Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman as a scientist hot on the trail of an alien epidemic, begins filming in Baltimore on Sept. 26, and is scheduled to be staying in Charm City through the end of the year. That long a residency means the production is going to require a lot of extras -- roughly 3,000, according to Lisa Beasley, extras casting coordinator for the film.
Timonium (coincidentally, near the site of the much-lamented Timonium Drive-In Theatre). Candidates should bring a headshot (that's a photo from the neck up), a resume and a pen. Auditions will run until 1 p.m.
Everyone is invited, says Beasley, emphasizing that such a sizable cast of extras means they'll be looking for every possible type of person. "We're looking for very diverse ethnicities and ages," she says (although not kids; you need to be 18 to audition). "We want good character faces. We're looking for policemen, firemen, hospital workers. We're looking for all races, all creeds, from society blue bloods to blue-collar workers."
While it wouldn't hurt to already own a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) or American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) card -- and there will be a special line for those who do -- Beasley says union membership is not a requirement. Just a willingness to stay in the background, and maybe a curiosity about just what working on a film set entails.
Those picked will work anywhere from one day to several weeks, she says. "They'll work a 12-hour day, they'll come to the set, they'll be checked over for their wardrobe, they'll be asked to participate in various scenes, they'll be directed. And there will be a lot of waiting, too. We ask people to bring a book, because there will be certain periods of down time."
One group that is discouraged from coming is the starstruck, Beasley says. The Invasion set will be a workplace, not a chance to ogle Kidman or anyone else who may end up in the cast.
"It's a work environment," she stresses. "I think that's the most important thing people need to realize. You're not going to be hanging around with the stars. Everyone is very professional. You don't intrude on the actors, who are trying to do a job. It's not an autograph-signing session."
Although details of the film are not being released, here's a clue: One of the groups that extras will be asked to portray is listed as "snatchers," or "people infected with a virus." Sounds like another variation on the theme made famous in the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, about alien seed pods that turn earthlings into soulless, emotionless drones.
For more information on tomorrow's casting call, telephone 410-553-8900. Those who can't make it tomorrow should send a headshot, resume and recent color snapshot to Invasion Extras Casting, 211 E. Lombard St., P.O. Box 288, Baltimore 21202-6102. Include your height, weight, clothing sizes, make and model of your car and all possible contact numbers.
DVDs to goWant fries with that DVD?
Beginning Tuesday, 112 McDonald's in the Baltimore area will be sporting red automated kiosks dispensing rental DVDs to those hungry for entertainment as well as Big Macs. Customers over 18 with a valid credit or debit card can rent discs for $1 a night, with no due date; after 25 days, the DVD becomes the customer's to keep. You don't even have to return the DVD to the same location.
Baltimore is one of four cities getting the kiosks, known by the brand name redbox, this summer. In Denver, where the machines have been dispensing DVDs since last year, more than 1.7 million discs have been rented, according to a news release from McDonald's.
Of course, the big question is, can one rent Super Size Me from a redbox?
'President's Men'All the President's Men, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, will be this week's offering in the continuing revival series at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St. Show times are noon tomorrow, 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday, and admission is $5. Information: 410-727-FILM or www.thecharles.com.