Staff member appears in new Madonna film
Last updated 3-Aug-10 09:26
When Salem Hanna, a Communications Manager at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, got woken up by a text message one Sunday morning, he thought it was a ‘thank you' note from a friend whose birthday he'd attended the night before. Instead, it was another special invitation...to appear in a Hollywood film directed by music legend Madonna.
"I couldn't believe my luck," said 30 year old Salem, who joined the Trust when he moved to Enfield in 2008 and has been working as a film and TV extra in his spare time since May 2009. "They asked me to accept by 2pm, which was over 5 hours later. I rang them back in 5 minutes!"
The film, "W.E.", is a romantic comedy about the controversial relationship between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson - or rather, the impact it has on another relationship 60 years later. Salem played a rich young customer at a Sotheby's auction in 1998, where possessions of the couple were put up for sale.
Being an extra is no guarantee of being easily visible in the final product, as Salem is only too aware from previous experiences. His recent work as an extra has included films such as Clash of the Titans and he was recently seen in The IT Crowd. "I've done enough of this sort of thing to know they don't use the vast majority of what they shoot, so you can only do your best in each take and keep your fingers crossed. But I'm inspired by the hope that one of the films I appear in - however briefly - may go on to become a timeless classic. If it does, I'll always feel honoured to have been there on set when the cast and crew brought it to life."
W.E. is released in cinemas in 2011, but Salem won't have to wait that long to see himself on screen again; he'll be appearing as a journalist in recession drama The Domino Effect later this year.