Hollywood Movie Producer Tweets Saga of Calming Crazy Passenger on Flight

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Mark Mainz / Getty Images

Cassian Elwes of William Morris Agency stands outside during the 2005 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Cassian Elwes, a onetime Hollywood agent and the executive producer of the forthcoming film Lawless, never expected to have to take the law into his own hands.

On the evening of Aug. 19, Elwes boarded a Sunday night flight on JetBlue airways from New York to Los Angeles. The flight was diverted to Denver for what JetBlue told Denver’s 7NEWS that it was just a “customer service issue” — but Elwes had a darker story to tell.

In a series of harrowing tweets, Elwes detailed a flight that read like a movie thriller script: a disgruntled veteran, a brave citizen, dozens of innocent bystanders and an emergency landing.

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When Elwes boarded the plane, he told his followers, he found an irritable, burly man settled down in the window seat he’d reserved; when Elwes asked him to move, he received an expletive-laced tirade in reply. After taking a seat in the row behind the man, whom Elwes described as a “youngish looking guy maybe late 20’s( turned out he was 32) quite burly white crew cut lots of tatoos” [sic], he noticed the seat-stealer — whom he dubbed “Hoodie” after his baggy sweatshirt — couldn’t seem to stay put.

When he returned to his seat, his behavior turned markedly stranger.

“He starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper,” Elwes tweeted. “Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini tv in front of him.” The Japanese couple sitting in the two seats next to the man proceeded to vacate their seats and went to stand in the back of the completely full flight. After the 53-year-old Elwes made a futile effort to get the on-board air marshal to deal with the man, he took the seat next to him.

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Elwes was able to charm the man, who said his name was Marco and that he was on his way to Los Angeles to “work on a commercial doing construction.” After the ice was broken, the intimate personal details started to emerge.

Marco, who claimed to be a Marine veteran, allegedly asked Elwes to read his movie script. But Marco seemed unconvinced that Elwes will actually reach out.

Upon landing in Denver, Marco is ushered off the plane and arrested.

Elwes hung around to complete the NYPd’s witness paperwork, as did a woman who claims Marco groped her on board. After a nearly two-hour delay in Denver, according to FlightAware, the plane was en route to LAX, and Elwes is left to collect his thoughts. The flight lands after 2 a.m. local time in Los Angeles, but expectedly, Elwes’ mind is racing. He pondered the effects of war on our veterans after discovering the pills Marco dropped were prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and anxiety. Despite his insomnia, Elwes was far from enraged about the incident. Instead, he took a markedly pensive tone, trying to make sense of the troubles the man faced.

Removed from the incident and safely grounded, Elwes concedes in the end that Marco wasn’t all that tricky to deal with.

An apt warning indeed to all aspiring Hollywood agents.

Read the entire stream of Elwes’ tweets here.
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