We’re stretching definitions with Extras in this series of posts. Extras are termed that by the fact that they are mostly in the background and once they have a line of dialogue they cease to be extras and becoming speaking parts. We’ve featured people who spoke but barely previously in this series. Here we’re pushing the boundaries further with a speaking part of several lines that plays over a scene. The character does not get a name and it is doubtful you would remember them but they are not really an extra and probably those in the previous posts weren’t extras either. So what’s the difference between an Extra Who Adds A Little Something and Minor Roles That Had A Major Impact? For me the latter usually involves more screen time, involves a scene I always remembered with a character who may significantly alter how the story goes. Yet these are not hard and fast rules to play by. For me there is a difference but it could all be in the eye of beholder. This week we’re talking about a scene that I don’t think really stuck in my mind but when I watched the scene again recently I enjoyed the way the performer did his moment. For Extras who truly stood out please refer to the awesome post by Mental Floss.
Finally we come to this months Extras Who Add A Little Something.
Recognise this man?
How about now?
Educated at Cambridge, 55 year old Neil Mullarkey worked the pub circuit as a double act in the early 1980s with British comedian Tony Hawks. When Hawks left, Mullarkey teamed up with Mike Myers. Often they would perform at the George IV in Chiswick where a young Hugh Grant was performing in the Jockeys of Norfolk revue. That must have been a grand time. Mullarkey remains a working comic performer, writer, voice-over artist and actor making a living doing what he loves and doing it well. To me this is a wonderful achievement.
In 1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery came at an interesting time in Mike Myers career. He had become a star thanks to Saturday Night Live, gone supernova with Wayne’s World and an obligatory sequel but had failed with So I Married An Axe Murderer. I don’t know if having old friends around were a comfort or even if Myers doubted this film would be good but Mullarkey who had done script edits on Axe Murderer appears here with his old colleague as the Quartermaster Clerk (listed 21st on the cast list at IMDB).
It’s a simple scene, superspy from the 1960s Austin Powers has woken up from cryosleep in 1997 and is being handled his personal effects. It’s funny as so many scenes in this film are, one item Powers is handed plays a part later on in saving his life but not much happens. Yet Mullarkey’s line reading of “Babee” always makes me smile. He also ties the scene in a nice little bow at the end with his final gesture.
I just don’t see the scene playing as well in lesser hands than Mullarkey and Myers but maybe that’s just me. You can check out more about Neil Mullarkey at his website here http://www.neilmullarkey.com/