Running a Play for Time on the Big Screen

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What do you get for enduring low pay, bad weather, endless hours of boredom? Frank Herzog just spent two days sitting next to Ben Affleck while shooting "State of Play."

Three years ago, the sportscaster was let go from Channel 9 and the Washington Redskins play-by-play broadcasts. He turned to his wife and said, "What am I going to do?" Anything you want, she replied -- so Herzog decided to become a movie extra.

A casting agent told the 63-year-old he could play a politician, businessman or military guy; he landed his first job as a pedestrian in "The Sentinel." That led to "The Good Shepherd" -- only his rear end made the final cut. (Herzog swears his wife recognized him: "I've been married 37 years.") He also had small speaking roles as a judge in "Step Up" and a senator in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."

Last week Herzog, now a part-time anchor at WTOP, was one of more than 100 extras for "State of Play" at the Mellon Auditorium, which doubled as a Capitol hearing room. Most of the extras played reporters or observers; Herzog was cast as a congressman and was seated next to Affleck on the podium -- for 12 hours on Thursday and eight on Friday. "I didn't have any lines, but you have to react the same way every time," he told us yesterday.

So, spend all that time between takes chatting with Ben? Nope, that's not how it works: "You're not allowed to talk to principal actors unless you're spoken to, because they're in character and you'd distract them," said Herzog, who did have one brief exchange with Affleck. "I was impressed how much a pro he is."

The pay scale? Herzog made $120 for the eight hours, probably more for the 12-hour day, "plus you get a great meal." Best perk: There's a good chance his face will show up when the movie comes out next year.

The T.G.I. Trio: TMI, People!

Menage a trois, New Jersey style: A driver for former governor Jim McGreevey told the New York Post yesterday he often joined the closeted pol and his now-ex-wife in bed, usually after a couple of rounds of drinks at T.G.I. Friday's. Teddy Pedersen said he went public with his story because the ex-N.J. first lady has called Eliot Spitzer a hypocrite while also claiming she never knew her husband was gay. "It's disgusting to watch her play the victim card." Meow! Dina Matos McGreevey denied the threesomes and told reporters her ex was plotting with his cronies to slander her: "He cannot stand it when I am receiving attention in the media rather than him." Double meow! Jim McGreevey finally weighed in with a statement that it's all true: "This happened, this happened in the past, and now, we need to move on with our lives." Yeah, good luck with that!

THIS JUST IN . . .

After three weeks abstaining from Britney Spears news . . . we give up!

UCLA Medical Center is punishing two dozen employees who snooped through the pop starlet's medical records during her stay this winter in its psych unit, the Los Angeles Times reports; half of them will be fired.

Spears's erstwhile quasi-manager, Sam Lutfi -- whom her parents accused of holding the singer hostage and taking over her finances -- agreed yesterday to stay away from her for another month, postponing a hearing that would make his temporary restraining order permanent, the Associated Press reports.

A judge is making Spears pay $375K of ex-husband Kevin Federline's legal bills, according to court records released yesterday. (Spears's lawyer had argued unsuccessfully that K-Fed should pull more of his own weight, citing his recent $2,000 tip at a restaurant.)

Britney's new mentor? Mel Gibson! The pair were spotted dining with a group in L.A. Saturday, People reports; it seems the movie star and his wife are counseling her about regaining a private life.

QUOTE

"I'm an acquired taste. . . . I started dating this guy, and he wouldn't date me anymore because he found out who my dad was. . . . Not everybody wants to go out with somebody so high-profile. If they do, they're investment bankers. Seriously. Ugh! If you're an investment banker, don't hit on me. You can quote me. I'm not interested."

-- John McCain's 23-year-old daughter, Meghan, in the April issue of GQ.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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