My Dad, the extra

This coming Sunday (19th) is Fathers’ Day, so this blog entry is dedicated to the subject of…my Dad!

For quite a few years my Dad’s been a TV and movie extra. He’s got no ambitions to be an actor but for many years he worked as an arts administrator for a theatre in education company (prior to that he was a theatre manager), so since his retirement, being an extra has helped keep him busy in an industry he understands. He’s on the books of two agencies now but he’s not reliant on the work for an income.

His first appearance as an extra was as an (uncredited) theatre wardrobe person in a long forgotten movie called ‘Esther Kahn’, starring Summer Phoenix. He had to shove a green dress at Ms Phoenix while saying “Here’ya gal”. (Edit: youtube clip I found of that moment has since been taken down).

From there he rose to the heights of being an extra opposite Tom Hanks in ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (he plays a mourner at Sir Isaac Newton’s funeral). Here he is in full costume:


Anyway, move on to about a year ago, Dad auditioned (properly auditioned, mark you), to be an extra in a TV ad to promote the then latest album by singer, Paul Potts.

The TV ad aired over last Christmas and was for Paul Potts’s ‘Cinema Paradiso’ album of songs from movies. Dad was featured very briefly in the ad and although he was happy to have been seen in it, he was disappointed that he hadn’t been seen more, as they’d filmed quite a lot for it. Well, in searching for the ad on Youtube to show a friend, I managed to find a longer version which has added Dad! he appears first (sans beard this time), at 1 min 46 (btw: The woman he’s with is a fellow extra who was ‘assigned’ to Dad during the audition process):

I love my Dad very much. It’s been a decade since my Mum died and I’m so proud of the way he’s coped in that time. Having work as an extra has certainly helped with that, as it’s given him new friends and experiences and he’s enjoying life.

Here’s to my Dad, the extra! x


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