WILMINGTON — Alex Rhinehart’s name won’t make the marquee, but being an extra in a movie was still a worthwhile experience.
Rhinehart got the chance to have a small part in the upcoming movie “Donnybrook” which was filmed in Cincinnati and the northern Kentucky area. The movie is written and directed by Tim Sutton and stars Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo. It tells the story about two men preparing to compete in a legendary bare-knuckle fight. It’s based on the 2013 crime noir novel by Frank Bill.
The journey to his brief role started when he was just getting off work at the General Denver, where he works as a bartender, when a Facebook post caught his eye.
“It was a story about needing extras for a movie. Specifically, looking for individuals who were either scarred or tattooed or wrinkled or, where I fit in, bearded. My schedule is pretty flexible and I said ‘Why not? Let’s apply for this’,” said Rhinehart.
According to him, the audition was “super easy.” He submitted an email to the production with a candid headshot along with his name, contact information and what times he’d be available.
“I didn’t hear back from them for a long time,” he said. “I figured they weren’t going to use me.”
Eventually, he received an email asking him to come down for two nights of filming. While this spur of the moment outing was something he never really sought out to do, he looked forward to the experience of watching a movie getting made.
His experience started when he arrived at his call time, then went to the wardrobe department and then to hair and makeup. After that, he’d wait in a designated area with the other extras until they were needed.
Eventually, he and all the others piled into a bus to go film the big scene they were needed in. They filmed outside from about 9 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. in the cold, rainy weather. But he said the weather cooperated with them during the scene. The second night was essentially the same but filming lasted until 4 a.m. and included filming some pseudo indoor locations like a barn.
“They were long, cold nights but they were fun,” he recalled.
All Rhinehart could say about his role or the scene he was in is that it was a climactic gathering of people and he’s one of them.
“At one point there is a kind of a fight scene and we’re all watching that,” said Rhinehart.
According to him, he was lucky enough to get placed in the shot and appeared behind the lead actor in some shots.
“It’ll be fun to see the movie and go ‘Hey, that’s me’,” he said.
One of the interesting parts of the filming, according to Rhinehart, was meetings individuals who perform as extras as a full-time job.
“A lot of them are retired or they own their own business and they have a little bit of free time. So, they do this as almost a full-time gig,” he said.
One of the men he met had been an extra in 13 different productions in the last 18 months. Another extra he met ran a Facebook group for extras or anything else like that.
Rhinehart said that he’d consider doing this again to see how other directors might handle certain parts of filming.
This movie isn’t the first time Cincinnati served as the backdrop for filming. The city was used as 1950s New York for the 2015 Oscar-nominated film “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett. The Cincinnati Public Library was used as the main setting for “The Public” directed by and starring Emilio Estevez.
As of this reporting, “Donnybrook” does not have a scheduled release date.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.