On Monday and Tuesday, I became immortalized in cinematic history (that is, provided they don't cut it out of the film):
The movie "2 Guns" is being shot (sorry) in Amite, Louisiana. It stars lots of A-list actors. And I walk down the street in it. And cross in front of Denzel Washington.
Originally, I got on as a background driver. The crew put prop plates on my car and even a prop inspection sticker.
|Even my car was in character.|
|OK, so the plates didn't match. Put that on IMDB Goofs, why don't you?|
|Dude, it's like, the future and stuff!|
They wound up not using my car at all, though I sat in it with a walkie-talkie for several hours watching Mark Wahlberg act and stand around staring in my general direction.
Later I heard a local say about Mark, "He's as tall as that guy," referring to me, meaning he isn't tall. The next day, I got mistaken by a few people for his stand-in, which led to a mini-swarm of pictures I'm sure got deleted quickly thereafter.
Pretty much the entire town of Amite amassed around the set, taking pictures like paparazzi and doing other starstruck things I'd imagine I'd also do if I lived there. "This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened here," one resident told me.
A fellow extra, whose dad is a former NFL player, told me that most of the storefronts we could see were built specifically for the film, and look much nicer than the half-vacated facades that were there before. He also told me the diner that plays a pivotal role in one scene (and later erupts in flames) is built around a real house. It's right next to a railroad track, and the passing trains were worked into many scenes. I'd be so stressed about the timing, but they pulled it off. That's saying something, too, because one camera flash from a bystander would have ruined the entire shot.
Every fake traffic sign, storefront, picture car and prop could pass for real. Such is the benefit of a high budget and attention to detail.
Though I never drove in the scene (as I did for two scenes in Beautiful Creatures, both in my car and in the main character's vehicle), I did land a role as a pedestrian. The crew shuffled me around, at first walking with two guys, then with a "girlfriend" (a stunning redhead dancer) and then finally solo, in the pattern illustrated above. I didn't notice until the second take that Denzel walks out of the bank door right next to me. We were so close that I had to divert my path a little. As my mind scrambled to process this surprise, I heard him say, "No, no." At first I thought he was talking to me, but it was his dialogue as he talked on his phone on his way to meet Mark. Ever the consummate professional, I waited until I walked out of shot before making a face that read, "DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?"
For the rest of that day and the next day, we filmed that same walk over and over. I started in the middle of the crosswalk, so I stood there a lot. They'd close the (busy) street to traffic just before the take, which meant the production assistant in charge of me reminded me repeatedly not to get run over. It became a running joke, but one more helpful than she probably realized.
I quickly amassed an adoring crowd for some reason. Not just the usual bevy of gorgeous women (yep) but children and guys too. I freely mingled with them between takes, telling stories, hearing theirs, mugging for their cameras. It's fun pretending to be important. I think entertaining a crowd may be my favorite feeling in the world.
|"Ready for your close-up, Ted Bundy?"|
And no, I didn't get to meet Denzel or Mark. They had a lot going on, like peeling out of burning diners in a vintage Dodge Challenger. And crossing my path. That didn't stop people from trying, though, or from making enough references to Marky Mark and "Good Vibrations" to turn us all crazy like Mark Wahlberg in "Fear."
Watch this movie when it comes out in 2013. It looks AWESOME.