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Arts & Culture

Casting Call For Movie Extras Draws All Kinds Of Key Westers

Nancy Klingener
Thane and Tami Gilliam came to the casting call for extras in 'The Leisure Seeker.' Their double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, Mango, was with them when they heard about the casting call.

  The lack of new film incentives in Florida hasn't stopped one movie production from shooting some of its scenes in the state.

"The Leisure Seeker," starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, is set to shoot for several days in the keys later this month.

On Thursday, a casting call for extras drew Key Westers needed to play medical personnel, a wedding party and tourists.

There was no call for a parrot, but Mango was there anyway with her owners, Thane and Tami Gilliam.

"She was with us in the car when we found out about this," Tami Gilliam said. "She goes with us everywhere here in Key West."

Luna Mansour is a local model and actress. She said she was hoping "The Leisure Seeker" could become her first movie credit.

"I've been in video clips with different singers. And I've been in this experience, like on camera, 'on set,' 'cut,' 'action,'" Mansour said. "So yeah, that's what I like to do with my life."

Ellen Jacoby was in charge of the casting calls. She said she usually handles casting extras through agents or by gathering photographs. But so few productions film in the Keys that she wanted to see people in person.

"I need extras in Marathon, Big Pine, Key West, all different types," she said. "This way, I like to get all the locals involved. I don't want to bring anybody in."

In the movie, Mirren and Sutherland are set to play "a runaway couple on a last cross-country adventure in a vintage Winnebago," according to a story in Variety.

The movie is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian. 

Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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