I’m a Movie Star

Okay, not really a movie star. Or a rising star. Or even an actor for that matter. But I can honestly claim to have shared a scene with Peter Sarsgaard.

Some of you may already know that In the Electric Mist, based on my father‘s book, In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, was released last week on DVD. When the film was shooting in New Iberia, my sisters and I visited the set. The actors (Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Justina Machado) were incredibly nice to us, and the director (Bertrand Tavernier) was generous enough to put us to work as extras.

We spent several hours filming our scene, which occupies only about two seconds in the completed film. Want to see it? After the surprising death of a certain character (no spoilers here), Peter Sarsgaard rides in the back seat of a limousine swarmed by paparazzi, then he gets out of the car and meets John Goodman next to a white stretch limo. The woman next to Sarsgaard in the limo is my sister, Pamala. The woman in front of him is my sister, Andree. The olive-skinned guy to Andree’s right is our cousin, Porteus.

And that woman on the far side of the car chewing up the scene in her Prada sunglasses? Yours truly. Didn’t catch it? Rewind again. Oops, you passed it. Try again. And again. Freeze! There we are, for half a second. I hear the Oscars are starting a new category for extras so we can be properly acknowledged.

The highlight of the day for me was spending time with Peter Sarsgaard, whom I have adored since Shattered Glass and who is brilliant in everything he does. He had no idea we were JLB’s kids and was incredibly down to earth with us, joking around about our favorite SNL skits and showing us pictures of his daughter. He tolerated me when I told him about the day his girlfriend Maggie Gyllenhaal played with Duffer at Joe and told me she liked my dress (otherwise known in my world as my best day ever).

Both when I met her and when I met him, I bit back the the temptation to pitch my Samantha Kincaid books as her next project, since she is my dream actress to play Sam. I know, I know… I should have pitched it. But there’s a fine line between savvy and stalker, and I’m afraid to cross it. And, honestly, if I were going to cross it, I would have invited them to come over for Scrabble night. They would love us. I’m sure of it.

If you read JLB’s books, you should rent the movie. It’s always fascinating to see the choices that are made in translating a book, especially one so complex, to film, and the acting, particularly by John Goodman and Peter Sarsgaard, is phenomenal. And of course the extras were amazing!