Summary of my experience on the set of “The Visiting” with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig

15 Nov

Ok, here is how it all went down.

(Long entry! Be prepared)

The movie is called “The Visiting“, it’s a remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers“. In this version a strange alien virus is infecting people and robbing them of emotions, the ‘Snatchers’ capture people and forcibly inject them with the Virus.

Notable Principal cast include Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (the next James Bond).

What did I do? I was cast as an ‘International Dignitary’ in a Embassy dinner scene. What’s cool about this scene is I was hand-picked by the Director, as well as a few other people to be the guests that you see when Nicole and Daniel first arrive at the Embassy dinner. We were picked mostly for our international heritage I think, as everyone that was there with me was from all over the world. And before I get into it further, I want to thank the casting director Lisa S. Beasley for all her time and effort with every one of us.

She knew us so well just by our photos / headshots that when she arrived on set Saturday, and as we were standing in line for makeup and hair, she pointed at each one of us and knew us all by name. As she explained it, she has been doing nothing but staring at us for days on end. (the way many parts are cast is photos / headshots are simply strewn across a floor and they pick out the faces they like, then those faces are plastered in a giant collage and they do nothing but refer to these photos for many hours)

Anyway, the scene is set at the Czech Embassy. It was actually filmed at the Chilean Embassy in Washington D.C. I was on the set a total of 3 days.

A typical day, we’d arrive at our call time which would be told to us the day prior at a designated Base Camp. At base camp you check in, grab a pay voucher, then head to wardrobe where they take your voucher and in exchange give you your wardrobe for the day. You go change then report to makeup and hair. (yes, they put lots of makeup on me)

If you have time you eat breakfast. And let me tell you, the food is always fucking awesome. They really FEED YOU. One thing you are never is hungry, on a set. (if your a SAG actor anyway, if you are non-union they don’t even have to feed you technically)

Then you get loaded in vans or buses to be shipped over to the set. Once on set you are put in your marks, told what to do and your ques, and the director films the scene over and over and over, then they take a break while they reset lighting and the camera, then do another zillion takes.

To give you an idea of the time involved, the 3 days was spent filming the following order of events:

1) Nicole and Daniel arrive at the embassy, get out of the car and walk in (this took an entire day of filming, a 12 hour day)

2) Nicole and Daniel walk inside, greet their hosts and are ushered into the dining room (another entire day of filming)

3) They sit down, have a conversation at dinner (another day, and the longest day clocking in at 14 hours)

I was involved mostly in day 1 and 2, in the embassy entrance scene as I was one of the international dinner guests. Day 3 they kind of hid us in the back.

It was a blast to stand 2 inches from Miss. Kidman and Daniel Craig and ACT ..and get paid..i mean really, here I am on a movie set doing a scene with Nicole Kidman. Granted, im just background, but it’s still fucking cool.

Funny thing that happened first night:
This is the scene where Nicole and Daniel arrive and enter..in this scene they used tons of fake rain. The hose exploded, for one, and they had less rain than they wanted, and for 2, Nicole Kidman got out of the car and forgot to put the car on park. As a result, the car kept rolling down the embassy driveway and nearly ran several people over. Daniel Craig, perhaps in James Bond mode already, rushed to the cars driver side and hit the emergency brake. Nicole Kidman had just jumped out and yelped and didn’t do anything.

It was funny, I wish I had taken photos of that sequence of events..it would have been sellable to tabloids.

On the downside, I approached Nicole Kidman, and after introducing myself asked her politely if I could possibly take a photo with her. She replied:

“Umm..no..I have to report to wardrobe but emm..thanks for asking” I said oh ok, I understand, thanks. and then she left. As if a photo takes more than 1.5 seconds. She was jus being a bitch. I was one of only 2 people in the entire 3 days who dared approach her, so at least I have some balls. She really didn’t speak to anyone, even the other principal actors. She avoided eye contact with everyone and kept to herself constantly. At lunch she’d literally nibble on some lettuce leaves and that’s about it. Shed usually play with a little girl during lunch also, not sure if that’s her daughter or a relative.

