Yesterday Lori and I both worked as extras on the Mel Gibson movie "Edge of Darkness." Robert DeNiro had been in it as well, until Thursday that is. News broke Friday that DeNiro was out due to "creative differences" with director Martin Campbell. There were plenty of rumors on set regarding "fired" or "quit", but I'm just bummed I didn't get the chance to see DeNiro in action. What we did get to do was join over 300 other extras in taking over South Station in Boston for the opening scenes of the movie; Mel arriving at the station to pick up his daughter. We had to be on location for 5:30am, get checked-in then cleared by wardrobe and makeup then a quick bus ride to South Station. We were on set around 7am, rehearsing by 8am and rolling the first take by 9am. Lori and I were part of a group of people arriving from a train - we just had to exit the train and walk down the platform towards the station a few dozen times. I saw lots of other actors I had met earilier this summer on "The Surrogates" and even recognized one actor and a grip from the first movie I ever worked on, "A Question of Trust" way back in 1996. Also had a chance to talk to the electrician from "Illegal Aliens" as he was working on this crew too.
Later in the morning we moved inside South Station and were part of the crowd of commuters. I had to walk in front of Mel as he entered the scene, then later picking up other shots of that scene my starting point was literaly a foot in front of Mel. He was very good natured and clowning a bit. He looks much older than the 52 he's listed as, I thought he was in his sixties.
Since South Station was still an open and operating train station there were many retakes due to regular people wandering into scenes. At one point a Japanese couple came close to taking Mel out with their luggage as they rushed through the crowd to get to their train. Earlier I was positioned by a set PA to stand and chat with a girl then walk across the scene after a couple beats. Before we started rolling I asked the girl if this her first day on the movie. She said she'd been to South Station a few times before. Then I noticed she had her MBTA card on the table, so I asked if she was part of the movie. She said "What movie?". I flagged down the PA to let him know she wasn't an extra so we explained to her that we were shooting a movie and she had wandered onto a hot set. So she went to sit somewhere else and wait for her train. We worked until around 3pm, blowing right thru lunch, then the extras were all released. Yay! Cause I was spent and starving by then. Hopefully we'll get called again for Darkness, it is shooting through December.