How I met Josh Radnor
Assistant editor Taylor Swope explains how she met the "How I Met Your Mother" star
Bexley native Josh Radnor. File photo
Bexley native Josh Radnor was at the Drexel in his hometown in late May to première his first feature film, Happythankyoumoreplease, which he acted in, wrote and directed. I attended a screening where Radnor, the lead character in the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” hosted a Q&A session, and at the end of his talk, he mentioned he was searching for extras for his next project, Liberal Arts, which would be filmed throughout Central Ohio in June. If you put your name in a box in the lobby, you had a chance to be selected as an extra.
You better believe I put my name in that box.
Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail asking me to show up for a featured extra role. I said yes because who doesn’t dream of being discovered?
So, I arrived at 10 am on a Thursday in early June at Ruby Tuesday near Ohio State, lugging a huge bag filled with 10 outfits. The costume director had told me to bring “New York chic and sleek” clothes, but I’m hopelessly Midwest so my stuff didn’t make her cut. It was “too sweet for a seedy bar,” she said. Thankfully, they had wardrobe backups, so I ended up looking like a quintessential Brooklyn hipster by noon.
Here’s what I learned from my day on the set: be prepared to wait . . . and wait some more. Apparently, it takes a long time to film just a couple of scenes, considering everything is rehearsed a few times first. The waiting wasn’t so bad because I met many interesting people. For instance, there was a guy who had been an extra in Unbreakable, a Bruce Willis action flick, who said that if you pause his scene at just the right moment, it’s just him and Willis on the screen. (He was pretty proud.)
As a featured extra, I was more prominently positioned in a scene (scary). So after a lunch catered by Trattoria Roma, I was whisked away by a group of seemingly important people who rushed me back to the set to make sure I was looking extra hipster before I had to rehearse my tiny part, which basically was walking around a bar. At the end of the day, Elizabeth Reaser, who plays the mom in the Twilight franchise and has a role in Liberal Arts, made an appearance. (I’m obsessed with “The West Wing,” so I would have been more impressed if Allison Janney—who’s also in the film—had shown up.)
Also, you know how extras look as if they’re conversing in the background scenes? Well, they’re not. They’re probably chanting “watermelon” over and over again to fake a conversation. And it’s as awkward as you’d imagine.
But the best part of the day was when a ruggedly handsome Hollywood actor walked up to me, stuck out his hand and said, “Hey, Taylor. I’m Josh. It’s great to meet you.”
It was great to meet you, too, Mr. Radnor.