Ex-Bay boy Alexander rubs shoulders with stars

HE might have been too chicken to actually greet Ryan Reynolds, but former Bay resident Alexander Hart says being part of a big-budget Hollywood film was not a bad way to make a buck.

Hart, who was Reynolds’s stand-in while Safe House was being filmed in South Africa, says there is a lot of money to be made by being “in the background”.

Safe House, directed by Daniel Espinosa, is the biggest movie in terms of budget and gross earnings ever to be filmed in Cape Town.

Being a movie stand-in is patient work says Hart, who spent all of last year doing 70 shoots as an extra, another Cape Town record, he joked.

“A stand-in basically stands in on a scene that is about to be shot.

“The director of photography uses a real person to fine-tune lighting and exact camera angles,” he said. “I had the famous Alexander Witt [a second unit director] analyse my position for about an hour the one day. He did the Bourne Identity trilogy car chases.”

Hart says he regrets he never got to meet Reynolds or co-star Denzel Washington. “Ryan and I made eye contact, but I was too chicken to actually say hi. He was busy chatting.

“Denzel looked me straight in the eye during the car crash scene, so we did make eye contact. These guys were whisked off set immediately after shooting a scene, so there was no time for snack table chitchat.”

One of the highlights of the experience for Hart was “sharing a joke with [Witt] as we share a great name”.

Aside from Safe House and a brief appearance on The Girl, a BBC film staring Sienna Miller, Hart says he mostly concentrates on television commercial acting and has featured in a number of international adverts.

He says he plans to get himself to America and see what transpires.

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