It all started back in March. I heard the Preston & Steve Show mention Creed II was looking for extras. I did a little more research and found the guidelines. You had to send an email to Heery Loftus Casting with some information about yourself (ie: age, height, weight, clothes size, how close you lived, make/model of your car, your availability, and a picture of yourself from within the last 90 days). Naturally, I had to at least send the email with my info. Fast forward about a month and I receive this:
Obviously I was making myself available for those days! I responded, letting them know I was available and within a few hours received this email back:
I signed on to the website Sunday night and received a rundown of what was going on. The website told us we were going to be a part of rounds 1-6 as VIPs to the boxing match in Russia. It then said we should show up dressed how we believed a Russian VIP at a boxing match would look. Immediately I thought, TRACK SUIT (LOL). That thought quickly went out the window. I decided I would dress in my darkest wedding suit. I figured I would also bring a few other articles of clothing in case I changed my mind after seeing what other people brought. Where was Bert Kreischer when I needed his Russian mob expertise!?
(Why I needed Bert’s help)
The morning of, I was wayyyy more nervous than I thought I’d be. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it was an excited nervousness. I showed up around 6:40AM and thought, “this place is HUGE!” Who knew there was an entire movie studio near Chester with a couple giant hangers to film in. While walking in I quickly made friends with a guy who reminded me of Mike Epps. Unfortunately, I don’t remember his name anymore. He pointed me in the right direction for check in, after our short walk and talk about how this was my first extra experience. As we split ways he said, “Yo Adam, nice meeting you. Enjoy!” He then took off to an area I wasn’t allowed in. I wouldn’t run into him again, as he ended up being body double for Wood Harris (one of Creed’s coaches).
(Mike Epps in All About The Benjamins… he’s also the rufilin guy from The Hangover)
As soon as I checked in, they handed me a packet of papers to fill out. They were W9s so you could receive payment. Up to this point, I had no idea I was going to be paid for this… I was literally just doing it for the experience and to possibly be in a Rocky/Creed movie. This just kept getting better!!
It was officially call time, so we all got in line to get locking cases for our phones. They couldn’t have anyone recording the scenes, so they handed out these cases.
(These are the locking cases)
We proceeded outside and across the parking lot to a giant hangar. Once we walked into the hangar, my jaw dropped. This giant room was covered with green screen and in the middle of the room was a boxing ring. I was in awe. This was one the of the coolest things I had ever been a part of. I took my seat in row 5 (there was only about 10 rows each on 3 sides of the ring). Within minutes of taking my seat, I see this 6 foot 8, 350 pound, giant walking towards me. I just knew he was going to sit directly in front of me and block every chance I had at making it into a scene. Sure enough, he does… and to my surprise, I recognized the guy. It was Bill Simmons, or if you’ve ever seen or heard of Wing Bowl, you would know him as “El Wingador.”
For the first half of the day he was in front of me, so the probability of making it on camera was very low. El Wingador must have gotten bored through the first half though because after lunch he never came back… AND that is when the work began. They announced to the extras, “if your birthday is between January and April, you will be standing and cheering for Drago.”
My birthday is in August, but you can bet your ass no one knew that. So, for the next two days, my birthday was in March! I wasn’t going to miss the chance to stand and cheer for the camera. Up and down all day… and when I say all day, I mean it. It was roughly a 12 hour day. It reminded me of the time I went up to NYC for a taping of America’s Got Talent. A lot of instruction goes into these things. The magic of TV/cinema, am I right?
I learned very quickly that I was very “green” at this. 99% of the people there had done work like this before (it was most people’s profession) and they were smart enough to bring something to do during the down time. The down time was after they shot a scene and had to redo everyone’s makeup. I decided pretty quickly that I would be bringing a book with me the next day.
(One of the few pictures I was allowed to take from in the break room)
The following day, was very similar (except this time I brought a book). The other difference was, all the main stars were in attendance… Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Brigitte Nielsen, and Dolph Lundgren. It was exciting!
My favorite story to tell from this experience, came this day at lunch. I didn’t write about lunch break the first day, but both days were great. We were provided boxed lunch and plenty of snacks and drinks. Anyway, this day at lunch, Dolph Lundgren decided he was going to skip his break. Instead of eating, he set up a bench press station in the middle of the lunchroom and proceeded to workout. It was fantastic! The dude became my idol instantly. I will be telling that story forever.
(I wasn’t able to get a picture of Dolph, as we weren’t really allowed to take pictures, but I did take this of the lunchroom)
Day 2 was another long day (roughly 12 hours) and even though I brought a book with me, I mostly made friends. In fact, I recently went to see The Upside (which is the new Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston movie) and I saw one of the kids I met. He was in a scene with Bryan Cranston. Apparently it was also filmed in Philly.
At the end of the day, they announced the movie would be coming out around Thanksgiving. I couldn’t believe it was only months away from the theatrical release! Oh the magic of movies (back to my previous point).
When the trailer finally released, I was ecstatic! I had all of my friends and family looking for me in the background. I knew it was unlikely, but hell, I was enjoying the moment. I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving!
(See if you can find me)
When Thanksgiving finally arrived, I took my cousins, Erick and Jasen, opening night. Unfortunately, I did not see myself. The scenes I would be in are in it, but they moved so quickly it was next to impossible to find me. When the movie is released on DVD, I’ll go back to check with the pause feature and I’ll be sure to update this post with my findings. Although its very possible I won’t find myself in the movie, I did come across this cool little tidbit:
I made it onto IMDb!!!! I mean, I’m no Ray Fisher (who plays Cyborg in the DC movies, is on the new season of True Detective, and graduated a year ahead of me at Haddon Heights High School), but this is sick nonetheless.
The movie was fantastic! I’m still partial to the first Creed, but this one is right there with it. As expected, Michael B. and Sly absolutely stole the show. If you’re a Rocky fan than this is a MUST SEE. It really brings out the nostalgia too with the whole Russia/Drago theme. Last year I created a movie review site with my friend Brett (www.reelreviewsoverbrews.com). If I was rating these movies on there, Creed would get a 9 out of 10. Creed II would get a 8.5 out of 10.
As long as the days were and the money they paid wasn’t great, this was such an amazing experience. I’m beyond glad I had this opportunity. Lets just say, this may not be the last time you read about my experience as an extra…