March 27, 1997, about 200 SAG and non-SAG background performers, myself included, became Hassidic Jews for a scene in the Miramax film A Price Below Rubies, starring the lovely and talented Renée Zellweger of Jerry Maguire. Also featured in the film is veteran actress Kim Hunter (Dr. Zira of the Planet of the Apes [and dozens of other] films).
The first shot was underway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, at about 10:30am; not bad after a 5:30am cast call.
Despite my letting my beard go scruffy (at the caster's request), the pretty Brit make up girl made mine even scruffier, adding tufts of crepe hair, not only to me, but the make up crew were even putting astoundingly sculpted fake beards onto less furry background performers (as well as some really humourously pathetic fake beards on some).
During the costume fitting the week before, I'd befriended a friendly fellow named Luke, and we came across each other at the shoot. When I was chosen for a close up, Luke managed to sneak about so he could watch the playback. They stood me in the actual path of the camera dolly track, marking the asphalt with chalk for where were to be my feet. Several rehearsals later, they'd slightly shifted the shot a bit to the satisfaction of the cinematographer Adam Holender, to make sure as they approached her, they could see Renée properly (and rightfully so). According to Luke, what started as a good close up of me, then moving to the next man, then the next, then to Renée, turned into a major close up of my right eye, ear and jawline. D'oh! Nice.
The gum used for the crepe hair sat like cement by the time I was home that night. It was so bad that after softing it with nail polish remover, I still ended up just having to remove the entire facial hair.
The film was released in very limited release and after I moved to the west coast (1997), and under the new title A Price Above Rubies.
They omitted my close up (and the close ups of the next two men), going from a single crying man right to Renée.
Despite sex with no real shown nudity, the film itself was okay, but I couldn't spot myself right off.