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    Updated on Aug 2, 2018. Posted on Jul 22, 2018

    26 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From Movie And TV Sets

    "Channing Tatum stripping does lose its appeal after enough takes."

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their best stories from working as an extra on the set of a movie or TV series. Here's what they said...

    1. Zac Efron's (lack of) basketball skills

    Disney / Via

    "I was an extra in High School Musical 3 and it really opened my eyes to the long hours actors and crew have to work. We were filming until 3am on one of the days trying to get one shot of Zac Efron making a basketball shot. Poor guy isn’t very good a basketball but worked his hardest to make it believable!"


    2. Nicole Kidman and the rotten chocolate


    "I was a background trick or treater in the Nicole Kidman thriller The Invasion and wardrobe gave us little totes and pails to carry. They filled them with candy so it didn’t look like they were empty, but a crew member warned the candy was super old and expired and to go to crafty if we wanted a snack.

    During a break between takes Nicole Kidman came by and talked to us kids and took a chocolate eye ball candy from my bucket, ate half, then put it back... I didn’t tell her it was expired, but I think she could tell."


    3. Front row for Magic Mike XXL

    "I was an extra in Magic Mike XXL. It was filmed in Savannah, GA where I used to live. The original ad was looking for 300 women, but there ended up being 800. It was exciting to see all the actors and watch them dance, but Channing Tatum stripping does lose its appeal after enough takes (hard to imagine I know). The screams were deafening. I actually felt bad for the actors.

    They all seemed really nice, but I can imagine that having 800 people screaming is overwhelming. I heard stories of women being kicked out because they tried to grab the actors and someone even tried to kiss Channing. Also people got kicked out for trying to steal the dollar bills which I never understood because how much money can you stuff in your bra when it’s all singles? We were paid so I tried to act professional and I’m not the kind of girl who fan girls over cute guys.

    On the last of the three days, we filmed the scene in the photo were Channing and Twitch do the final dance. There is a point where Channing’s pants get ripped off to reveal his G string. I was lucky enough to be in the front row and he was really nervous about this part and they kept calling cut right before. After the first take he covered himself up right away shyly, but after the second he didn’t seem to care anymore and after they said cut he circled the stage in his G string. Someone stuck a dollar bill in the G string and at one point the dollar bill fell out and fell right next to me and I will admit that I stole the dollar bill and took it home as a souvenir." —laurenb47b410b4f

    4. Coughing on set

    The Weinstein Company / Via

    "I worked on several movies in college: Adventureland, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, She's Out of My League, and Abduction. The skinny: everyone was nice on every movie. Not just the people you hoped would be, but the people you weren't sure about were all really great and seemed genuinely happy to have the background actors there. Everyone was part of a team and making the best effort. Even if it was cold and wet. Even if it was roaring hot. Even if it was a holiday weekend.

    The most fun set was Zack and Miri: everyone was in a good mood and was having a good time — I was in the reunion scene. (See me in the trailer: I am wearing the leaf sweater.) I had a terrible cold and everyone was really nice to me. I ruined an improvisational take by coughing, and the crew was more worried that I was choking than about me messing up their flow. Kevin Smith's wife Jen even told someone to stop fawning over her and get me out of the cold slush puddle I had ended up standing in because I was told to stay in a certain spot."


    5. Kevin Hart, selfless giver of selfies

    "I was an extra in Central Intelligence. Poor Kevin Hart spent half the day taking selfies with anyone and everyone who asked. We filmed for 12 hours at a Mexican restaurant, I was a patron and was surprised that they did full hair/makeup/wardrobe on everyone. Also we weren’t allowed to talk, we just had to pretend we were speaking. It was a fun day!" —mauras2

    6. The paparazzi exit

    One time I worked on a film that Blake Lively was starring in, and Ryan Reynolds would come in a visit her quite often. One day there were a couple of paparazzi outside of the building we were filming in, and since my aunt actually lived in the building, I knew it well and was able to show Ryan and the security guard a secret exit out of the building. Oh, and Ryan and Blake are just as wonderful in person as you would imagine. They both always took the time to talk with me (them initiating conversation).


    7. From background acting to the EMT

    Marvel / Via

    "I recently worked as an extra in a few scenes in Antman and the Wasp. We were filming the last scene of the day and we were supposed to run away from something blowing up. We did one take and we reset and I whispered “someone’s gonna fall”.

    Well, that someone was me. Right when the director yelled rolling, I started running, fell and rolled on the ground. They decided to call it a day because of that. Usually they do at least 10 takes of each scene, but because of me, we did two. The director asked if I was ok and they called over the EMT and I just said my pride was hurt, although I was in a lot of pain. SO embarrassing."


