I was an extra on The Tudors last Friday. Got up very early and cycled to Ardmore Studios. I started pedaling along at about 5.45 a.m. It is not far from my wee house. Then travelled to a nearby location by minibus. Had the role of ‘peasant’ in crowd scene. Was given pretty skirt and blouse and jerkin. However was absolutely thrilled when was also handed large warm cape because the crowd scene was being shot outdoors.(I was wearing layers of thermal vests.) Make-up included having pretend dirt put in my fingernails…and also a bit on face and in my birdsnest type hairdo…lots of backcombing and hair grips and tugging at fringe. The strangest hair appointment I’ve ever had.
Hanging around on film sets can be a mixed experience. Long hours in which one ‘may be needed’ and wonders if one can sneak off for a cup of tea. (I described this in my novel ‘Wise Follies.) However one sometimes has wonderful chats with other extras. There’s a playful delightfully weird side to it. It’s showbiz! (It can also be awesomely boring in places.) A number of the posher young men looked fabulous in their outfits. Some of those costumes are pretty sexy. There were some women in beautiful costumes too. Us peasants, however, were naturally blingless.
The food was good. Big fried breakfast and nice lunch. I had started wondering what lunch might contain shortly after I sat down on the bench type thing that was my seat for much of the day. (The chocolate pudding was excellent.) I sometimes wandered off to look at the impressive props. We were told when we were needed in our ‘positions’.
It was, of course, all a bit odd…in a nice way. We were asked to express various emotions. This was interesting and livened things up. Jonathan Rhys Meyers wasn’t there. I met him some years ago and he seems a very nice guy. It’s great that The Tudors TV series has been such a hit and it deserves to be. It is made with great dedication, care and expertise.
I was out of my peasant costume by about 6 p.m. Bus brought us back to studios and I got another bus home. Must collect bicycle from Ardmore parking lot someday soon.
Lots of love,
P.S. Have just received nice newsy mass ’email’ from Gwyneth Paltrow and you can too if you log onto GOOP.