I need some faces there that can show soul in their eyes.
– Cecil B. DeMille
Produced in 1935, Hollywood Extra Girl depicts the life of an extra and what it takes to move up the next rung of the ladder. It stars the iconic director Cecil B. DeMille whose brash dramatics fit perfectly within this docudrama that takes place in the Hollywood’s Golden Age.
But what drives the aspiring extra? Pride? Necessity? Adventure? Ambition?
Though glamorized, the challenges of the lifestyle of an extra girl are not sugar-coated. The odds of becoming a star are one-in-a-million. And, should that big break occur, an aspiring star must have acting chops. and will be expected to perform with seasoned, professional actors.
Although it seems insurmountable, DeMille gives an earnest, rousing pep talk near the end of the film that rivals any conversation with James Lipton. The truth is proximity, being out there, may lead to a happenstance conversation. Doors may open sooner than you’d expect – with the right luck.
Still, for some the honor of being directed by a great filmmaker like Cecil B. DeMille is worth every minute of it, even if you’re one face in the patchwork of a crowd.