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Posted on Tue, Jun. 18, 2002

Gail Shister | Casting call: 'Hack' extras' auditions set for next week

By Gail Shister
Inquirer Columnist

Attention, thespians.

Open casting calls for extras for the new CBS drama Hack will be held next week in our town. Production on 12 hour-long episodes will begin in mid-July, with shooting to take place in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Hack stars David Morse as a disgraced Philly cop-turned-crime-solving-cabbie. Because of his felony conviction, he doesn't carry a gun. (Call it MacGyver Meets the Equalizer on Wheels.)

The first call, for union actors only, is June 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Have your paid-up union card handy or hit the road, local casting director Diane Heery says.

For nonunion types, the call is June 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a photo; it won't be returned. Both sessions will be at Mike Lemon Casting, 413 N. Seventh St., Suite 602, Philadelphia 19123.

If you're unable to make it, mail your photo and resume. No phone calls. Applicants must be over 18. Minorities are encouraged to attend.

Heery expects 200 union Hack wannabes and 2,000 nonunion folks. Big crowds are nothing new for her - more than 4,000 lined the streets here for M. Night Shyamalan's 2000 feature Unbreakable.

About 150 extras will be hired, Heery estimates. (That's how many were used in the pilot, shot here over two weeks in March, she says.)

"We're looking for everyday folks, not necessarily just our pretty people. We want viewers to see what Philadelphians really look like."

Union scale for extras is $115 per eight-hour day; nonunion is $75, Heery says.

"Because of the talent in the pilot, CBS is very open to looking at local actors for all the extra roles, even possibly guest stars," she says.

If you're not called right away, don't panic, she adds. Casting is done episode-to-episode, and the series will be in production here until at least Christmas, if it sticks.



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