The first proper paid job I had after graduating from Art School, was a whole summer spent working as an extra on the Phantom Menace. I cant quite remember the circumstances surrounding the casting and ultimately getting the part of a “featured extra” — that just means you get an expensive costume, and it’s ok to be seen on camera for continuity’s sake.
My character and I say this in the loosest sense of the word, was a Naboo solider, and member of the guard envoy to Natalie Portmans Character (in the real sense of the word) Padmé Amidala . The whole experience was quite surreal, no one on set could quite believe they where actually in a Star Wars movie. On more than one occasion we had to cut a battle scene because Ewan McGregor was making light saber noises with his mouth, and the rest of us where making “peauwww” laser sounds…….. Like a bunch of boys running around the play ground.
George Lucas was quite enigmatic, but when he said “All right…..
ACTION,” I felt like my heart would explode, I was that happy. The only downside was that it was The Phantom Menace, As Simon Pegg is on record as saying, the biggest disappointment ever ! I mean one word Jar Jar Binks, and little Anakin Skywalker – that little shit knew he was the star, and took great pleasure in kicking and torturing extras, cause he knew he could get away with it. There is so much more I could say on the odd encounters, but I’d rather concentrate on the positives such as…….. Going to Natalie Portman’s 16th Birthday party in a tiny bar in Covent Garden, or having lunch with Mark Hamills estranged son.
Just as I’m sure Simon Pegg is still pinching himself, that he gets to play Scotty in the new Star Trek, the fanboy in me will always feel a warm glow of satisfaction for having played my part in the Force.
If you look closely at the clip below, you can see me to the left of Liam Neeson, before the light saber fight kicks off…….