More Personal Movie Memories (from my working days)

Here I continue my movie memories of films I have worked on based on recollection and an old resume I found.

PRESUMED INNOCENT: I hadn’t noted this before but on all the films I worked through my teenage years my father came to set with me, which was actually a requirement. You had to have a parent and/or guardian with you. You could come by yourself as well and have a parent sign out entrusting you to the set, but my father and I had a great relationship and he got to vicariously live out his own dreams through me. What else was he going to do? He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was 10 and my mother was the breadwinner, much more dedicated to working. I think my dad loved getting to spend all that time with his son and getting to see me do my thing on a set. I know he must’ve gotten a blast over the fact that me being so gregarious, easy going and brave almost always wielded me time with the stars and/or director of the film instead of just sitting around with my fellow extras and the production assistants. On this film I took the opportunity during the amazing super spread lunch to go up to Harrison Ford and get some amazing face time. He ended up inviting my dad and me to sit down with him for lunch and proceeded to tell me stories and such. It was actually a truly great experience, not the greatest one I would have on a set, but a truly good one.

THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY: The scene I worked on was right in the beginning of the film at South Street Seaport. It was shot very quickly and there was practically no down time. I don’t remember getting meet Tom Selleck at all, or Ted Danson, or even Steve Guttenberg. I’m not really sure how that’s possible, but I have no memories of meeting them, just seeing them working on the set and filming. I did get to meet Ted Danson many years later though in an even cooler situation. His daughter was taking a tour of my college and he decided to come sit outside the student lounge and just relax. Back in college if I wasn’t in class or shopping that is where you’d find me. My home was too far away to go back to in between and the lounge was a chill place. I noticed Ted and we just got to talking, him asking me questions about the school and such and then just proceeding to other topics. I got to see Danson one more time after his daughter decided to attend the school and he was picking her up and he remembered so we talked some more. I’ve had other interactions with him since, related to other friends and acquaintances connections to him, but I still have yet to meet Tom Selleck and unfortunately not even Steve Guttenberg, who I freaking LOVE.

PRINCE OF TIDES: This was one of the only experiences of a film set where I felt such hate and animosity. Barbara Streisand obviously didn’t care about the extras and broke many Union rules. Our “trailer” was a bus with no air conditioning, our lunch were tuna salad sandwiches or peanut butter & jelly, both which had melted sitting inside the hot bus. We were kept waiting hours on end. I almost left this film out, but I decided to keep it in since I have those horrible memories. It has soured me to Streisand ever since. I wouldn’t mind getting a chance one day to be proven wrong.

THE PICKLE: I played an alien in the movie within a movie part of this production. My mom was Isabella Rosselini and she was a wonderful woman. Such a beauty to be around. Working on this film was an amazing adventure. I got to hang out with Donald Trump, Little Richard, Meg Ryan. I got a lot of life lessons from director Paul Mazursky. My mom hit on star Danny Aiello. She wasn’t really hitting on him as my dad was there too, but it made her day to flirt with one her favorite actors. I got to spend a lot of time with Aiello too. It was awesome. I also got to hang out with one of my regular extra buddies, Mario Bosco, who I’d done film work with before and would again. You might know him from The Hard Way and/or Maury Povich, Jimmy Kimmel, NYPD Blue, etc. This was just an awesome experience.

A BRONX TALE: Equally this was another amazing experience. Mario was on this set with me and the two of us spent a lot of time with future unfortunate convict Lillo Brancato. I had another friend of this set who also was with us a lot. Lillo brought some of his girls around the set so I got to have a temporary female to neck with. A lot of my time was spent talking to Chazz Palmintierri for hours on end as DeNiro as a first time director would take hours on end to set up a shot before filming. I got to learn how to play poker from some legit mob guys as well. I was amazed when I met Joe Pesci and I felt like I stood a foot taller than him. It was probably just an inch or two, but I was 16 and felt short at the time and he was Joe Pesci. DeNiro was a fascinating figure, but he really is as quiet as everyone says. Unless when it’s one on one and then he talks as much as anyone. I would not replace my time working on this film with anything I think.

A few more movies to go, but this is a good place to stop on memory lane for now I think.