Daniel Craig would chain smoke like a mother fucker. I never got a chance to ask him for a photo but he seemed very pompous.

I had a lot of fun, ate tons of good food, over does on Jelly belly (they have what’s called Craft Services, which is like a hot dog stand filled with goodies for free anytime you want, and id usually just eat the jelly bellies like crazy). I got to meet Nicole Kidman, act in a movie with her and maybe, just maybe be seen on the big screen, even if only a blurry guy in the far back. We’ll see.

Also before I forget I wanted to thank Yumiko Takeya for being so awesome to me and everyone else on set and always being there to answer questions and help us out, and Robert Stanton, whom I met on the set of “Head of State” and who remembered me and my name. He’s a cool actor and a very nice guy. He plays “Bill” in this movie, a ‘Changeling’ as he put it. Interestingly, even though he plays a principal role, I only observed Daniel Craig introducing himself to Robert, and Nicole Kidman, being her usually diva self, did not introduce herself or take the initiative to shake his hand.

Let me also add, thet ever since being SAG, although its very very cool to be treated so well, served hand and foot by the crew and paid well, and being in small scenes with main actors, what sucks is this: Being around other SAG actors.

They are arrogant and full of themselves as shit. Ok yeah, your in a movie with Nicole Kidman but your BLURS..your BACKGROUND..your the lowest on the scale of paid actors. Get over youserself. When im on set I don’t take myself seriously, I have fun. I know my place. Being around them made me want to revoke my SAG membership.

But really, overall it was insanely unreal being on the movie set with Nicole Kidman and having her constantly be just a few inches from me. After the 3rd day, she just seemed like an unusually reserved very tall skeletal women who happens to act pretty well. And yes, her forehead is enormous even in person. Her stand-in looked almost identical to her, it was creepy. But again, Miss Kidman being a bitch never said a word to her stand-in, and even her personal assistant was hardly ever spoken to unless miss. Kidman needed something.

I took a handful of photos, not many as the set was very busy and I didn’t have much opportunity, Ill post those tonight.

They will be filming at the Chilean embassy for the next 2 days if any peeps wanna head over there and catch a glimpse of her. She is usually in plain sight just standing around.

One more thing, I just got this email:

Hello My Lovelies…

I just wanted to thank you all for being such good sports. It was a
pleasure to meet you and to see how gorgeous you really are.

Thank you again,
Lisa S. Beasley

Extras Casting Director
“The Visiting”

Thanks again Lisa!!

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25 Responses to “Summary of my experience on the set of “The Visiting” with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig”

  1. Anonymous November 15, 2005 at 5:09 pm #

    that’s pretty exciting! i’ll look out for ya on the big screen! 😉
    -jennv

  2. jai_c November 15, 2005 at 7:49 pm #

    you can kinda sense that she would be a bitch in reality. i woulda kicked her straight dead in the shins if she would said that to me =^p well good stuff dan dan. i wish i could have that kinda expierence. had to been a blast! i learn something new about acting all the time from you =)

    • bboyneko November 15, 2005 at 7:53 pm #

      yup yup was fun. It was cool to see her and everyone else act super up close. It’s a good learning experience.

  3. anniepookins November 15, 2005 at 7:58 pm #

    I actually drove right by you people on Sunday night. I was in a car with two other people and they were like “Oooh, maybe it was a really bad accident.” And I said, “Hm. No, I’m pretty sure that’s the Nicole Kidman movie. My friend Dan is in it.” I should have stopped by. 🙂 The lighting looked really pretty.
    Anyway. Are they screwing up traffic in DC yet? It’s really getting on everyone’s nerves.

    • anniepookins November 15, 2005 at 7:59 pm #

      Edit: Are they DONE screwing up traffic in DC yet?

