By: Essie Cha (Makeup Artist)
I was working on the show ‘The Mentalist’. It was a second season show and the scene was being shot in a casino. I was doing makeup on an extra, who was playing the role of a beautiful Vegas showgirl. After putting on her final touches, we were ready to shoot the scene. The assistant director (AD) team had placed all the BGs (extras) in position and we were ready to shoot. I headed for Video Village (the area where directors, producers, writers and vanities go to watch the shoot in the monitors). We heard the call, “Action!” and Simon began to play his part. But we didn’t see him in the monitors. The aforementioned extra was blocking him from the camera’s view. Suddenly, the director sprang up and began swearing at her and ordered her to get out-of-the-way. Mortified, tears welled up in her eyes from shock and embarrassment. The rest of us knew the blocking problem wasn’t her fault because she had been placed there by the AD team. But we understood our place, and not wanting to be fired or sworn at, we were afraid to say anything in her defense. Meanwhile, Simon had gone back to his chair in the Video Village. The AD team adjusted the showgirl’s mark and informed Simon they were ready for him.
After a short pause, Simon said, “I’m not moving until you apologize to her.” He pointed to the lovely extra. The director was surprised and replied, “C’mon, you’re not serious?” Simon answered back. “Oh yeah. I’m not moving until you apologize, and now.” The director saw that Simon was dead serious and went immediately to apologize to the extra in full view of everyone in the Village. Simon walked back on set and took his place next to the re-heartened extra. Simon is not only a physically beautiful man; he’s a true gentleman who deserves all the success he can get!