Today's awesome Fab Fan Encounter was submitted by fan Chris Head, an extra in Channing Tatum's highly-anticipated romantic drama 'Dear John'. Chris' story reminds us how exciting, rewarding, and tough the life of a film extra (and principle actor) can be.
As I previously posted, the movie filmed in Harleyville and at the Citadel in South Carolina the week of December 15th 2008. Here's what Chris (who you see with Chan in the first photo below) had to say about his eventful days on the Harleyville and Citadel sets of 'Dear John'...
"Well, I was fortunate enough to be able to be a part of this film. It was definitely an experience I will not forget. I received a call from Tona [casting] asking if I was available to shoot on a Tuesday. My heart dropped, and I immediately said yes!
Tuesday was shooting in Harleyville. It was an Afghan village scene. It was definitely something else. Smoke and debris filled the air. The rubbish and broken concrete made it look like a complete disaster area. Camels, livestock, goats, etc. also roamed the area. I dressed the part of an Afghan local, and drove a car that followed behind the US Army Hummers. Just when the 12hr day wrapped, and I figured this was it, I was asked if I could come back for the rest of the week to play an Afghan rebel. Mind you this is a 3hr drive for me everyday.
After the week was over, Sunday night around 11:45 pm, I received a call from Tona asking if I could play US Army at 6am in the morning. I was shocked, and wondered how I would make it through the day. I had been up all day. It was 11:45pm and they needed me to be on set at 7am. Plus the 3hr drive to Charleston. I did it anyway.
This time it was portraying, I believe, Saudi Arabia. Excellent job doing so I might add. The scenery was unreal. You would never in a million years guess this was in Harleyville, SC. I met Channing for the first time, and got to talk with him for a few minutes. He was a SUPER NICE guy! I even had my picture taken with him!
I drove home that evening and had to be back at the Citadel the next morning for the next shoot! I was completely EXHAUSTED! I drove the 3hr drive...went straight to sleep...woke up in the middle of the night to get ready...and started my drive to the Citadel. This time I was playing a doctor/orderly in Channing's room in Germany. This was the second time I would get to actually get a chance to talk with Channing.
They were preparing him for the next scene when they brought him back to the room I was in. I was actually by myself too. It was just me, Channing, and the assistant director. I listened to him sing out loud to himself as they pulled the bandages off his back. One swift pull on the bandage and you could hear the tape literally rip off his back! The look on Channing face was priceless!
The day was wrapping up. It was 7pm or so and I had been in the infirmary for hours. It was hot, smokey, and full of crew members. I walked outside and to my surprise it was DARK!! I had no clue. The crew for the movie had put up lights outside of the infirmary windows to make it look like daytime.
They did an EXCELLENT job at doing so because many of the people walking out had the same look on there face as I did! This was the last day for me. It was 9pm on Tuesday night, and the movie was coming to an end. Tomorrow was the last day for filming, and no background was needed...Overall, it was great. Definitely a LOT of work, and it was very exhausting. I met great people, ate AWESOME food, and had the experience of a lifetime. :)"
'Dear John' tells the story of John (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he meets during her spring vacation. The movie wrapped filming in the Charleston, South Carolina area last month and will be released in theaters this fall or in the Spring of 2010. Fans can CLICK HERE to get even more news and photos from the various 'Dear John' filming locations.
Big thanks to Chris for sending in the great photos and his story! If you happen to run into Chan or Jenna, send your photos and fan encounter stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will post them on the blog to share with envious fans all around the globe! ;-)