      • bboyneko November 15, 2005 at 8:00 pm #

        they are filming at the Chilean Embassy for 2 more days, after that I am not sure where they will film. They are on day 34 of 58 or so, so at least another month if filming.

    • bboyneko November 15, 2005 at 7:59 pm #

      seriously, if you had stopped by you could have hung out with me and met Nicole Kidman.

      • anniepookins November 15, 2005 at 8:04 pm #

        Well, I wasn’t driving. 🙂 And I think Nicole Kidman is a pompous ass, so, that wouldn’t have been a benefit. 🙂

      • bboyneko November 15, 2005 at 8:07 pm #

        she is an ass. 😡

      • anniepookins November 15, 2005 at 8:31 pm #

        Hehe. Yes, I read.
        My most favorite brush with celebrities was in NYC on the Brooklyn Bridge a few years ago. Ben and I, and our friend Jake, were walking across it on a nice, sunny day. Ben was taking pictures and this guy ran up to him and said “Whoa, whoa buddy. You can take pictures when we’re done.” Ben gave him a confused look and said, “What?” And the guy said, “You can have a picture taken with Sarah when she’s done filming this scene.” And Ben said “Sarah who?” And the dude said “Umm. Sara Jessica Parker?” And Ben said, “Who is that?” It was AWESOME. Plus, Ben really didn’t know who she was. That made it more awesome.
        Anyway. Sarah Jessica Parker really looks like a witch up close, even with makeup. I think there must be a lot of film touch-up done before the episodes air. Some kind of magic airbrushing.

  4. cleophite November 15, 2005 at 10:07 pm #

    Aw, that’s dissapointing that she was so cold. Maybe she’s just really, really shy.
    At any rate, how exciting! Hopefully I’ll be following in your footsteps soon 🙂

    • bboyneko November 16, 2005 at 12:15 am #

      lol so shy she stars in major motion pictures

      • cleophite November 16, 2005 at 4:29 am #

        lol. Well, I mean, some people are weird like that. I’ve met some who are brilliant on stage, but the most socially awkward ever offstage. Go figure.
        This is me wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt because I like her as an actress.

      • bboyneko November 16, 2005 at 4:45 am #

        i do too but on set she is a class-A ass.

    • bboyneko November 16, 2005 at 1:41 am #

      let me know if you need any resources or help in joining SAG and getting SAG work.

      • cleophite November 16, 2005 at 4:22 am #

        I very well might do that. I need to have headshots passed around to casting agents, which I guess is step one. Still trying to figure out where I need to go.

      • bboyneko November 16, 2005 at 4:44 am #

        make sure the headshots are bad-ass, pics taken by ‘my good friend bob who is a photography student’ don’t make the cut. I highly reccomend Roy Cox, check out his site recently he added a ton of new headshots:
        http://www.4-optic.com

      • cleophite November 16, 2005 at 4:54 am #

        Wow, those are gorgeous. Cost? Was this the same guy you were talking about when you got your headshots?

      • bboyneko November 16, 2005 at 6:02 am #

        yes same guy, $275 a session

  5. yellowpez November 15, 2005 at 11:45 pm #

    Daniel Craig stood next to me at LAX earlier this year (late April).. He looked like he knew people were noticing him and was rushing, so I got too intimidated to even wave. 😦 He had nice shoes.

  6. sexiloser November 16, 2005 at 8:48 am #

    that’s so awesome! i hope we can see you in the movie when it comes out!

