Friday, June 29, 2007

Crunch On.... Life as a Lollipot

Either being a lollipop lady is exhausting, or being an A-list celebrity film star is exhausting but after just one day "on set" for the new Crunchy Nuts cornflakes ad, I am absolutely KNACKERED.


My new life as Julia Roberts Lollipot kicked off at 6am this morning. Early starts are not really my forte but earning 500 euros for lollipopping round a golf course is, so I kept my complaining to the usual bare minimum. Richard was super-perky though because he'd just heard that the very first thing we would be doing on set was having breakfast.

Sure enough, once we'd spent a few hours driving round St Cugat industrial estate looking for the golf course, we were settled into a hearty brekky. Rob had already told us that "Cattereen" (Catalan for catering) is superb on Spanish film sets and I have to say my toasted egg-cheese sarnie was top notch.

Then it was into the trailer for "make-up". The make-up chick was clearly horrified by what she had to deal with and asked for more time. The #7 under-assistant key grip said not to worry as i would be largely covered by my hat, lollipop and size 22 florescent jacket. He wasn't kidding.

There were 15 extras in all, including Saika - another mate from Sitges - playing the role of "A Mum". As Saika has been method-acting being a Mum for 7 years, I didn't think this was particularly challenging until we met the kid playing "Small Boy". Roberto's only job was to sit in a pushchair but it turned out Roberto was a bit of a diva. He refused to get in and burst into tears.

Filming ground to a halt while all the assistant dolly grip gaffer people tried to reason with him.

"Get us another kid", shouted the director, only half-joking. Eventually someone bribed "Small Boy" into the pushchair with 20 euros and some Crunchy Nuts and filming continued. Reechard said he he was going to burst into tears too but hold out for 40 and an entrecote steak.

After Saika did her bit, and "Bridge and Groom", "Swimmer" and "Jogger" did theirs, the film crew disppeared up to the 8th tee to shoot "Golfer" and "Construction Worker". Things started getting rather dull so Reechard and I got out the Scrabble and I beat him 367 / 240.

Despite "Cattereen" turning up with mid-morning snacks and "Repairman" blocking my view with his enormous toolkit, it was still quite dull so Rich and I wandered up the fairway to help the director Jim Canty. Jim was delighted and said it was unlikely he'd even have been able to finish filming without us.

Four hours later and it was finally my turn. Along with all the other extras, I had to run onto the 8th green waving my Stop sign and straining to catch imaginary Crunchy Nuts falling from the sky. I was superb on the first take but apparently all the others were rubbish, so we re-shot the scene 7 times until they got it right.

Then it was Richard's turn. He lay facedown in the bunker while a clutch of 4th assistant dolly grip people buried him in sand. He then had to jump to his feet and stagger backwards catching imaginary Crunchy Nuts falling from the sky. As Richard habitually hopes food will fall out of the sky, this didn't really count as acting but nevertheless, he was quite brilliant and after 402 takes, Jim called it a wrap. We headed back to Cattereen for a bit more food, then bade all our new showbiz friends a tearful goodbye, but not before half the film crew asked for my autograph and the props girl asked for the Stop sign back. Then it was home to Sitges.