Becoming a movie extra
– or a supporting artist, as they prefer to be called – is something that most serious
film fans have considered at some stage. For most, the idea is nothing more
than a passing thought that they never seriously intend to follow through on,
though every year many dreamers take the plunge and join a population of LA-based extras estimated to be 100,000 people strong.
And why not? What could
be better than being granted backstage access to a Hollywood production, getting
paid to brush shoulders with the stars and maybe even sharing a little screen
time with them?
However – the truth is that being an extra is no picnic. Actually,
‘no picnic’ might be an inappropriate phrase, seeing as the highlight of a
supporting artist’s day is invariably lunch time. On the set of Iron Man,
extras were allowed to eat with the cast and crew, which meant the very least
you could expect from your day was steak and lobster for dinner.
Free fancy food aside, the life
of a supporting artist is far less exciting that you might think. Here are 10
things they never tell you about being a Hollywood extra…