ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
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Allanah Faherty

Extras are an important and, by their very nature, overlooked part of a movie. They help set tone and believability, while one of the most important parts of being an extra is contributing to a scene without detracting the attention away from the main characters.

Unfortunately for directors (but fortunately for us!) it seems like some extras just can't seem to grasp this very basic concept.

Luckily, the movie camera captures everything, so for your viewing pleasure, here are EIGHT 'background actors' who forgot to blend in:


1. Back to the Future: Kid needs to take a leak

At the end of Back to the Future Part III, Doc Brown shows up with his family whom he introduces to Marty and Jennifer. As Jennifer is asking the Doc a question you can clearly see Doc Browns son Verne gesturing for someone to help him and pointing to his pants. He clearly needed to go to the toilet but didn't want to interrupt filming, aww!


2. Star Wars: Stormtrooper dents his helmet (and pride)

When Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie are stuck in the trash compactor a group of Stormtroopers blast through a door to find C-3PO and R2-D2 in a control room. As the Stormtroopers enter the room one of them hits his head on the door! Though it was originally a mistake, this extra screw up has been embraced by George Lucas and he even adding a thudding sound on the special edition releases!


3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Candy shop girl gets it in the chin

During the famous 'Candy Man' song a little girl gets whacked in the chin by the singing Candyman lifting the hatch to let the kids behind the counter. While she quickly jerks her head back it must have hurt, but I'm sure all the free candy made up for it.


4. Ghostbusters: Biggest fan just can't contain himself

As the Ghostbusters were headed in to battle Gozer the Gozerian they greet a whole bunch of fans outside Dana's apartment. One of their biggest fans appears to be a very enthusiastic business man who loudly yells 'Ghostbusters, alright!' drawing the attention right to him.


5. Dark Knight Rises: Guy falls due to unknown force

In this fight scene Batman and Catwoman fight Bane's henchmen. In the background you can see one of the extras posing ready for a fight and then falling to the ground before anyone can touch him. Good one dude.


6. The Last Samurai: Samurai gets a hoof to crotch

Ok I have to say I feel really bad for the extra in this situation. You can see Tom Cruise aka Captain Nathan Algren returning to camp on horse but when he dismounts the horse it then kicks one of the samurai extras directly in the groin. All credit to the extra as he quickly composed himself and carried on with the scene. Ouch!


7. Being John Malkovich: drunk extra earns a payrise!

This is a pretty amazing story, as explained in the video by Spike Jonze, an extra got drunk, improvise a line and threw a can of beer at John Malkovich's head. The line not only stayed in the movie but also got the extra a Screen Actors Guild card AND a pay rise!


8. Nanny: Mysterious abusive dog owner

Here's an absolute classic. While Hulk Hogan is blasting down the road on his bike, in the background a dog owner is seen clearly throwing his dog into the ocean. I've got no clue if the guy (and dog) were extras or simply passersby while the scene was being filmed but either way, what the heck dude!


Bonus: The Hobbit dwarf fleeing for her life

No mistakes here, just some perfect acting from this extra....Ok ok, full disclosure, this whole article might have just been a chance to mention again how I was an extra in The Hobbit. I appeared in the crucial roll of 'fleeing dwarf woman in yellow dress' and I have to say, I think I crushed it. Maybe those other extras should take note!



What is your favorite extra mess up?

Source: Mentalfloss, What Culture, Total Film


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