Showbiz Dad

When I was a kid, my mum was (among many things) a stage actress. She trained at the Ensemble Theatre and performed there many times, along with other theatres in Sydney.

I can still remember sitting in dressing rooms with her, shyly chatting to the other actors and at other times running screaming around the theatre with my sister like we owned the place.

Watching the plays from the wings was always a thrill and possibly a pain for my mother worrying that I would sit still and be quiet (it wasn’t often that I did).

Once I was given the task by a stage manager to tell all the actors the time so they knew how long it was until curtain. Which I did with pride.

But most nights while my mum was treading the boards, my dad was tucking us in at night after a hard day programming COBOL for IBM.

In a strange twist of events, my father took an interest in acting a few years ago and has since become a semi-professional extra – or background actor.

He has been scene-filler in a few ads and TV shows like Packed to the Rafters but the best parts he’s had have been his mini-series and movie roles.

Cast as a Union solider in the Wolverine Origins movie, he had to grow a beard, stop cutting his hair and basically let his appearance go to pot — as he was meant to look like a soldier who’d been at war for many months. He even received basic training. All this for 3 secs of footage in the opening credits.

I can tell you our family was slightly disappointed as we’d all organised a trip to see the movie together and play spot-o and it was over before you could blink.

Luckily dad’s brother was also an extra in this scene and was able to sweet talk these amazing photos from one of the set photographers.

Can you play spot-o? Can you see my father? Liev Schreiber in is in the centre. Images © photographer

The role he had was that of a doctor patching up razor-slashed women of the night in the Channel Nine series Underbelly: Razor. That was a featured extra role. Very exciting.

Photographs © Ninemsn

His biggest production to date has been The Great Gatsby. A bigger than Ben Hur production to be sure! He is a guest at many of Gatsby’s parties. I am not sure how much I am able to say, since the movie has not been released so I will keep it simple.

While I was awaiting the birth of my little bub, my dad was out from 7am one morning to early the next morning getting dolled up in a suit, hair pomaded and then covered in confetti!

He would come home with great stories about his time on set, as well as his brother’s (they share the same agent). While my mother and I worried that the day I went into labour my father would be off at one of that damned Gatsby’s parties! How fitting.

Time to play spot-o again! Screen shots from the official trailer © Warner Bros

We did have a thrill watching paparazzi footage filled from a far and spotting dad arrive in a limo with starlets on his arm. And the biggest thrill came when the official trailer was released and there was dad! And only a few feet from Gatsby himself. So exciting!

Why yes, that is my father arriving with a starlet, while Leonardo DiCaprio watches on. Screen shot from the paparazzi footage

I am very proud of him, he seems to have so much fun. And for us it is so much fun to spot him in action!

  • Rosalie

    I love the Union soldier photo, your father has a certain gravitas.

  • Wow, that is so neat! And what great photos. I was an extra in a movie when I was 12 and it was so much fun!

  • Awesome! What movie?