    8. Spending time at Club Leviticus

    Fox / Via

    "I was an extra for a concert scene on Empire. We were at a club in Chicago for a performance by one of the characters. It was super awkward having to dance, party, be loud, and have fun right up until they called 'cut!' and then be perfectly silent and still. It could be a couple seconds or 10 minutes until they called 'action!' but as soon as they did you had to jump right back in as if you’d been dancing all night. Felt very unnatural but the scene ended up looking great!"


    9. Tom Cruise and a steak

    TriStar Pictures

    "My uncle was an extra in a bunch of movies in the 80s and 90s, but I’ll always remember the story from when he did Jerry Maguire. When it came around time to break for lunch, my uncle didn’t want to go crowd around the tables with the other extras, so he just went off to the side somewhere and sat on some steps. A few minutes later he hears someone walk down the steps behind him, sit down, and light a cigarette. It was Tom Cruise. They just chilled there on the steps talking, eating steak."


    10. Shake It Up's very first episode

    Disney Channel / Via

    "I was on the set of the pilot episode of Shake It Up on Disney Channel. My mom knew someone who worked on the show and she let us be extras for the scene when they are dancing at the station (the “scratch your back” dance). It was really fun, but the entire scene (about 3-5 minutes of screen time) took around 4 hours to film. They wouldn’t let us off the train platform and get water or food very much, which is understandable and not that hard to deal with, but I (being a cranky person), after a while, stopped dancing to the song that Rocky and CeCe were dancing to and just tapped my foot. That’s the cut they ended up using.

    It was a really cool experience since we met Zendaya and Bella Thorne (but Bella only in passing as she was immediately called to the set) and had lunch with Roshon (Rocky’s older brother in the show) and his family. He even remembered us the next time we came to the set to watch as audience members! Everyone was really sweet and nice, and I’m so glad to have gotten the experience. We were also paid close to $100, so that was a nice plus."


    11. Jonah Hill is chatty on set

    Twentieth Century Fox

    "I worked on The Sitter with Jonah Hill! Such an awesome dude. He came up to the group I was with and just chatted with us so much the director couldn’t find him when he had to re do his scene. The director came up to us and was like “is this asshole bothering you?” Love when celebs are nice, real people. "


    12. Zombie blood is chocolate syrup


    "I was a zombie for Alive: The Undead. The blood was chocolate syrup and food coloring so that we could put it in our mouths and 'drool blood' and not get poisoned. The only thing is, it was super sticky and got on everything! We also got our zombie makeup professionally done with airbrush and everything. The director who is a friend of the family fed everyone on set and we got IMDB credits for it!"


    13. Cut from The Vampire Diaries

    The CW

    "I love doing background work. I'm a beginner actress and honestly it’s a great learning and networking experience. The funniest and worst experience I ever had was the first TV show I ever did, The Vampire Diaries. We waited for HOURS to film a scene, then they came and said never mind they didn’t need us then they said never mind they only need SOME of us. Had to fight a crowd to make the cut. But I made it. I was a student walking in the hall. Got so excited only to watch the show and see that they cut my angle...

    One day acting will pay off, that wasn’t the day."


    14. Waiting tables on Friday Night Lights

    NBC / Via

    "I was an extra on Friday Night Lights, even had a couple of lines. I was working as a waitress at the time and ended up playing a waitress. The director came up to me and said "I bet this is the biggest tip you've ever gotten!" A little out of touch but he wasn't wrong. I got about $700 for 3 hours of work. Not too shabby!"


    15. A beach day — in the winter

    Columbia Pictures

    One of the best and worst experiences I had as an extra was for MIB 3. There’s a scene where Will Smith goes to Coney Island and it’s supposed to be in the summer. Only difference was we filmed in April. April in New York is usually veeeeery cold. This was no exception. The whole crew of extras had to wear bathing suits, flip flops, the whole nine. PLUS some people had to eat popsicles! We all had those aluminum foil-looking emergency heat blankets on stand by. The plus side was I got to meet Will Smith and got to ride the rides for free.


    16. From horror to heat

    Mad Hatter Entertainment / Via

    "I’m a theatre student and worked as an extra on Hemlock Grove. It was pretty exciting at first, I got to meet Eli Roth and Bill Skarsgard. Then the makeup/hair artist gave me shit because my curly hair was impossible to style, crafts services ran out of food and water bottles, and after working ten hours outside in July I had heat exhaustion and had to go to the doctors.

