Hundreds seek extra roles in remake of 1973’s ‘The Crazies’



The Crazies”
Hundreds of people hoping to become extras in a horror movie lined up Tuesday afternoon for a shot at “The Crazies.”
Overture Pictures held an extras casting call at the Holiday Inn, aiming to fill the parts of townfolk and law enforcement officials for a remake of the 1973 horror flick that will film in parts of Perry and Peach County. What they got was a line of people that wrapped around the hotel’s pool and back around another building. By 3:30 p.m., 100 people had been seen, and that was only a half-hour into the three-hour session.
At the casting call, extras casting director Patrick Ingram and his assistant photographed and accepted information from those in line. When the hopefuls left, each one received a sheet of paper noting that every position paid at least $100 and that those chosen would be expected to work a 12-hour day. Ingram said the long work day is the reason movie directors often prefer to work with local talent.
Those who make the cut are likely to be notified between two weeks from now and the end of April, Overture officials said. The movie is being shot from March through May.
Ingram said he needed between 300 and 1,000 people for the movie and was pleased with Tuesday’s turnout.
“We appeared to have gotten the word out that we wanted all types of people,” Ingram said.
The line represented a cross section of Middle Georgia with people from various races, age groups and backgrounds.
Perry High School student Meredith Bowden stood in line with a wealth of acting experience already under her belt. At the age of 15, she has participated in her school’s production of “The Yellow Boat.” When she was younger, she was active in the Perry Players, a community theater, and had a part in “The Fiddler on the Roof.”
“I thought trying out for this would be a good thing,” said Bowden, who first fell in love with acting in the second grade.
For 28-year-old Sheba Gray, of Perry, it wasn’t a love of drama as much as it was a love for being in front of the camera.
With no acting experience, she saw the announcement of the casting call and decided to give it a shot.
“You never know. This could be anybody’s big break out here,” Gray said.
The casting call was a family affair for Steve Merlino, 42, and his two children.
It all started when Merlino’s daughter, Ashleigh Merlino, 14, heard about the casting call. Ashleigh Merlino, who takes a drama class at Houston County High School, got her brother Steven Merlino, 17, on board.
“I just wanted to try it out,” Ashleigh Merlino said. “I thought it would be cool to be in a movie.”
She, her brother and their mother convinced Steve Merlino, a J-STARS navigator at Robins Air Force Base, to try out since the studio was seeking people with military and law enforcement experience.
“I figured it would be a fun experience, so why not?” Steve Merlino said.