Aspiring actors called to open casting session
BUDDING actors with a thirst for stardom could be in line for a big break next week at an open casting session for movie extras.
Would-be Colin Farrells and Saoirse Ronans will be making their way to the Westbury hotel next weekend where the company MovieExtras.ie will be hosting three days of casting.
With more than 2,000 people already on their books, competition for roles as extras is tough, but it seems there's always room for more.
And those who find themselves plucked for plum extras jobs could end up on the big screen in any one of the big budget films coming to Ireland next year.
For once, age, sex, height and appearance won't be an issue, as casting agents will be looking for people at every end of the spectrum in order to satisfy the requirements for films, television programmes and even commercials.
In exchange for signing a one-year contract, extras will be offered work on any number of productions, depending on their suitability and availability.
And while it's not quite on a par with Hollywood, there's still a small bit of money to be made from it.
It's certainly the ideal year to sign up, with a number of big-budget movies gearing up to film in Ireland in the coming months.
Despite rumours to the contrary, Ireland is still the favoured location for the epic film Mary Queen of Scots, featuring Hollywood starlet Scarlett Johansson.
The €20m production is expected to be the first major big-screen success since King Arthur was filmed here five years ago.
However, if it does get the green light, many of the extras will be drafted in from the Defence Forces.
Ireland has also been earmarked as the possible location for the new all-star film version of Shakespeare's King Lear, which is due to begin production next year.
And with a cast including Anthony Hopkins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kiera Knightley and Naomi Watts, there'll be no shortage of eager extras looking to get their faces on the screen.
Following a barren few years for the Irish film industry, the country is once again managing to draw the big names.
Last month, former Friends star Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson jetted in to Galway to shoot scenes for their upcoming film Marley & Me.
The latest series of the costume drama The Tudors is currently filming around the country, starring Jonathan Rhys-Myers, with MovieExtras.ie providing several people for crowd scenes.
The company also supplied actors for scenes in Colin Farrell's new movie Triage, which was partly filmed in Ireland.