When it comes to sneaking onto the set of a major motion picture, finding myself on the set of the James Bond’s new film ‘Quantum of Solace’ was about as symbolic as they come.
Daniel Craig came dashing by me wearing a bloodied button down shirt. His face was dirty and he wore several gashes above his eye that dripped fake blood down his cheek. I wanted to touch him. He had, trailing behind, several men dressed as agents including a high-paid actor named Rory playing the role of Tanner.
I attended the casting call wearing my best James Bond shirt: a dragon logo from ZARA I picked up on sale. $19.99. Apparently though, none of the directors liked it because I never got a callback. But being the persistent actor that I am, I decided to join my associate Joel his fitting and try to sneak myself into a role for the movie.
Inside the Instituto Nacional, a large compound near the gorgeous neighborhood of Chorillo, were a small team of men and women wearing cargo shorts and tags around their necks. Everyone talked like James Bond. I was asked my name and simply gave the first one I saw on their clipboard list that had not been crossed out: Sergio Torres.
“OK, Sergio. Why don’t you take a seat over there and we’ll give you a shout when we’re ready.”
I was in! While I waited, I contemplated what kind of role the real Sergio might have played in this movie should he have arrived before me. “Bring in Sergio” the director might have called out. I’d then strut onto set wearing perhaps a top hat or a feather boa. “No autographs please” I’d call out. Then with a syncopated rhythm to my voice I’d say that which people would come to know as my punch line.
After being fitted with a nice sport coat and what the British stylist referred to as “smart” jeans, I was sent home and asked to show up on Wednesday. Wednesday rolled around and this Sergio showed up early, making small talk with the men in cargo shorts, referring to stories about times people had gotten my name wrong. “One guy even called me Serge” I laughed. “Like a surge protector! Can you believe that?”
About an hour later, this Sergio was escorted in a James Bond van past a hundred (ok, there wasn’t a hundred, maybe two) fans. Along with the few other extras on the shoot, this Sergio wandered into the INAC building in Casco which had been converted into the Grand Andean Hotel. There were no warm applauses but I did get to see Judy Dench drinking a bottle of water. She was the size of a small bear.
The set looked magnificent and sleek: with white orchids and slim lighting, even details like a carefully printed reservation booklet for the fictitious hotel. This Sergio would be playing the role of hotel guest, past which would wander the James Bond. After having watched Casino Royale beforehand I was on the look out for Daniel Craig, but none of the other actors looked familiar. In reality, they were probably thinking the same about me: this Sergio looks way different from the last film.
The night wound into the early morning and before I knew it, it was 4 AM, time to wrap up. Might night as Sergio saw James Bond jumping over a few balconies, and tip-toeing along a thin railing (attached by a safety cable). There was one other extra on the scene, a good looking woman, who had snuck her iPOD onto set. She was reprimanded immediately and asked to stand in the background behind Sergio.