Saturday, December 14, 2013

stan's in the movies!

On the set of Bad Boys II....
...2003 Miami.
As an extra....playing a cop and standing at a phony computer from the Hollywood props department.
I basically was in one scene you might locate...that’s early in the flick when Will Smith and Martin Lawrence come back into the station to get chewed out by Captain Joey “Soprano” Pants. 
I’m the cop in blue with my back to the whole scene!
As an extra you are addressed by an assistant director before moving to the set and he lays down the law!
Extra’s are NOT to talk to the “stars.”
You are NOT to make eye contact with them.
Just leave them alone.
Well...Joey “Pants” was having a bit of trouble in this scene (probably because he didn’t know his lines) and he and director Michael Bay were going at it pretty good.
Martin Lawrence was standing next to me wearing an Atlanta Falcons jersey with Michael Vick’s name and number on the back. 
So...I broke a rule.
“Have you seen Michael Vick play? I ask Lawrence...he said “ he any good?”
“About the best quarterback in football today” I replied.
“You gotta see him...he runs...he passes he’s great”
Martin looked at me and said he’d check him out.  Then he did a strange thing...he “thanked me” and smiled.  If Will Smith had been next to me I would have kept my mouth shut.
     Interesting being “thanked” by Martin Lawrence...just for talking to him.
I’m not sure staffers nearby were happy about this guy starts talking to a star what’s next?
Later when we broke for lunch (Hollywood folks get the BEST food in town and alot of it) the only place to sit was next to the guy who was first assistant director.  I put him at ease (?) telling him I hosted a nightly national radio program and I’d be saying nice things about what was going on.  I don’t think he believed me.  Anyway I wasn’t fired for talking to ML...but they didn’t use me in any more scenes.
When they were shooting the scene I was tapping lightly in the keyboard of the computer...demonstrating my real acting skills and the sound guy came over and whispered “we’re picking up the keyboard sounds...just simulate it.”  he was friendly and we laughed about it and I realized he had his high priced Hollywood portable sound gizmo sitting on the edge of my table so...I complied.  He thanked me afterward...and Will Smith and Joey “Pants” made it thru the scene....and all went well.
But wait a moment...I forgot saying something to Yul of not much fame up till then.  He was one of Julia Roberts husbands to be in Runaway Bride (the guy in the car shop)...and later in War Of The Worlds and a bunch of cop tv things...the latest “Treme.”
What I said to him was insignificant...I’ve forgotten it...but he seemed disturbed that I did it.  Screw em.
A fun guy on the set was THE Henry Rollins.
My son Chris was just old enough (early teens)to be a big fan of Rollins.  I didn’t know Rollins from adam but found myself sitting close to him at that same catered lunch.  We both finished our dessert and got up to drop our plastic plates into the proper receptacle and we turned and walked away.  
     For some reason I said “you know...YOU could be Henry look just like him.”
He turned to me and “that’s because I AM Henry Rollins!”
I got over my shock and ask him if he had a cell phone...I told him my son was a huge fan and it would be great to call him.  He said nope and that was that.
But my Chris got the biggest kick of his Dad hanging with Henry Rollins.
I was there two of the three days we were scheduled but as I surmised and they didn’t use me in any shots again I dropped out.
I never watched the flick.  It didn’t do well.
     Oh...I just remembered one thing that might have also sealed my doom on the Bad Boys II set.
I brought a snack and found a place near the set where only one guy was sitting around a bunch of empty chairs so I sat down. This could have been out of bounds for extras like me.
The guy said nothing...didn’t look at me...just kept reading his newspaper.
I found out days later that this dude was THE biggest producer in Hollywood...the Jerry Bruckheimer himself.
I can’t even begin to list his films.  Here just a few:
So two times in my career I’ve been seated within whispering range of fantastic mind blowing individuls and I didn’t even know who they were.
P.K. Wrigley who invented chewing gum and Jerry Bruckheimer, King of Hollywood.  
Without knowing he was the Wrigley in Wrigley gum I offered P.K.  a chew of his own Juicy Fruit and he thanked me...and I said  nothing to Jerry Bruckheimer....but if I had realized that was indeed him...I would have been scared to death to say it’s just as well, I guess.  
As a radio talk host I would have no problem interviewing him but sitting probably where I was not supposed to sit and being a lowly “extra” in his film produced a kind of wall between us.  Perhaps you can relate.  I I gonna pitch myself as his next Johnny Depp or Nick Cage?  
I think not.
That’s it for my experience on Bad Boys II. Not much pay...$100 a day...and long, very long hours into the night...but great food!

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