Tag Archives: Lucy Liu

An eye for talent

I cast a major network sitcom.

No — not cast in.  I helped cast one of the guest stars in last night’s episode of Up All Night.

Let me explain.

Earlier this year, Christina Applegate took to Twitter and asked her followers to suggest comedic actors for a project.  Knowing most people would go with the obvious choices, I put forth a recent find:

Steven Pasquale

I happened upon the actor a month or two before in the USA mini-series Marry Me, co-starring Lucy Liu.  The movie wasn’t anything to write home about, but Pasquale was.

He took your typical made-for-TV romantic lead and turned it into something uniquely appealing.  His timing was unique.  I stuck with the mini-series — we’re talking four hours, people — because he made the expected and predictable extremely entertaining.

Christina later tweeted a thank you for our suggestions, saying she had received a couple of names that she didn’t recognize and planned to research.

And look who pops up on Up All Night??

It’s pretty gratifying, I admit.  (Would be even more so with a finder’s fee.)

Scenery

In a recent interview promoting her soon-to-be released film The Adjustment Bureau, Emily Blunt described what it was like working with co-star Matt Damon.

“Most of the time there was a guy on the loudspeaker yelling, ‘Do not look at Matt Damon!’ because all the extras were just staring at him,” she laughed. “I feel like I see people’s brains melting when they see him!”

I’ve experienced similar reactions on film and TV sets here in New York when I’ve been an extra.  The production staff is always very clear about any interaction with the lead actors on set:

NONE

I saw one extra break the rule during an overnight shoot for the short-lived TV series Cashmere Mafia, starring Lucy Liu and Frances O’Connor.

We were filming a cocktail party scene at a restaurant on the Upper East Side.  After hours of setting cameras and getting us in place, the director finally brought the lead actors out on set.

Just before he called ‘action,’ an extra standing close to the leads noticed that actor Peter Hermann (husband to Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU) had a large blotch of makeup on his suit.  Without thinking, she stepped forward and brushed the spot with her hand.

She touched a lead actor.

Hermann flinched like he had been burned.  He left the set surrounded by makeup and wardrobe people.  All the principals left their marks, and we didn’t resume the scene for a good 20 minutes.

Production assistants appeared out of nowhere, grabbed the extra and whisked her from the set.  She never reappeared.

It was a gross overreaction on many levels, but a good reminder to all the background actors: ‘furniture’ like us shouldn’t jump up suddenly and startle the actors.

Cashmere Mafia was canceled after just a few episodes.

Karma?