The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Russkie In Tudor England

By Irina Kuksova

Was I ever surprised to get a call this week and be asked to show up on The Tudors set in Ardmore studios in Bray. Now normally, I'm a happy Buddhist TV watcher. I only watch TV when it's 'Off'. I know nothing about The Tudors series. The only time I read about TV and actors is at the hairdresser's: just making sure no one spots me with a gossip magazine in my hand. What caught me is that this call spelled M-E-D-I-E-V-A-L C-O-S-T-U-M-E-S. Am I available? Yes, I'm VERY available. Don't care I'm just an extra aka the blur in the background. Just let me play Renaissance Fair for a day!

Watching a movie being made is something akin to watching a guild of alchemists at work. What never fails to surprise me is the amount of patience the crew demonstrate while finding the exact ingredients and the right amounts for the spell (the scene) to work. Move the camera an inch – and a brigade of elves appears to adjust the innumerable lights and screens to the new position. Not mentioning half a hundred of candles that has to be extinguished once the camera is off and lit up again for every of the umpteen takes of the same scene fragment.

What does such striving for perfection translate into? Approximately 15 hours of work to film a 3 minute scene. Or at least it is that much for the payroll lady. After all, we DID get our lunch – AND afternoon snack – and had time to relax on the local patch of green. There is nothing like a few medieval ladies and gents getting a nap in on the grass.

Back home, I still feel like I've been to a different world, inaccessible to my friends and relatives. I hope the memories will soon fade. Because if they don't and the desire to come back to the studios persists – I'll be lost, like hundreds of thousands of 'wannabe in movies' people.

And in case you're wondering what Jonathan Rhys Meyers is like, let me share my impressions. He most definitely DOES demonstrate a certain star quality in front of the general public but he's actually totally unpretentious when he's alone with the familiar set crew and cast members.


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