Sympathy for Delicious

True tales of being a featured extra in a movie with Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom

By Lisa Zion, contributing writer
Published on LatinoLA: February 7, 2009

Sympathy for Delicious

At the beginning, of January there were several acting jobs listed that sounded pretty good. As the New Year began I started to wonder. Do I follow my dreams of being an actor, or do I push them aside yet again? Financially, I do need to find another job. But in one year I've come so far in my acting career and I'd hate to go backwards.

I received a phone call to work as an extra on a new film entitled "Sympathy for Delicious". The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney, Juliette Lewis and Christopher Thornton.

The film is about a Los Angeles DJ (Thornton), who becomes paralyzed and is struggling to survive on the streets when he turns to faith-healing. I was thrilled to learn that Mark Ruffalo is making his directorial debut in this film.

I reported to the set in downtown LA. I have never figured out who does the final casting. Is it the casting director or is it the director? Anyway, I was chosen to be a featured extra that is healed by the faith healer.

As an actor with a disability, I asked the "Why me?" question for years before I realized that in life you just have to deal with the cards you've been dealt and carry on. So, I believe my disability is what got me this gig.

Go figure.

I stood outside waiting to hear information on the upcoming scene when director, Mark Ruffalo walked by me. I've always been a big fan of his work. He is one of those consistently good actors who delivers the goods and makes it look easy.

We received direction for the upcoming scene and just before we started rolling, there was a soft touch on my left shoulder as Mark leaned into to give me an added directiom. I turned to look at Mark and nodded my head in agreement as someone yelled "Action!"

How many can say that they were chosen to be in a scene with Orlando Bloom?

I did my job and after a few takes we got the shot we needed.


Mark seemed very pleased and thanked all the principal performers. He saw me and came up to thank me, too. I told him how I was a big fan of his. And he said, "Now that I've seen your work, I'm a big fan of yours, too!"

Then he gave me a big bear hug and kissed me on the cheek! I may never wash my face again.

As we wrapped for the day, I stood patiently waiting with the other extras as our pay vouchers were being signed. They were all like me, actors just wanting to work and hopefully, catch a break in Hollywood.

And once in awhile, you get lucky and meet someone like Mark Ruffalo.

About Lisa Zion, contributing writer:
Lisa Zion is in rehearsals for Attack of the 30 Foot Chola
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