War Machine: An Extra’s Perspective

A fascinating firsthand account of working as an extra for Netflix’s War Machine feature film starring Brad Pitt and Tilda Swinton. Catherine Taylor, a supporting artist with Uni-versalEXTRAS, recounts her time in London covering everything from Danish pastries to working alongside Hollywood actors!
The Quiet Buzz of Excitement

It is a crisp, sunny October morning in a leafy square in the heart of London. A large marquee is filled with around 300 people helping themselves to coffee and Danish pastries. There is a quiet buzz of conversation. Some of the crowd are chatting, some reading books or knitting. The majority are soberly dressed in suits while the rest are, slightly disconcertingly, kitted in military fatigues.

Suddenly, a runner appears at the entrance and calls out clearly – “Can we have all our German speakers now please?” The essential nature of the background artiste’s job is to hang about for ages and then “MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!”

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Brad Pitt on hubris, ‘War Machine’ and having ‘no secrets’

Brad Pitt and Gen. Stanley McChrystal — the inspiration to Pitt’s four-star Afghanistan commander in the upcoming Netflix war satire “War Machine “— would seem to be worlds apart. One, an affable member of Hollywood’s elite; the other a hard-charging lifetime military man. But Pitt found one connection with his character: a swollen ego, and the damage done.

“Hubris is a trap and it’s the trap of every great nation that has been number one for too long. You start believing your own stink,” Pitt says. “Anytime I’ve gotten in trouble, it’s because of my own hubris.”

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War Machine Trailer

“Most of us here will know Gen. McMahon as the man who kicked al-Qaida in the sack.” How’s that for an introduction. Here’s the first trailer for War Machine, the Netflix original film starring Brad Pitt as a four-star U.S. general who is tasked with leading the war in Afghanistan and his roller-coaster rise and fall. Part reality, part savage parody, it raises the specter of just where the line between them lies today.

Billed as “a film for our times” from writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), it follows McMahon (Pitt) as he leaps into the fray like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan — “Just finish this thing,” he is instructed — only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.

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