A CHANCE encounter led to a Rugby man landing a role in one of the biggest Hollywood films of the year - alongside Johnny Depp.
Graham Bliss, 26, of Tower Road, was enjoying a night out with friends in London in July last year when he was photographed by a casting agency on the lookout for extras for Pirates of the Caribbean 4.
A week later Graham received a phone call from the agency offering him a small part in the smash hit film. In September he visited the famous Pinewood Studios in London where he was measured and fitted for a pirate costume, ahead of filming in October.
Graham, who had never acted before, said: “I was asked to be in Greenwich for two weeks. Five hundred other bearded, strange, old fashioned, young and hip looking ‘pirates’ were also in attendance.
“And thus my two week stint on a Hollywood film set in London began.”
Graham began the day with an early 5am start before waiting in line to put on a costume. After everyone was dressed the cast would drink tea and eat bacon and beans together.
Graham said: “Filming began at around 9am, at which point we would all be asked to wait for Mr Depp or the stuntman. Days were long, tiring but exciting and there was always an interesting character to chat to while the scenes were being prepared and then filmed.
“They must have literally filmed about ten minutes of footage the whole two weeks, possibly a lot less. It was all action scenes and long shots of the crowd while we went about our daily business. In one scene we were told to pretend to be unaware as to the crazy pirate dangling out of a window.”
Graham was as an ‘under lower class male’ for his part in the film, except for one day when he was given an extras role as a prisoner.
He said he tried to get in front of the camera as much as he could and in the final cut of the film, which was released at the end of last month, there are brief glimpses of Graham.
He also had his photo taken during filming and the snap, showing Graham standing by a Punch and Judy prop, was published on gossip websites around the world.
And the highlight of the experience? Meeting Johnny Depp of course.
Graham said: “People will ask if I spoke to, hung out with or met Johnny Depp. I did casually ask him if he was bored when he was sat on the top of a horse and carriage.
“He said he was and was waiting for a beer later. I said ‘that’s funny, that’s exactly how I ended up here today talking to you’. He said ‘funnier things happen at sea’.”