I Was Almost a Star!
I went to see True Grit tonight. It has been on my list for about 9 months. You might wonder why. Well, it is a pretty good story, so I will share it here.
On March 31, 2010 I received this forwarded email:
Paramount Pictures is seeking a WOMAN MISSING HER LEFT ARM to be a photo double in TRUE GRIT, a new film by Joel & Ethan Coen.
Character description: Photo double for adult Mattie Ross: This woman must be MISSING HER LEFT ARM. Optimally, she would be around 5’8″, 138 lbs, slender to medium build. However, we are open to various looks. Age is not so much of an issue than height and weight.
To submit: Please do so asap! Send photos, measurements & contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos should be non-glamorous, simple snapshots (incl face and body. It’s best to wear a tank top & shorts). Please no prosthetics in the picture and no make up at all. We are looking for gritty not glamour.
3 Photo styles:
3/4 Body Shot (head to knees)
Full body shot
Include height, weight, age, hair color, eye color and measurements: bust, waist, hips.
Include age, phone numbers & place of residence.
Appropriate candidates may call our office at 512-637-6775.
Rate of pay: TBD
Note: TRUE GRIT is shooting in Austin, TX. However, we are open to nationwide submissions. Planning to shoot May 11th but this date could change.
TRUE GRIT Extras Casting Asst
I thought it was a joke and called to verify it was for real. Delighted that it was not a joke, I sent in the information requested, along with 3 professional photos from my website and waited. The next day, I received a phone call from Joe, a casting assistant, requesting additional photos. Mine were too professional! They really wanted shots with no make-up, shorts and a tank top. They were trying to “sell me, in a good way”, he said. So I did as they asked and received this email on April 3:
Hi Ruth – We did receive your photos in tank top and they were reviewed. I think we are good with the pictures now. Next, we will submit your pictures up the ladder and see what happens.
Extras Casting Assistant
Up the ladder, I was told, was to the producers, including the Coen Brothers and Stephen Spielberg. I was pretty excited. Visions of a sizeable contribution to the Hourglass Fund were dancing in my head.
Meanwhile I went to Italy for 2 weeks and had a really good time!
When I returned home, I admit that I was disappointed not to have heard anything. I sent an email and got this response:
Ruth, You were definitely one of our top picks, but unfortunately it came down to exact sizing since it was for a photo double. We will keep your email and information on file for any future projects. Thanks so much for your patience and time!
I was pleased that I had been considered, disappointed that I was not proportioned perfectly for the role, and curious to see the movie and how the body double was used.
So, today was the day. Everyone I know who has seen the movie has told me that I would have been perfect for the role. I must admit, it was really fun to see it and imagine myself in those scenes. Perhaps they will call someday. One never knows what might happen.
Oh, I give it four stars – there is violence, but it is a western and the Coen Brothers are not known for shying away from violence. In the opinion of this amputee who was not selected, it is a terrific movie!