced at least one Brooklyn resident that he's doing a very, very poor imitation of Robert Downey Jr. in one of his other films, the Pick-Up Artist, which happens to be precisely what Spy magazine nailed Toback for in a takedown published in the late 1980s (he disputed much of the article). The resident, who has had one too many brushes with Toback writes:
...he ... approaches women on the street and lays what he must assume is an irresistible line on them: I'm a director! I will put you in my next movie! I will make you a star!
...today I was returning from a yoga class in my neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights. I was heavily laden with grocery bags and a yoga mat when a schlubby, sweaty guy fell in step with me. It was him! He even had what I'm sure was a rather musty copy of Interview with him [in which he was featured]...
...this was the SECOND time I have been approached by him. (The first time was about three years ago on the Upper West Side.)
Surely, this signals some sort of a tipping point for Mr. Tobak. Could he have finally exhausted the inventory of gullible women in Manhattan necessitating a foray across the river to Brooklyn? Where will he go next? Queens? New Jersey?
OK but so maybe, tipster, you're just Toback's type, and he has a bad memory, and that's why he's hit on you a couple of times? And what happened during this grocery walk that was so awful? Who is to say how many women, exactly, Toback is hitting on?
Our tipster is certainly under the impression it is MANY.
Are there other instances out there, or is this woman's case isolated? Our ears are open: email@example.com.
In the meantime, ladies, if you see this guy, remember: He might be able to cast you alongside Robert Downey Junior. Or at least, uh, Mike Tyson (yay?).
UPDATE: Tipster: "He came onto my ex at a bodega with the same line described, although that must have been about five years ago."
(Added mention of the Spy article to the top.)
UPDATE: "JT tried to pick me up about 5 years ago on the Upper West Side with exactly the same lines. He said he was making a movie about tennis players with Matt Damon and I would be perfect for it. He asked me to come to his edit room. He even showed me a dog-eared picture of himself on a magazine. He showed me an excerpt from a book that claimed he was one of the great Lotharios of all time. He said that he was the real writer of Bugsy and Warren Beatty didn't give him enough credit. He told me about all his wild drug use and claimed he wanted me to see him have an orgasm by just looking into his eyes."