Dear Chiangmai Mail;
I read your article on Tom Berenger and Sniper 3 and
would like to share my holiday experience with you. Who can say, I was in
Thailand, and we shot a movie with Tom Berenger?
Anyway, while on holiday, I applied to be an extra for
the ‘Sniper 3’ film production. They needed foreigners for a wedding
reception scene. In late February, I called the casting people and was told
I would not be needed.
anyway, to check if I could have a look, I went to the Sheraton Hotel about
6 p.m. on that day and waited in front of the lobby until some “extra”
looking people entered the hotel. I followed them to the 2nd floor by
elevator and exited to a spacious open area adjacent to various meeting
rooms. Furnished with plush carpeting, and extravagant chandeliers - it was
the perfect location to film a reception.
Shortly after arrival there, I spotted the Thai casting
people. One of them, “Ae”, recognized me and waved me over. After a
moment or two of small talk, he made a vague comment that they might need me
tonight because someone had not shown up. The next thing I knew, he was
leading me to one of the side rooms, instructing me to wait there.
A while later, I was directed to the costume room. There,
I was assisted into a suit jacket. It was too small, so the young lady took
measurements before handing me another jacket. This one was a good fit, so
we moved on to finding a shirt, tie, slacks, socks, and shoes. The shoes
were a problem - I wear size 13 but miraculously, she found a pair of
12’s. They were tight, but I could wear them, but anyway I decided to only
put them on when absolutely necessary. As it turned out, I did not need to
use them at all.
After an hour or two of waiting around, I joined some of
the other extras in a side room, where a live band was set up on a low
stage. Once we were assembled in the room, the director singled out 8 or 10
of us to be dancers. The director was a piece of work; about 40, he acted,
looked, and dressed more like a sawmill foreman than a film director. Or do
film directors dress like that? He wore work boots, jeans, and a plaid
shirt. Burly in stature, this guy looked completely out of place,
particularly in a 5 star hotel with everyone else dressed in black suits,
tuxedos, and evening gowns. He then instructed the band to play some dance
music and told us to start dancing.
Most of us were matched with total strangers so it was a
bit bizarre. We did some dancing and it went quite well. In this scene, the
“groom” was supposed to walk across the dance floor as we were dancing.
It was easy and I didn’t have to wear my shoes. However, we had to do that
scene over and over for hours on end.
Between takes, Tom Berenger, the star of the film, sat
near the dance floor. He was dressed in the formal attire of a US Marine.
Later in the evening, I pulled up a chair near him and struck up a
conversation. He told me he started his career in New York City, had been
acting for 30 years, lives in South Carolina, and has never spent much time
in Hollywood. He appeared to be very tired and bored.
By the time the shooting ended, we were all very tired
and bored. It was 4:30 a.m. when the director announced, “That’s a
wrap!” Then it was a race to get out of there. Tore off my suit in the
costume room and bolted for my bike. It was 5:30a.m. when I arrived back at
It had been a long night, an “extra” long night, but
what a night to talk about when I am now back in the United States. It was a
‘Extra holiday night’ after all.