When I first began this blog, I wrote about being an extra for a location shoot here in San Francisco. It was for the TV series Party of Five. I was in London when “my” episode was broadcast, and the later seasons of the series have not yet been released on DVD. It’s taken fifteen years, but today I finally got to see my big moment onscreen. It’s season four, episode 6: Immediate Family, which aired on October 29, 1997. I walked behind Julia (Neve Campbell) and Griffin (Jeremy London) as they strolled through Alamo Square. Here’s the scene, followed by a slow motion clip of my walk through. I only know it’s me because of the hat I was wearing. Such exciting stuff!
Here’s the photo I took of my friend and Jeremy London at the Legion of Honor the day before, where we watched another scene being filmed. That night in Alamo Square, once we were done filming, we got London to autograph her copy of the photo. We didn’t want to bother him too much, so mine isn’t signed.
So, my Hollywood career ended almost as soon as it began, with a couple of seconds of actual screen time in a dimly lit park on a chilly San Francisco night. It was fun while it lasted.
Back on April 23rd, I wrote about Jeremy London, and this week he’s back in the news. It’s not good news, unfortunately. While changing a tire in Palm Springs on June 10th, London claims he was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to drive around for hours doing drugs before finally escaping. An arrest has been made, but the young man says he’s innocent. Who are you going to believe?
Jeremy London has been struggling with drug problems and undergoes regular drug testing in a custody battle for his child. Some believe he invented this story to explain the drugs that will now be found in his system. The similarities between his story and a plotline on Six Feet Under have also been noted. If London is lying to cover a relapse, then a young man (who’s probably no saint but also probably doesn’t deserve to have his life ruined) has been falsely arrested and charged with a lot of serious crimes. If London is telling the truth, a bizarre truth, then he must be hurt that his story is being met with so much scepticism.
There is both good news and bad news regarding two of my favorite TV shows, NCIS and Criminal Minds on CBS.
On NCIS, key members of the cast have been renegotiating their contracts. It was kind of scary when Sean Murray, Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette were all going into the summer without signed contracts. Now only Sean Murray is unsigned, and he’s expected to work things out with CBS. This means the show will come back in fall with everybody in place. I just hope the new season will be stronger than this last one, and that they get rid of the annoying lady lawyer.
UPDATE: And now Sean Murray has signed a new contract, too!
I’ve mentioned before how much I like Matthew Gray Gubler, the skinny young genius on Criminal Minds. I watch the TV show because of him, even though I often find it very disturbing. I wish the people behind Criminal Minds understood that people like me watch the show for the cast and not for the stories. Then perhaps they wouldn’t make crazy decisions like this latest one, to drop A.J. Cook from the cast and to reduce Paget Brewster’s role to occasional appearances. What are they thinking? The females on this show help to balance the harshness of the storylines. Since the victims of the serial crimes portrayed are most often women, it’s empowering to see women help to solve the crimes and catch the bad guys. I believe CBS will regret trying to fix a show that doesn’t need fixing.
Jeremy London is in the news this week, coming forward about his struggle with prescription drugs. It makes me sad, because I have fond memories of meeting him back in 1997.
Jeremy played Griffin on Party of Five from 1995 until 2000. Because the show was set in San Francisco, and I knew the location scout, I got to be an extra when they were filming exteriors (the interiors were shot in Los Angeles). First I went with a friend and simply watched when they filmed in front of The Legion of Honor. During a break in filming we approached Jeremy for a photo. He was very friendly. I told him I was born in Oklahoma but grew up in San Diego, and he said he was born in San Diego and grew up in Oklahoma. It was a small thing but it made us both smile.
My friend and I joined the filming again the following evening at Alamo Square, which is a famous San Francisco landmark. First we were in a long shot behind Matthew Fox (now on Lost). Then we were in the background of a scene with Jeremy and Neve Campbell. After filming, Jeremy was happy to autograph the photo I’d taken the day before.
I enjoyed the experience of being an extra for one night, but it was a lot of standing around waiting, and I don’t have the patience to do it regularly. Those night shoots go on and on, and it gets pretty chilly in San Francisco. Besides, if you show too much interest in the actors, you don’t get much respect from the film crew. Let’s face it, I was there for all the wrong reasons!
Anyway, things seem to be going better for Jeremy London after a visit to rehab last year, and he’s working steadily. His twin brother Jason is also an actor, best known for playing Pink in Dazed and Confused (love that movie!). Oddly enough, he’s the twin I’ve been worried about. In Jason’s recent TV appearances (NCIS, A Golden Christmas) he has looked heavily made-up and not very healthy. You can guess which twin I thought had the drug problem. I hope they’re both going to be okay.
Jason and Jeremy London, then and now.