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The Looking Glass

A Day in the Life of a Film Extra

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Mariel Rosati '19, Co-Editor in Chief

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This past summer, Montrose students traveled around the world, attended leadership conferences, published books, and contributed their talents to the community. Montrosian Abigail Finnerty ‘19 shared her skills in a special way: on the big screen. Abigail experienced “set life” behind the scenes of upcoming comedy film, I Feel Pretty, starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, and Emily Ratajkowski among many other big name celebrities. The Looking Glass has all the details in this insider exclusive interview with Abigail.

LG: How did you discover this opportunity?

AF: “I go to the Cycletown spin studio and saw a general ad for a special opportunity, so I put my name in. I didn’t hear back for three weeks, but on vacation I got call from Boston Casting for extra work in Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty. It was crazy though, because they said filming starts tomorrow.”

 

LG: Wow, that’s so exciting! So did you leave your trip early?

AF: “I was lucky because we were leaving that day. They send you the information at midnight, so I didn’t even know where I was going. The next day I found out it was at Soulcycle at Legacy.”

 

LG: Could you describe a typical “day in your life” when you were shooting?

AF: “[It was] less glamourous than one may think. Call time was at 8 am, then I would sign in, see Gavin for wardrobe, hair and makeup, and sit around for 4 hours and hang out with other extras.”

 

LG:  Did you know any of them beforehand?

AF: “Not personally but they were cool people from other movies and TV shows. From there, we were in a holding area – the abandoned Chili’s in Dedham – and tinted black vans take you to set. You sit around, PA’s (production assistants) pick people randomly to be on set, and tell you what to do from there.”

 

LG: And then what did you do?
AF: “[Extra work is a lot of] fake talking. The coolest scene was with Amy, fake talking, and  Sasheer Zamata was there. We ended shooting around 11 PM each day.”

 

LG: I love Sasheer on SNL! What happened to Legacy Place, was it still open?

AF: “Legacy was still open, just soulcycle was closed. We actually had no bathrooms just ‘porta potties’, so one time one of the extras and I walked into Yard House and people there started whispering about us, as actresses, in the movie.”

 

LG: “How often did you film, and what were the hours like?”

AF: “We filmed 6 days a week, not including Sundays, for 7 weeks. But, it was a paid job.”

 

LG: “Was the experience everything you thought it would be? What surprised you?

AF: “[I] wasn’t surprised, but it’s not that glamourous. Craft services had really good food, candy, donuts, salmon, and a real full course meal where everyone eats together once a day. They call it ‘lunch,’ even though sometimes it is at the middle of the shooting schedule, so lunch can be at dinner time.

 

LG: “Favorite moment on set?”

AF: “On the last day of filming, we were in Boston in some sketchy warehouse, and Michelle Williams was there. It was so normal and she talked to all of us and was so friendly and very real. She’s one of my favorite actresses and it was really cool talking to her. I also met Busy Philipps and she was really nice [also]. Everyone also gets to take a prop from set home with them, and I picked the water bottle Amy’s character uses in the movie.”

 

LG: “What would you suggest to other girls who want to get started in the film industry?”

AF: “Follow Boston Casting on Facebook; they post vague things all the time, but don’t be afraid to send stuff in. [The] worst thing they can do is never respond. See what happens and put yourself out there.”

 

I Feel Pretty hits theaters on June 29 this summer. Keep an eye out for Abigail as you watch the comedy flick!

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A Day in the Life of a Film Extra