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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thousands turn out for chance at role in Maui flick

The Maui News

KIHEI - The prospect of being an extra in the upcoming Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston movie "Just Go With It" drew people like locusts Saturday to the Lipoa Center in Kihei.

The casting call had people lining up to apply as extras at the Kihei Charter School, at the former Hapa's restaurant location. From there, the line stretched out to Lipoa Street.

Private security officers kept the entrances to the shopping center and nearby gas station free of people waiting in line.

"It was nuts," said Wailea resident Angela Hess, who said there were 1,200 people ahead of her in line when she and her boyfriend, Patrick Woods, arrived at 9:30 a.m.

"We waited for three hours before we got in," she said. "There were a few line jumpers, but I think overall people were pretty well mannered."

Maui Film Commissioner Benita Brazier said more than 3,000 people showed up to apply to be extras in the movie, but not all could be accommodated.

Casting Director Rachel Sutton said she was grateful the Maui community turned out in such large numbers.

"We are regretful that we weren't able to see everybody," she said. "We're going to find other opportunities for them to sign up for the film."

When Hess and Woods arrived at the head of the line around lunchtime, they gave their names and phone numbers, filled out an application and had their photos taken. That took about five minutes, said Hess, a 34-year-old server at the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a restaurant at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa.

After she was done, there were "easily" 1,000 people still waiting in line, she said.

"I really love Adam Sandler," she said. "I thought it would be fun to be an extra in a movie."

The only difficult thing about waiting so long was standing in the sun, but that wasn't a problem when she reached shaded areas, she said.

Woods, 33, of Wailea, said there was "kind of a festive atmosphere" for those waiting in line.

"It was interesting," he said. "It's certainly a big deal for the island."

People waiting in line behaved themselves, he said, and there was security personnel on hand that "had it pretty well under control."

Maui Meadows resident Kathleen McBride, a 29-year-old yoga and Pilates instructor, said she waited a couple of hours after arriving at 7:45 a.m.

She said she wanted to be an extra in the movie because "I love acting and performing," which she has done since being in theater productions in grade school in Ventura, Calif.

Kihei resident Kevin Olson, 52, said he arrived at the casting call at 8:15 a.m. and there were 80 people there already. The doors were not scheduled to open until 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults and from 2 to 5 p.m. for children 6 to 17 years old.

He said he heard a few "had spent the night."

By the time the movie casting personnel arrived at 9 a.m., the crowd had swelled to 200 to 250, Olson said. Then, by 10 a.m., the line went out to First Hawaiian Bank at the entrance of the shopping center and down Lipoa Street.

"People were well behaved," he said. "People weren't cutting in line. Everybody was just basically happy to be there and have a chance at it."

The movie, a comedy starring Sandler and Aniston, is scheduled to begin shooting next month for four to six weeks in Wailea. Casting officials earlier said they needed extras - "in the hundreds" - for high-end resort patrons, sitting around the pool, enjoying a luau and eating in a restaurant as well as doing other things people do on vacations.

A casting-call flier said that company was looking for "tourist types, resort staff, bikini girls and kids ages 6 to 17."

Screen Actor Guild wages will apply to members of that union. Nonunion cast members can expect to be paid $100 for 10 hours of work. "Bikini girls" and people cast in other special roles, like hula dancers, will be paid more.