Hundreds show up for 'Footloose' casting call

COVINGTON — Hundreds of hopefuls turned out for an open casting call for the remake of the movie "Footloose" Thursday at DeKalb Technical College. The casting director got just what he asked for — people of all ages, sizes, races and backgrounds showed up, from young women glammed up in short skirts and high heels to middle-aged men in business suits to elderly couples dressed in their finest church clothes.

About 500 people came for a chance to be an extra in the movie, set to film in Covington for a few days in September. Some have never been near a movie set and others were more seasoned.

Carol Gardner of Social Circle looked very dignified in a dress suit and blue hat. A retiree, Gardner was introduced to a friend's agent six years ago and has been steadily working in commercials, photo shoots and films ever since, with about 100 projects under her belt. Her latest was playing the grandmother in a Georgia Lottery commercial featuring a fire-breathing goat. She does the work for supplemental income.

"I've done a lot of extra work. When I read it in the paper the other day, because I live near here, I decided to come out. It's been a long time since I've done a casting call like this. I usually go through my agent," said Gardner, who is represented by Stewart Talent Agency in Atlanta.

Janie Brown of Covington heard about the casting call through the Department of Labor. She said she's interested in the money and the excitement. If she meets Dennis Quaid, a star in the film, "I may have to have CPR," Brown said.

Melissa Webster of Covington previously worked as an extra on a film shoot in Atlanta and has done commercials for a family member's business.

"I've always wanted to be an actress. This is an opportunity to go one step further," she said.

David Bell of Oxford first got a moment in the spotlight when he worked as an extra in the 2002 movie "Run Ronnie Run," filmed in Covington.

"I was drinking a beer — it was a prop, but it was real," he said of his scene. "I'm doing it for the bragging rights. I get to tell all my friends I was in a movie."

Lisa McAdory of Snellville saw the casting call announcement while she was searching the Internet for job fairs. Decked out in a floral print peach blouse and skirt, straw hat and holding a parasol, McAdory said a friend in the entertainment business advised her to "wear something that would get me noticed."

This was her first time auditioning to be an extra. "It beats sitting at home looking at a dirty house I don't want to clean. I'm on unemployment and I don't want to stay there," she said.

Once inside, applicants had their head shots taken and provided their stats, including height, weight and measurements. Those who don't get picked for "Footloose" will have their information placed in a file and could be called back for other productions, said Bill Marinella.

"Footloose" stars Quaid, Andie MacDowell, two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champion Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, the role originally made famous by Kevin Bacon. Craig Brewer of "Black Snake Moan" and "Hustle and Flow" fame is directing and Paramount Pictures is producing.