Ten Questions for a Character: Lucas from “The Professional”
Winter, Ten Years Ago
It depends on what that means. Do I get along with women? Yes. Do I use persuasion to manipulate them? No. I get along with women because I appreciate the feminine without objectification and with all respect.
2. What would you say to those who feel that a woman shouldn’t have to pay a man for sex?
I’d say they’re right. If all a woman wants is sex she can walk out her door and within an hour be back in her bedroom with some random stranger, having sex. But having good sex, or drama free sex, or an experience in which she can celebrate her body and celebrate being a woman with someone without feeling used—that’s not so easy to do. You can eat rice cakes all day and you’ll fulfill your hunger, but at some point you’re going to want something more satisfying to the pallet, and you’re going to need real nourishment. Straight sex has its place, but sometimes we need more. We need that nourishment.
3. What’s the most flattering compliment a woman ever paid you?
That’s an interesting question. I think it depends on where I was in my life; at my degree of maturity at the time. If I split the difference between my beginning and now, I’d say it was someone who told me after that fact that it was the first time in her life she felt she didn’t need any more, that her body was done. She was a divorcee who’d been married for many years, but hadn’t had that experience. So money aside, I was pleased that I could do that for her.
4. Let’s talk about a couple of acquaintances in your life. Roberta Moretti went from being your lover to being something of a mother figure for you. Did you find that an awkward transition?
Even though we’re close, Roberta was never a lover or mother figure to me. She was my mentor and I was her apprentice. She saw me as a business opportunity, and so invested her knowledge in me. We both got paid.
5. You’ve said that Olivia Bettencourt is the only woman you know that can get it for free. Why is that?
Olivia and I are very much alike, but we’re also opposites. From the moment we met we were destined to either become the worst of enemies or the best of friends. It worked out to be a lifelong friendship. What I admire and respect about Olivia is that she recognizes the true power of her womanhood. If you’re a man, she already knows you want her so flattery will get you nowhere, especially if she smells disingenuous adulation. No, you’d better come at her with something else, if you’ve got it. If you don’t then don’t waste her time.
When I met Olivia I think we wanted to prove to each other which of us was really worth the price of admission. So we took the battle to the bedroom. What we found out was that with each other we could just be ourselves. There was no need to always be on, to always be performing. So rather than a battlefield, our coming together became a place we could find peace. That’s what cemented our friendship. We could go for years without seeing each other, and when we do, it’s as if our last intimacy was yesterday and we don’t need preamble to start up again. That’s the kind of friends we are.
6. Is Olivia why you’re here in France right now?
Olivia has a place in Paris. She gave me a call, said she was bored. I needed a vacation. The timing worked out.
7. You present yourself as this suave kind of guy, always unaffected. What touches your heart?
When I think about where I’ve come from, I’m always affected. I think about the two women who raised me—my mother and my aunt—and I am eternally grateful for their love and sacrifice on my behalf. Whenever I reflect on how neither woman lived to see forty years old it crushes my heart. I wish they’d had longer lives so that whatever it is I might have attained in my life, I could have shared with them.
8. Do you ever see yourself retiring from your profession?
Of course I’ll get out of the business. At this point in my life it’s no longer about money. I’m in control of when I work and I can select my clients. I do it now because I enjoy the company of women, and their pleasure is my pleasure. So at some point I’ll pull payment out of the equation.
9. So you’ll settle down with someone?
I won’t say never, but that would take a very special woman. By that I don’t mean special to the world; my arrogance doesn’t run that way. If I meet someone who is special to me that way, it won’t matter what the world thinks.
10. What advice would you give young men on how to treat women?
Always treat a woman like a lady. If her actions show that she doesn’t deserve such treatment, don’t push back; walk away and find yourself a lady. And, pay attention to the woman in front of you. If she knows she’s your priority she just might make you hers.