Name dropping, pt 3


I had been on leave back in England visiting with my in-laws. When I returned to work, a friend from AFN had been by the office looking for me. I called him to find out what he wanted. “While you were gone they were auditioning for another film. Give em a call, you might still get an audition.” I thanked him and immediately rang the number.The number was to a production company in Amsterdam. They had indeed been holding “cattle-call” auditions for a feature filmwhile I was on leave. I couldn’t get to Amsterdam quickly enough, so they arranged to come see me at my home. Thus began what is still one of the most surreal experiences that I have had to date.The camera van pulled up in front of my row house in Leusden. The lady who was going to conduct the “audition” which was really more like a filmed interview, brought all the equipment and crew into my house. As they set everything up I felt as though I had somehow fallen into a Twilight Zone episode. While the interview was being conducted my Dutch and Americanneighbours kept walking past my house and glancing curiously in the front window. I cannot stress how unreal this whole situation was. I was being treated almost like a celebrity and it was slightly blowing my mind. Even as I look back today on this interview/audition it feels surreal.While packing up their things the interviewer said that they would be in touch very soon as time for casting the film was running out. As they drove off I said to my wife very matter-of-factly that we would never hear from them again. In this instance, I was wrong. Two weeks to the day they called me. They wanted me to go with the other ‘short listed’ actors to meet the producer of the film.

Excitedly driving to Amsterdam, I managed to not violate the speed laws despite my nervous excitement.  I arrived early and was immediately ushered in to meet the producer. I am ashamed to admit that to this day I cannot remember his name. I do remember he was tall, large and despite being jet-lagged full of good humour.

Cover of "The Company of Wolves (1985) [B...
Cover of The Company of Wolves (1985) [Blu-ray]
He explained that the film was to be directed by the chap who was assistant director on The Company of Wolves. Another name I cannot for the life of me remember. The part I would be playing was going to be in the entire film and I would be one of the last cast members to be killed off. My character was  a “computer geek” who would be shot right between the eyes towards the end of the film.The producer said that as far as he was concerned I had the part. Shooting would begin in a few weeks time in and around Amsterdam. The entire shoot would last for six to eight weeks. He expressed  concerns about my having problems getting time away from the USAFand how they would react to the film’s theme.I need to explain here that the film was a little bit anti-military. The plot had to do with a nuclear shelter and some sort of stress test for the military members inside it. It did not put the military in a positive light. I could have cared less. This was the kind of part I had dreamed of. Not only would my character have been critical to the film, but I got killed!!! Shot right between the eyes yet! I was over the moon.

The producer then said I would have a camera test (he stressed repeatedly that this was not a screen test as I had the part already) with the director in a couple of weeks time. This would coincide with make-up tests and costume fittings. He asked me to leave my phone number with him and I would be told where to go and when.

Three weeks went by with no word. I decided to call the company who had come out for my “audition.” When I finally got through it was to hear the depressing news that funding for the project had fallen through. The green light had gone red.