  7. Anonymous November 18, 2005 at 7:48 pm #

    I was also an embassy extra
    I was there as an extra for the same three days at the Chilean embassy. On Saturday evening, the SAG actress chosen as my wife and I were the first couple to enter the embassy through the rain just as Nicole and Daniel arrived. Even with hose problems, that rain was category six in my opinion. Special effects rock!
    We were also given scene-crossing roles in the front foyer-greeting scene on the second day (Sunday), and were picked to be ‘Snatched Aliens’ at the table just through the door from the primary dinner table on the third day (Monday). We were so somber and lifeless-acting the others at our table actually became somewhat disconcerted and found it difficult to produce the necessary gaiety required of them. But being good actors/actresses, they persevered despite our grim, intense stares.
    I found Nicole Kidman to be reserved – as was Daniel Craig – but I too approached her briefly the first night (Saturday). I took her hand, told her it was a pleasure to be a part of this and that she was stunning. She smiled slightly, but genuinely, and thanked me and I moved on. No need to be a bother on set.
    That brings me to my next story – a second discussion with her that she initiated on Sunday evening. I was standing in the foyer to the right of the stairs while Nicole strode back and forth in her topcoat waiting for the next setup. She suddenly stopped in front of me, smiled slightly, and said, “I have to go to the bathroom.”
    I blinked and said, “Okay.”
    Then she smiled a little wider and said, “You’re standing in front of the door.”
    True, I consider her to be somewhat reserved, but in that lifestyle, it’s totally understandable, never knowing what to expect next, or from whom. And everyone wanting a little piece of you to take back.
    Daniel Craid seemed very reserved too, but same thing. He wasn’t offensive and he DID stop that car from ‘killing people.’
    I particularly liked the assistant director from Texas who was just a decent guy. And the background direction staff seemed professional and genuine too. Even Oliver, the German director seemed down-to-earth. He actually stood at the door after filming on Sunday evening and thanked us individually for our participation as we departed.
    Overall, a tremendous experience! A real hoot! And a lot of thanks, as you say, to Lisa Beasley who, I hope, keeps me in mind for more!
    ccp

    • bboyneko November 18, 2005 at 8:04 pm #

      Re: I was also an embassy extra
      I blinked and said, “Okay.”
      Then she smiled a little wider and said, “You’re standing in front of the door.”

      When you earn 16 million for a movie, I guess I can start to see how you start to lose your humanity/ soul. And the assitant director was indeed awesome, he had genuine wit and charm in a situation where most peopl’es wit had been sapped by 12-14 hour days back to back for months on end.

      • bboyneko November 18, 2005 at 8:06 pm #

        Re: I was also an embassy extra
        also let me add that despite my critisism of the arrogance of many of the SAG actors on set I also met a good amount of down-to-earth individuals.
        Hope to see everyone in the final cut!
        The way things usually work out, wouldn’t suprise me if the entire scene is cut hehe.

      • Anonymous December 14, 2005 at 1:38 am #

        Re: I was also an embassy extra
        Hi there.
        I was an extra the past couple of days in Baltimore. It was my first time to ever do anything at all. The Director picked me out of all the extras to help Andy, Daniel’s stunt double, pick Nicole up off of the floor and basically drag her into the back room. That was the entire first day. Then the 2nd day I was in the background behind her in a couple of scenes. Her man, Keith Urban, was there, Daniel Craig was there, and several other actors whom I recognized. I hung out and talked to many SAG actors as well as non-union actors. I found all the SAG actors who I talked to to be very nice. All the extras ate the same food as Daniel and Nicole. In fact I sat a couple of chairs away from Daniel Craig the first night for lunch.
        I actually saw her eating quite a bit, and had several small, but actual conversations with her. She was very nice, she just seems to be focused on her work and a bit reserved and shy. He was very chatty and nice.
        I don’t find her all that attractive to be honest, she’s just not my type, but her face didn’t look all botoxed to me. In fact, she looked very natural.
        This was all after a couple of months of filming and they were STILL this nice. Maybe you were around them on a bad day???
        As I said, I’ve never done anything like this before and while I would like to continue doing it as I was fascinated by the whole process, I KNOW that I was very lucky to get to do what I did and think maybe I should just quit now and be happy with my successful acting “career”. haha
        On another note, Oliver and all the members of the crew were great and very personable. They all knew me by name and even remembered it after we left and came back 2 days later.

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