published Friday, April 12th, 2013

Local extras speak out

Thompson Schram, Nathan Holcomb, Mistie Clements, Jessica White and Carrie Swafford, from left, wait in line during an open casting call for “42” in Chattanooga.
Thompson Schram, Nathan Holcomb, Mistie Clements, Jessica White and Carrie Swafford, from left, wait in line during an open casting call for “42” in Chattanooga.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
Story of a legend; filmed in Chattanooga
Did You Know?

The Chattanooga Lookouts played in Engel Stadium from 1930 through 1999.

“My first time out on the field, I’m the home plate umpire and the two directors are standing right next to me and Jackie Robinson’s going to bat. The two directors are talking and they say the pitcher will throw the pitch and Jackie will look back at the umpire and then the umpire will make the call. Well, I tell them that’s not how the sequence would go — he’d throw the pitch, I’d make the call and he’d look back at me. The directors look up slowly at me and go, ‘You’re a director?’ ... They eventually did shoot it my way.”

— Jim Reynolds, who plays an umpire

“The one big scene that I had, and you can see it in the trailer, is when Jackie Robinson walks out of the dugout and all the reporters are huddled around him. ... You can tell it’s me because I have a huge, gigantic head.”

— Webb Wright, who plays a reporter

“I have no idea if I’m any scenes. (He’s in one of the movie’s promotional posters.) One of the main publicity photos they are using features us in the the media circus so I have taken quite a bit of ribbing about that and I’m playing along with it. It’s been fun.”

— Billy Weeks, who plays a photographer

“It was all a positive experience. If there was anything negative, it was working with [stunt coordinator] Allan Graf. He’s done all the football movies we know and you could tell he was a football guy. Baseball is different. We had a scene where we had to hit a ground ball between short and third and if you didn’t hit in that exact location, Allan was yelling at you. That was some stress. He’d say things like, ‘I don’t know why in the world I hired you in the first place.’”

— Jamie Ruehling, who plays third baseman Johnny “Spider” Jorgensen

“It was quite humorous to turn around and see dummies looking forward with fixed stares. They could make a zombie baseball film right now if they wanted to.”

— Jacquelyn Rogers, a crowd extra commenting on dummies that filled empty grandstand seats

“I just channeled my grandfather and hid my tattoos.”

— Shawn Watwood, crowd extra

“There’s like 100 people in there doing five seconds of shooting. We’re just chilling right now. ‘Hurry up and wait.’ That the motto for an extra.”

— Justin Hix, crowd extra

“In my mind, I almost tune out the cameras and the extras and think of it as a real game.”

— Hunter Clowdus, Lookouts batboy who plays the Dodgers’ batboy

“I learned so much. Harrison (Ford) told me stuff, and Chad (Boseman) and I talked all the time ... I never stopped running. I ran everywhere, I was so excited. Harrison said I was finding my way. He also told me to keep my focus.”

— Trey Jackson, stand-in for Chadwick Bosemon on the “42” set

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