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Stoned with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton

December 16, 2011

Our very first "Your On Set Experience" feature was submitted by James A. who had an incredible time filming with Hollywood legend Robert De Niro and the very talented Edward Norton in John Curran's 2010 drama Stone

James A. started out with school plays, regional theater, musicals and dramas at age 15. Stone was his very first film and the great experience he shares with BTT makes you believe that everything's possible (even if you are only an extra) and to never give up.

My brother had been doing it [acting] for a while and I saw a casting call in Chelsea, MI for the movie Convicted starring Hilary Swank. I went to the call in fridgid temperatures. I stood in line of literally thousands of people. I started to get a little hypothermic. Finally got in the building where Real Style was conducting the casting call. They took down our names, numbers, addresses and took a couple of pictures and that was it. I also signed up that day with Real Style. They put me in their data base and did their thing. Which is putting photos in front of the movie casting department and they would pick who they thought were right for the extra roles.

I didn't get in that film which was shot mostly in my hometown of Jackson, MI. Then, I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to be in Stone and I said, "Of course!" 

It was surreal being on the set with De Niro and Norton. You see these guys in movies all your life and there they are, right in front of you.  I was thinking how so many big time actors would love to be in my shoes just to get a chance to work with these guys and there I was getting an opportunity in my very first movie!

It was crazy, I would be in the Kraft area snacking and here comes Norton in full character doing the same.

Mr. De Niro would kind of appear and disappear very quickly. Norton hung around a little bit more.  He would chat with us a little bit. What I noticed about both of them was they were very professional and took it very seriously.

They both pretty much stayed in character as far as I could tell. At the end of the last day of shooting for me, I told Edward, "Great job" and he gave me a fist bump and said, "Thank you and good job."

Fun moments, there were plenty. The whole experience was a blast! I remember they came and got me for my very first on film appearance. We were shooting in my hometown, at the prison. I walked into the office and there sat a very pretty actress, (Sarab Kamoo) I think her name is. I got more nervous then than at any time.  I actually thought it was Milla Jovovich! I shook it off and did the scene though. We did the scene, they said, "Cut" and I look over through the glass and there was Norton and De Niro looking my way! A little intimidating! De Niro was looking straight at me over his reading glasses and I thought I did something wrong. (I didn't) I think they were just focused and thinking about the just finished scene.  Another fun moment was when I went into the hallway and just a few feet away was De Niro getting ready for another scene. Just watching him prepare himself was pretty cool. You could see him getting into character. Plus making new friends who enjoyed the experience as much as I did was great.

I worked about 3- 12 hr days on that movie and enjoyed every second of it, even with the down time.

Another fun fact is, one of Dustin Hoffman's sons [Jake Hoffman] was a producer on the film and I had a couple of conversations with him too.

Click here and here to check out screen captures of James' appearances in Stone. The first one features him in the background of Edward Norton and the second one shows him in a cell right before the camera moves up to Edward Norton's cell.

Thanks a lot to James A. for sharing his terrific time on set with us. 

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