Being an extra can sometimes be a thankless job. After all, nobody gets excited about extras, you're simply in the background filling up space - unless you do something to stand yourself out.
We've teamed up with the guys at Meteor who have just launched Meteor Extras, extra little gifts to say thanks, to compile a list of six times extras actually managed to steal the show from the stars.
Take a look!
6. THE PROPELLER GUY from 'Titanic'
Titanic, whether you love it or hate it, was a massive box-office success and catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and staying away from cruise ships into the public consciousness. Moreover, Celine Dion's hit single, My Heart Will Go On, became one of the biggest songs of the '90s. But the real star of Titanic wasn't DiCaprio and it wasn't Winslet. It wasn't even Billy Zane's perfectly manicured eyebrows. It was Propeller Guy. Remember when the ship is capsizing and the people start falling off? It's that guy who gets hit by the propeller that everyone remembers. Take a look (with added sound effects).
5. GLEN COCO from 'Mean Girls'
FOUR FOR YOU, GLEN COCO! We don't see his face or even hear his voice, yet everybody knows who Glen Coco is. Just shout 'FOUR FOR YOU, GLEN COCO!' the next time you're at a party or in a public space and people will know what you're talking about. How many extras can say that?
4. THE NON-EXISTENT SWEEPER from 'Quantum of Solace'
You had one job, guy. Stand in the background, sweep the ground, don't look at the camera. Nope - you're going down in movie history as the guy who swept the air behind James Bond. In fact, he's almost as well-known as...
3. THE STORMTROOPER WHO HIT HIS HEAD in 'Star Wars'
It's a throwaway scene and one that, on first viewing, you'd almost overlook. However, the Stormtrooper hitting his head became such a well-known extra / thing that George Lucas specifically included a scene in the prequel trilogy where Jango Fett, a bounty hunter who wears a similar helmet, bangs his head off the door in the same way. Nice little throwback there, but shame that it was in the prequel trilogy.
2. THE GUY WHO CLOCKS JOHN MALKOVICH WITH A BEER CAN in 'Being John Malkovich'
It's another one of those urban myths that's blown up over the years. The story goes that this scene was completely unscripted and that a randomer leaned out the window and hurled a can at John Malkovich, whose reaction was completely natural - as was the throw itself. As with everything, there's a kernel of truth in it all. As Spike Jonze explains on the commentary, the extras they'd hired brought some beer with them and proceeded to get a little tipsy. After they'd rehearsed and filmed the scenes several times, the extra simply leaned out the window and hurled it right at Malkovich, who was caught unaware. Jonze liked the scene so much, he bumped up the extra's pay packet and kept the scene in.
1. THE SWORD FIGHTER in 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'
The story behind this extra is almost as famous as the scene itself. During production of Raiders of the Lost Ark, most of the cast and crew came down with dysentery and (gulp) diahorrea. Harrison Ford, in particular, suffered badly during the Tunisia shoot. In sweltering heat and exhausted from running around for the better part of the day, Ford quietly asked Spielberg to shorten his scenes wherever possible. The sword fighter in question had spent at least two months choreographing and working on the fight, with the scene said to top off the entire setpiece. What happened? Movie history. And the extra completely stole the scene.
We know that nobody really gets excited about extras - unless they're Meteor Extras, extra little gifts to say thanks for choosing Meteor. As a way of saying thanks to their customers, all Meteor customers can go free to the cinema every month and enjoy 2 for 1 dining at selected restaurants. Visit www.meteor.ie/extras to find out more!