2010 Mar 28

Hundreds try out in Peekskill for Winslet miniseries

Acting hopefuls lined up Saturday hoping to be seen on the street with actress Kate Winslet — in the 1930s.

Next month she is coming here to film an HBO miniseries remake of Mildred Pierce that is set in that period.

While many donned period clothes, the sight of the casting location, the Paramount Center for the Arts, got professionals and amateurs in the mood.

The theater opened June 26, 1930, and shines from renovations.

From just after 8 a.m. to nearly 2 p.m. Saturday those wanting to be extras in the April 26-30 filming waited for a chance to smile briefly for a casting director.

“We’re coming to shoot in Peekskill,” said Grant Wilfley of Grant Wilfley Casting Inc. “There is wonderful architecture here … and we will need a lot of people for street scenes.”

He will need about 200 actors, though 640 men, women and children showed up. The pay is $88 a day for one or two days. Hairstylists might trim women’s hair to shoulder length and crop men’s hair to fit the style of the times, Wilfley warned. And women of that era did not have highlighted hair, so those with that current style might have to wear a hat or consent to a new color.

Some people already looked as if they had popped in from the 1930s, or thereabouts. Young boys wore knicker-length pants, women in red lipstick donned waist-hugging dresses, and men slicked back their hair and sported narrow ties and classic hats.

Shane Enea, 35, of Cortlandt got all dolled up in a fur-trimmed, knee-length coat and white gloves. She brought along her 7-year-old son, Tommy, who had his corduroy pants rolled to his knees and wore a brown scally, or flat cap. She hoped each would snap up a part.

Gina DiStefano, 23, who works as a medical secretary, shopped her family’s closets to get ready.

She found a tight-fitting royal blue dress from her mother and a pearly white necklace from her grandmother. She curled her dark hair appropriately.

“This is so perfect that this is happening here,” said the Peekskill native and 2004 graduate of Peekskill High School. “I am really drawn to this time period, and I love the style.”

Many others, though, wore regular clothes suited to 2010.

Either way, the producers snapped head shots of each candidate. They did ask if anyone had an antique car.

Michael Santosuso, 43, of Yorktown was first in line.

“I’ve always been interested in acting, films and the arts, so I thought I would try,” said the out-of-work technology manager. He said he has done some commercials and small projects. He added some gel to his short, dark hair to help him look a bit more 1930-ish.

Standing beside him, Brooke Comegys, 17, of Thornwood, thought it would be fun to be in a movie, since she has acted in productions at Westlake High School.

Nora and Ed Merriam of Cortlandt came with her four children — Nick, 6; Max, 4; Alivia, 3; and Therese, 6 months old. The mom appeared in The Young and the Restless and hoped for a small part this time around. The filmmakers needed an infant, and the Merriams seemed pleased to show off their smiling baby.

The HBO five-hour miniseries is a remake of a movie that won Joan Crawford an Oscar. The story is about a woman and mother in a failed marriage who turns into a successful career woman.

Source: Lohud.com | The Journal News