Lights, camera, action.

Being in Mumbai, I was told that it was common for you to be stopped in the streets and asked to be an extra in the back of a Bollywood film. This sounded like an amazing yet bizarre experience to be involved in. Of course I thought it was too good to be true, until I was approached myself. It was to be a full days work (leaving at 8am and returning at 10pm at the latest), I was also to receive breakfast, lunch and dinner, as much chai as I would require AND I was to be getting paid 5,000 Rupees for my time. Okay, so for a full day, that isn’t that much to get paid BUT it paid for my accommodation for that night and meant that I didn’t have to spend any further money that day for food or transport. Oh, and the whole ‘BEING IN THE BACK OF A FILM’ aspect is obviously another positive.

We (others from the guest house and I) were told to meet the driver outside of McDonalds the following morning to which we were all shoved onto a bus labelled ‘Shetty Travels’. This was the first time that I’d seen so many Westerners in such a confined space. Normally when I get buses, I’m the only white girl on it. Anyway, just over an hours drive later, we arrive at YRF STUDIOS.

They put us into a dressing room and get some of us into nurse scrubs (I’m one of them) and then two people style my hair back into a low ponytail as a makeup artist sorts out my morning face. I then stuff my face with their omelettes and delicious sandwiches filled with chicken and salad.

After just chilling and having a chat with some of the others, we are then called onto Stage 3, where a very famous Bollywood actress, Kristina Kaif is currently mid-scene. Shahrukh Khanis also in this film which I will be appearing in (the deepest, darkest background). These names may not mean anything to the ordinary Westerner, but mention this in India, and EVERYONE knows who you are talking about and will express their jealousy.

The film is to be set in London (hence why they wanted Westerners to act as extras) and one of the main parts of the movie would be set in Green Midlands Hospital. A made up hospital which also had a Dr. Mandy Moore written on one of the doors. I was wondering the whole time if they were actually aware that this name was a singer but given that some of the spelling on the signs in the hospital were incorrect I don’t think it would have been their biggest priority.

With it being a Bollywood film, of course my distant acting was to be dramatic. At one point they wanted me to walk down the hallway and then point and check the time on my watch to then have a light bulb moment and continue walking at a slightly faster speed. I have never been good at drama and still don’t understand why I took such a subject for GCSE’s. But when it comes to being dramatic, that I can do. I’m quite capable and fully willing to make scenes in the street, a public room or a library. So this really was my time to shine!

Others tasks I had to do was discuss with patients, check my clipboard, make some notes and guide lost visitors.

Okay, so it’s not the biggest task I’ve ever been asked to do in my life, but it was great fun and I had a laugh doing it with such great people.

There was one girl from America who was dressed as a random Londoner. This was hilarious to see being both English and having lived in London because they dressed her in the most ridiculous tight jogging pants and awkward non matching jacket. Apparently this is what people from London always wear in June…Especially when visiting a loved one in a hospital!


A small part of me is even tempted to add some humour to my Curriculum Vitae by adding ‘Bollywood Actress’ as my most recent job role. Main reason being that I’m actually quite proud and honoured to have been able to be part of a random film but also because I feel that I would appreciate it if I were reading CV’s all day looking for my perfect candidate to come across one which had a random and bizarre addition to the usual job roles.

I can just imagine it now:

Bar maid


Accounts Assistant

Property Manager

Bollywood Actress


It’ll probably be something I add for my own secret giggles and delete (hoping I remember) before actually handing it out to prospective employers.

Anyway, coming back to my most recent claim to fame, I’m rather much hoping that when the film comes out (and I of course buy a copy or two on DVD) that I will be able to make out which blue blob in the distance is actually me. But to be fair, any blob will do for me.