William Stephenson

Hurry Up and Wait

After almost 14 hours of waiting, I finally got my one line in the next Chris Rock movie. The saga began a little after 10 AM as the bus rolls up to the Queens House Of Detention. After surrendering our identification, we were given jail badges. The bus mostly had extras for the film, and they were herded inside to a holding area. My name wasn’t on that list, and an assistant walked me over to a row of trailers, parked 3 blocks away.

The door of my compartment read “B. Cop” and I went in to change to my costume/cop uniform. My partner Doug Stanhope was already in his room next door. The two compartments on the other side read “Desi” and “Lucy.” I had seen this on other trailers and didn’t know it was movie speak for men/women bathrooms. We sat on the steps waiting to be escorted to the set and curious passers-by asked us everything from where the courthouse was, to what movie we were shooting. We told them Lethal Weapon 6. It wasn’t long before it was time to head to the set and we had to wear regular shirts over our police uniform for the walk over. They didn’t want us to be mistaken for real cops.

We ran into Chris and DMX, which signaled our wait would be a lengthy one. The original call time was 3:30pm but changed to 9:30AM at the last minute in case DMX didn’t make it. Doug and I went into a courtyard just inside the gates and mingled with the extras, all of whom looked as though they were waiting to be indicted. At the dinner break, we were led upstairs to a room big enough to hold the cast and crew.

Doug and I got in line and as soon as we picked up our plates to load up, we were told we had to wait until the crew ate. Alrighty then. We sat at a table with fellow comic Jeffrey Joseph. When it looked like no one else was in line we went back on line and were told again to scram, there were more crew coming on the next elevator. Fine, back to the table we go. Jeffrey asks why we weren’t eating and we told him the story. He said oh no, you are a part of the crew, not an extra! He went and spoke to the lady, came back and said it was now cool to eat. As we went to the line for the 3rd time, Jeffrey says “I didn’t say anything to that lady, y’all gotta wait!” Wha tha? Then he says he was just kidding, we were fine. That was the biggest laugh of the day for me.

Finally, we are called into the set for our scene. Wardrobe pinned a badge on me and strapped on a heavy belt with a fake gun to my waist. I was shown where to deliver the line and when to cross into the scene.

You’d better watch that shit!

The first take Chris (the director) said was too hard. I brought it down for the second try, but it was still too much. I nailed the 3rd take, but they wanted a few more takes until they were satisfied after about 7 attempts — that was a wrap. On the way out, we retrieved our ID’s and headed back to the trailer to change. I waited 14 hours for 5 seconds of screen time.

Show biz!

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