Nathan here. Aside from making movies, I like to act. I’ve done some theater, some extra work on TV and in feature films and I’ve done a lot of comedy improv with Rare Bird Show. I’ve recently started working with Reinhard Model and Talent Agency to break into the commercial/industrial world. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences here for those interested in the performing side of the business.
Last night I had the opportunity to interview for a job as Bradley Cooper‘s stand-in for The Dark Fields, which will be filming in Philadelphia for about nine weeks with a two week stint in New York City. For those unfamiliar, the stand-in doubles for the actor for the arduous lighting process required for each scene in a film. The stand-in is basically a prop on set to be lit so the actor can then come in and just shoot the scene. I hear it’s hard work; but it pays well, you have the opportunity to watch the actors and production work and sometimes they’ll even throw you a line in the movie. This job also makes me eligible for SAG. Going union can be positive or negative depending on a lot of individual factors.
I arrived at the production company’s office in Center City to discover that I was one of only five individuals being interviewed. As with any casting, you suddenly find yourself looking at several guys who all look sorta like you, always a little weird. Normally, the part is won through looks (type), availability and talent, but stand-in work eliminates that testy talent aspect. Once we realized that the “interview” process was no more than a few photos, the five of us relaxed and chatted it up while we waited. Although one of us was about to get a great little gig, we were all just actors going through the same process; and with this gig, since you couldn’t over come limitations in type/look with your performance, the pressure was off.
After a few minutes, it was determined that I was the third most Bradley Cooper looking individual: but because of others’ conflicts, there was a moment that I was the one who was going to be spending the next day doing hair and make-up tests. Unfortunately, their first choice opened up his schedule and landed the part.
Still there is a chance that conflicts could arise for the two ahead of me. Regardless, the director, Neil Burger (The Lucky Ones and The Illusionist), came out to meet us and see if we’d fit as one of a number of criminals in a police line-up scene.
Being able to look in on the production offices of the film was a nice little perk as well. There were photos of locations to be used covering one wall, rows and rows or costumes on racks and a roll cart
full of soft bodied mannequins used to simulate, I don’t know, dead people?
The Dark Fields is a suspense thriller that co-stars Robert De Niro. Yeah. De Niro. How cool would it be to be on set with that guy every day.