Did you know that walking with us through the halls of Belmont Day School are two “stars” of the critically acclaimed and now Best Picture-nominated Hollywood hit, Little Women?! Ok, stars may be a bit of an exaggeration, but they’re far more than “extras” to us!
Seventh grade student Bree Legrand and middle school math teacher Brian Laskowski recently sat down with us for an exclusive interview on their star turns in the latest big-screen adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. Ok, we actually emailed the questions to them. They’re both very busy!
How did you learn about this opportunity to be in Little Women?
Mr. Laskowski: It was actually my wife who found out. She’s old school and still gets the Boston Globe delivered. She saw a small ad in the paper and we sent in our information and photo.
Bree: I learned about this opportunity from my friend who learned from the Kendall Cooper casting website.
Why did you want to be a movie extra? Have you appeared in other films or TV shows?
Mr. Laskowski: I thought it would be a cool experience to see what went into a movie. There were people there that did it as a job but to me, it was to enjoy doing something new. I've never done any other extra work like this.
Bree: I wanted to be an extra because I really like anything drama related and I love acting too. And no, I have not appeared in any other films or TV shows.
What was the experience like? Fun, nervous, lots of waiting?
Mr. Laskowski: There was a lot of waiting around. On my first day, we spent about 16 hours there and captured about 15 seconds of footage for the movie. In the couple scenes that I was a part of, there were so many people there, it was a bit like controlled chaos.
Bree: The experience was great. We got to meet the actors backstage and I was nervous but also excited because everyone was going through the real process of making a scene and I couldn't believe that I got to be there! I felt really lucky. And yes, there was a lot of waiting involved.
What scene(s) were you a part of? Where might we see you in the movie?
Mr. Laskowski: The easiest scene to see me in happens late in the movie. "Jo" drops a letter in a mailbox to "Laurie" and the very next scene is "Jo" walking through New York City (filmed in Lawrence, Mass.) and I am in two different shots, wearing a scraggly beard.
Bree: I was a part of one scene and that was when the girls were performing a play together. There were a lot of other girls in the scene, so you couldn't really see my face. Another girl was blocking my face so you could only see my hair.
Did you meet any of the stars in the movie?
Mr. Laskowski: Extras like me were given very specific instructions to not talk to the "talent" though I did get to see Saoirse Ronin nearly get trampled as she tried to pet a horse.
Bree: I and a group of girls got to meet Emma Watson. She is a very nice person, and we all had a full-on conversation with her about Harry Potter.
Do you have aspirations of doing more acting? Do you hope to get larger roles or is being an extra enough?
Mr. Laskowski: No aspirations. This was fun as a novel act. Acting is not as glamorous as it seems. Actors work such long hours doing the same scene over and over.
Bree: I do want to do acting more but it's a big dream to try to get bigger roles in films and TV shows. But I hope I can do that someday!
Have you seen Little Women yet? If so, what did you think of it?
Mr. Laskowski: We saw it over [winter] break, and my whole family was very excited to see it. They loved it. I thought the acting was phenomenal (hahaha).
Bree: I have not seen Little Women yet but the only reason I know where I am is that I saw myself in one of the trailers. I hope to see it soon!
Will you be watching and rooting for the film during the Oscars?
Mr. Laskowski: What are the Oscars? Do I get a kickback if they win something? I suppose it would be fun to say I was in an Oscar-winning film.
Bree: Sure! Why not!?