    That’s when I decided I’d stick to theatre."


    17. All for the free food

    USA / Via

    "If you ever see a party or dancing or celebration scene, I can almost guarantee you that that was NOT FUN to shoot, mostly for the background actors.

    I'll tell you a bit about my day/night/eternity on the set of Suits during a wedding reception scene. It was nearing wintertime in Toronto, my first day of extra work, and I arrived at the fancy hotel for the shoot at 12:00 noon. I was herded curtly into a holding room packed with extras, and my phone was taken away (because Meghan Markle, I guess). I was strapped into ill-fitting heels, pushed into a seat, and told to wait. During this time, phoneless, the background actors discussed background work and the general message that I got was 'it's worth it for the free food'.

    Around 4:00pm we were called to set, which was freezing, for the ceremony scene. The extras were yelled at and talked down to and the AD's rolled their eyes while we froze and watched the real actors don blankets and parkas between takes. Finally it was time to eat! Imagine my excitement after all that food talk earlier. Only, the food was shit."


    18. Food fight on film

    HBO / Via

    "I honestly had the best experience working as an extra on a few shows, Mr. Mercedes and Vice Principals. I will say Vice Principals was my favorite because of the setting a hospitality of the crew. Everyone working was so nice and kind. I even remember another extra brought cupcakes for ALL of us filming that day. The best parts were wardrobe, the food fight scene, and seeing myself in the background of all the episodes. The food fight scene was so fun to film and I loved how everyone could have a good laugh.

    I think that if someone got the chance to be an extra, that they should take it. It's an interesting learning experience seeing how your favorite shows are made."


    19. Skip, don't walk

    "My dad helped produced the film Bottleshock with Alan Rickman and Chris Pine before he made it big, so my sister and I got to play some random kids at the big tasting scene. The opening shot to that scene was all of us running, but I decided to take some creative liberties and skipped instead, LOL. Alan actually became a family friend through this, so we visited him in London twice (he took us to the Harry Potter set!) and he came to visit us in San Francisco as well." —caseyschryer

    20. Amy Adams is a sweetheart


    "My grandpa was an extra on Amy Adams new HBO mini series, Sharp Objects. She is his celebrity crush and he really wanted to talk to her. No matter what we told him and how unlikely that was he wouldn’t give up. He met her and she was insanely nice. She let him ask questions about how she chooses roles among other things. It made his year!"


    21. A case of mistaken identity


    "I was an extra in the HBO Paterno movie as a rioting college student. Nearby, there was a camera man in the middle of the rioting crowd. I watched three girls walk up and flirt with him, in an attempt to get on camera more. They soon found out that he wasn’t a real camera man but an actor with a camera and blew him off completely. I went over to talk to him because I felt so bad about how rude those girls were. We ended up bonding, exchanging social media’s, and we were both seen in the final film! Jokes on the rude girls!"


    22. A ham sandwich for The Waterboy

    Touchtone Pictures / Via

    "I was an extra in the stands in The Water Boy starring Adam Sandler. We got $50, an orange t-shirt, and a ham sandwich meal. I had just turned 18 and 'called in sick' to work for the first time (where I would have made $45 that day, but no t-shirt or ham sandwich)."


    23. Parking a car for hours

    Jamie Jirak

    "I was an extra on the short-lived show Mind Games, starring Christan Slater and Steve Zahn. We sat in the grass and watched Christan Slater dramatically park a car FOR HOURS. It was incredibly boring and shocking to discover how much time can go into a 20-second "stunt". You could see me on TV next to Steve, though!" — Jamie Jirak

    24. Connie Britton is the best, volume 2,475

    ABC / Via

    "I was an extra on an episode of Nashville. The day went a lot longer than expected, so Connie Britton arranged for coffee to be delivered for all the extras and crew members. She’s the best."


    25. From face painter to makeup trailer

    "I was cast as a face painter (one of my real-life jobs) in Ken Marino’s upcoming romantic comedy Dog Days. The first day on set there was confusion about where I was supposed to go — into makeup to help or on set. I tried to explain but somehow got routed into the makeup trailer with Vanessa Hudgens and Adam Pally getting ready." —simba333

    26. Don't mess with Baby Bop

    Sprout TV / Via

    "When I was eight, I was an extra on an episode of Barney and Friends. When the kids got there to shoot the episode we were all told to stay away from Baby Bop, as the actor was having a rough day, apparently. When we started filming, everything went smoothly until one of the other extras stepped on Baby Bops tail. The actor tripped, ripped his head off and screamed profanities at the poor kid before storming off the set."


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