If you know me, it’s no secret that I like finding ways to get on TV or be in movies. I used to be pretty aggressive in my tactics, but in my old age, I’ve calmed down a bit. However, when I heard Woody Allen was going to film his new movie in my city, I knew I had to come out of retirement and get down to business.
Wait, wait, let me rephrase this: when I heard Woody Allen was going to film his new movie WITH MY BEST FRIEND EMMA STONE IN IT, I knew I had to come out of retirement. Every 20-something and 30-something girl has said “Emma Stone seems so real. We would totally be best friends! She’s so great.” I am one of those girls and I don’t even care about your judgment right now because you also know that Emma Stone seems so real and cool.
Once I heard the movie was coming to town, I found out who was doing the casting for background actors and sent my picture in. They were looking for people who were college age and I convinced myself that although I am 30 and have a weird eyebrow wrinkle, I could still probably pass as a college student if I tried. When I heard back and they were interested in booking me for the next week, I crumbled and told the casting director about my old lady status. She told me that I’d probably be fine as a college student, but she also needed a few professors for the scene if I’d rather do that. I chose to be a professor which made me feel even older…I felt more comfortable being a teacher than a student. So sad.
Picking outfits to wear was really hard. I swear to God, this is the clothing direction I received:
“No logos, no sports jerseys or printed t-shirts, no blue jeans, no white – even in background of prints, no bright colors or prints, no fluorescent, no red, no blue of any kind, black in touches only or requested for specific scenes. Yes to earth tones, chinos, can have long pants if not jeans, muted soft colors, short sleeves, polo shirts, shorts, sandals, caps or hats, sunglasses, backpacks, purses, etc.”
If you look in my closet, it is everything they said we couldn’t wear. The only two things I found that fit the guidelines were a pair of khakis and a grey blazer. I had to go to Savers and buy a pale pink shirt and a pale purple shirt because I’m sorry, but I do not do earth tones. When I got to holding (the area where they stash all the extras when we aren’t doing anything), the wardrobe people shot down both of my shirts because they were “too bright.” They weren’t too bright, but I don’t like to argue with people who are standing between me and meeting famous people. I ended up wearing the khakis, the grey blazer, and this ugly nude colored tank top. A really great fashion choice in the middle of the summer, especially when you are already the sweatiest person alive.
Let’s circle back to the pink shirt for a moment because this was the source of a great deal of my amusement throughout the day. They said no to my pink shirt, but then I saw a few people wear pink in the scene. Whatever. Then, when we were eating lunch, they told us we were going to change our clothes to shoot another scene – I had no other “acceptable” clothes, so I put the pink shirt on again hoping someone would just approve it. I had three different wardrobe ladies say no to me and that pink just wouldn’t work in the scene. One of them gave me a truly atrocious long-sleeved shirt that looked like Mother Earth vomited all over it with lovely shades of brown, white, and blue. Yes, blue and white were “forbidden” colors, but I guess not when they’re trying to torture someone. I put the shirt on and accepted my fate, but then I proceeded to watch them hand out shirts to some of the other extras and MANY of these shirts were pink. I looked like a lunatic when I laughed maniacally every time they gave someone a pink shirt to wear. My friend who I was sitting with had to go grab a new shirt and I said jokingly, “okay, go get your pink shirt!”…she came back with a pink shirt. There was a sea of pink shirts and me, dressed in my frumpy mom gear. I was hoping they would let me keep my ugly shirt so I could bring it home and use it as toilet paper, but they wanted it back for some reason.
Okay, let’s talk about the movie stars, because that’s really why we’re here, isn’t it?
The stars of this currently untitled Woody Allen project are Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix, and Parker Posey. None of them were on set (in a local bar) when we arrived, so I was on high alert just waiting for the moment they appeared. I imagined that some of the crew would suddenly become a bit frenzied upon receiving the news that the stars were coming to set, they’d tell us to play it cool, and we’d have plenty of warning before they arrived.
The opposite happened. One second I was thinking about how weird it was to be in a bar at 7AM, and the next I looked up and Emma Stone was just there. She was walking past me to go get her mic in the back room and my immediate response was to smile awkwardly with my mouth closed. I looked like this:
And then she humored me and responded back with an awkward closed mouth smile and we became soul sisters.
We never actually talked, but I like to think she returned to her hotel that night and told Andrew Garfield about the instant connection she had with a sweaty, chubby girl wearing a blazer in the middle of the summer.
The other stars were exciting to see, but didn’t do anything really notable. Joaquin Phoenix smokes American Spirit cigarettes and he is really hot (duh). Parker Posey also gave me an awkward closed mouth smile, but her hair was weird and made her look like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. And Woody Allen was sooo Woody Allen-ish. Imagine someone who makes a living as a Woody Allen impersonator and that’s what I felt like I was looking at.
I would also like to note that as we ate our lunch in a middle school cafeteria, I realized that Emma, Parker, and Joaquin were all eating lunch together at one of the tables. If I were them, I would have hidden in my air-conditioned trailer, eaten sushi and watched some Netflix. Instead, they opted to be normal and grab some salad and iced tea from the buffet.
Also, at one point during filming, Emma Stone came outside and grabbed a plate of food from the craft services table and just walked around among the extras like it was no big deal. Meanwhile, I was dying inside and just wanted to yell “HI!!!”
SHE’S SO COOL IN REAL LIFE, GUYS. IT’S NOT AN ACT. SHE EVEN MADE FUNNY JOKES. DID YOU KNOW HER BIRTHDAY IS ONLY 4 DAYS BEFORE MINE? YUP, IT’S MIND BLOWING! …Destiny, really.
OTHER THINGS I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CATEGORIZE
You know that Internet meme where they put Zooey Deschanel’s eyes on random celebs? There was a guy there who was a background actor with me and he looked like he had Zooey’s eyes stuck on his face. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen.
I’m not even a real actor and I want to be in SAG. I learned all day about how SAG actors get everything cool and non-union people don’t. They made more money than me, they got to check out at the end of the day before me – they even got to get up and get food from the lunch buffet before me. I thought they were going to make me sit at the back of the bus, but luckily we ended up walking to set.
I liked all the free snacks. Lots of free snacks. Like, tons.
I can’t believe I got paid for this. I probably would have paid them to do it, so I’m glad I didn’t offer that originally.
I met a guy who worked on Wolf of Wall Street and he told me that Leonardo DiCaprio is awesome and loves to play Call of Duty on XBox. He even puts the little headset on and talks shit to people who are playing the game too, but he obviously doesn’t tell them who he is. I want to buy an XBox.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I was “working” for 14.5 hours, but I would gladly do it again a million more times. I think I’ve found my true calling because I really excelled at standing quietly, miming fake conversations, and walking back and forth behind celebrities. There are two possible scenes I could end up in, so I’m hoping that if one ends up on the cutting room floor, I still get to keep the other one.
I will now leave you with my first paparazzi shots that I am so excited about. Shout out to Becky Killian for documenting the best day of my life. This is me at the end of the day, standing around in a park “just in case” they needed me to casually walk down the sidewalk. (They didn’t.) You can tell how ready I am to go home because I had already ditched the ugly shirt wardrobe gave me and put my pink shirt back on in protest:
Giving thumbs up and showing off my free bag of Cheez-Its.