While “Gone Girl” fever is sweeping the nation, two Poplar Bluff residents are enjoying knowing they had a small role to play in the thriller’s success.
Jamie Hickson and Michael Hibler, both of Poplar Bluff, spent days on set in Cape Girardeau as extras in the film.
It’s an experience they will remember for their entire lives.
“I saw a post on Facebook about a movie being filmed in Cape Girardeau, so I went to the casting call,” recalled Hickson.
He said it took him about ten minutes to fill out the paper work and then it was waiting time.
“They’d bring groups of people up on stage, shoot individual pictures of them, and then it was time to wait some more,” said Hickson.
He said it was an interesting experience because all kinds of people were there hoping for a shot at being an extra in the movie.
“Some scenes had cops. Some had neighbors. I was chosen for a bar scene.”
Michael Hibler, who has Dark Hamlet Production Studios and even some west coast movie experience, approached the idea with more organization. He actually sent in a head shot and his acting and production credentials, and was chosen for the part as a news reporter.
Neither Hickson nor Hibler knew much about “Gone Girl” going into the experience.
Neither had read Gillian Flynn’s novel, but being movie fans, both were familiar with the director of the film David Fincher’s work.
Though the film includes an all-star cast including Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Ratajkowski, and Tyler Perry, Cape Girardeau was center stage as its moody backdrop along the Mississippi River. In the film, Cape Girardeau is playing North Carthage, MO. Flynn, herself, is originally from Missouri.
Filming took place in about 30 locations in Cape Girardeau about a year ago.
“The filming took place in October, but in the story, it is supposed to be July,” explained Hibler. He noted that made filming sometimes a challenge, and sometimes uncomfortable.
“There were days like this week, where it was actually cold. But we couldn’t dress for the cold because it was supposed to be July,” said Hibler.
Both said they loved the experience, but it had its challenges.
“There were people there who had a lot more acting experience, some of them professionals, but in the end, Fincher was looking at every extra for a certain look,” explained Hibler. “Luckily, I looked like a news reporter to him.”
“Yeah,” laughed Hickson. “And luckily, with my long hair, I looked to him like a guy who would hang out in a bar!” That wasn’t too far of a stretch for Hickson, who is also a long time area musician who….you guessed it….plays in bars a lot.
Both were very complimentary of the way Fincher, the actors, and the production staff treated the extras.
There has been speculation as to whether there will be a sequel to “Gone Girl.”
“The ending was just perfectly open,” explained Hibler. “The audience was meant to be left wondering what the future will bring for the characters.”
Likely, the city of Cape Girardeau is hoping for a sequel because it’s estimated the filming brought about $7 million to the Cape economy. When the film premiered in Cape Girardeau, it was literally a red carpet event. But both Hickson and Hibler saw the film in Poplar Bluff.