Shakespeare once wrote – All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Year after year, Dubrovnik proves to be a hit filming destination for world famous productions, but also for local filmmakers. That is a great chance for everybody to see what is like to be under the spotlight. Ante Volarevic really used this opportunity to play many parts, as he worked like an extra on many movies and series in Dubrovnik. We caught up with him and talked about his experience.
How did your adventure in movies and series start?
It all started with the Republic, a friend gave me the number to contact, even though I never planned to be an extra. I didn’t even know what I was starting and what it’s going to be like. After that, I was part of Knightfall filming and then also some Croatian productions like Doba uskoka…
You didn’t apply for Game of Thrones?
Sadly no, because I work during the season and it was hard to combine it with my job.
You often play ‘’warrior’’ roles, it seems that they suit you?
Yes, it seems I am good at that. (laughs) I really loved the Republic filming, we had a great team – from other extras to cameramen, director… And the surroundings were great. The atmosphere was really relaxed, filming didn’t last for too long because everybody worked so well together.
Just give us the idea: how does one typical day of filming usually look like?
It mostly starts really early in the morning – sometimes around 3 or 4 am, because you need to go to the fitting room first. It takes time for all the extras to put their costumes on. Then there is make-up, as well as wigs for those who need it for their part. Beards, too. After that, you need to wait for your scene, because everybody plays somebody else – warriors, locals… When it comes to the filming of Republic, I changed a lot of costumes. I was someone else almost every day! Then, at the filming, it’s really interesting, because you mostly don’t know what it’s going to happen – what is going to be filmed, where, what the scene is about. Uncertainty and spontaneity – that it’s what I love the most about this job.
How long does one day of the filming usually last?
It depends. Sometimes it takes a few hours and sometimes the whole day. It mostly depends on the role you play – every filming is different. We also filmed during the night or early in the morning.
What roles did you do?
I was a warrior a couple of times, commoner… Once a real peasant. We were really filthy that day, full of make up. (laughs) I was also a nobleman a couple of times.
Do you like trying on costumes and do you have your favorite?
Yes, it’s really exciting to see the costumes, because you never know what you are going to be on that day of filming. They choose it and you have to go with the flow. I loved one costume when I was a nobleman, it was great.
Since you played that many parts, do you even have to attend castings?
I met most of the casting team for the Croatian series. They mostly call me, because they have their list of extras.
Do you see a lot of the same faces at the filmings?
Yes, there are many people that use their chance to be an extra. We work really well together because we know what we need to do. That is one of the most interesting things about this – to meet new people.
How do actors act around extras?
Most of the actors are really nice and relaxed and there are no problems with them.
We are all used to seeing the final product, but what it’s like to be the part of the filming? Is it interesting or a bit tiring?
It’s really interesting because you can see it all behind the scenes. When you see the final product after being a part of the filming, you look at it differently than others. It’s fun to see how the cameras are placed, how it’s all managed, what is the director saying to the actors and how he changes the scenes… It’s really an amazing experience.
Is one of the most important things of being an extra trying to find yourself on the screen?
Yes, yes, of course! (laughs) It’s really great to see yourself on the screen because you mostly imagine it a lot differently, so it comes as a surprise. And it’s a great memory that will last for a lifetime.
You also got the chance to be a part of Bollywood filming of the movie Fan?
Yes, I was a tourist. There was one scene where the main actor, Shah Rukh Khan, enters the coffee place just after I left it. When it comes to filming, Bollywood was different than Croatian productions – a lot more people were included and it lasted longer, with much more repeating.
What it was like to work with Shah Rukh Khan, who is a big Bollywood celebrity?
He is, but we are not really familiar with Bollywood and its stars. I was sitting right next to him the whole time and I learned who he was during the filming. I didn’t know he was that popular, he seemed like a normal guy.
When it comes to money, is this job paid well?
It’s really worth it. You earn money, meet people and have some great experiences.
Being an extra is cool, but did you ever consider acting?
You never know what is going to happen, but I wouldn’t mind, for sure.