Issue 128 – Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Adam Lacey explores the extraordinary world of the extra.


In an age where the economy is collapsing around us like a paper house in the rain, some jobs will always be around.

Step forward the extras. Behind every arse on Braveheart, behind every flowing coat and hat combo in Michael Collins, behind every background smock in The Tudors lies the beating, expectant heart of the extra, some waiting patiently for their big break, some just happy to be working in a jovial environment free from the shackles of an office cubicle.

So is it fun? ‘Yes’ seems to be the answer.

Glenn Gannon gushes: ‘Working alongside Derek Jacobi on The Old Curiosity Shop was special. Laws of Attraction with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore was brilliant but head and shoulders above those is my role as Mr Radcliffe in Becoming Jane. Just four of us in a scene together: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Helen McCrory and myself. That only happens when they want a special extra or an up-and-coming actor for a specific scene.’

Nigel Davey finds it tough to pick a favourite role: ‘I guess if I had to choose a favourite job, it would be playing a police constable in the bbc drama George Gently. I was on set every week for the last five months and got to hang out with the main actors, Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby.’

The full article is printed in Film Ireland 128