Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Call the Midwife

Last summer I had the pleasure of working as an extra on the set of the BBCs Call the Midwife. It has been released slightly earlier than I anticipated and so becomes an appropriate subject to blog about.

The show, following the story of a midwife in London in the 1950s stars Jessica Raine & Miranda Hart and has received positive reviews, so much so that rumours of a second series are circling.

It is always fun to work as an extra on period pieces as you get to dress up and wander among surroundings befitting a long lost period, something which I have become used to with Dickens World and my previous stint on Scorsese's Hugo.

Even more fun when you get to sit back and see yourself as a dot or a 1/10th of a second blur in a scene such as in the photo above (that's me looking grumpy)
There's even moments of horror occasionally when you realise that you really need to lose weight. My family thought my stomach in the picture above was padding... sadly not.

Every time I go on a set I manage to have some sort of an accident. With Midwife I had a scene where I had to light a cigarette before walking behind the cycling midwives. This I did until I managed to burn my bottom lip with the flame. I then walked across the scene trying to hide the pain from my face and spent the rest of the day nursing a rapidly blistering lip. To add insult to injury (literally) I found when the episode aired my part in the scene had been cut.. oh well.

One thing I always try to do on set is draw caricatures of my fellow extras. For Hugo I'm pretty sure I had drawn almost all of the train station occupants and I think the same could be said for most of the people in scenes in Midwife.

I believe there is still one or two episodes of Midwife left to go so check it out on Sunday evening, maybe eat your roast dinner first.. births and food never seem to go well together.