PERSONAL space was thrown to the wayside in the tiny town of Werris Creek yesterday as scores of excited locals clamoured for a front-row spot to watch filming of the period feature film, Unbroken.
More than 100 people, with their iPhones and cameras at the ready, squashed up against crowd barriers lining the main street hoping to catch a glimpse of the movie’s famous director, Hollywood megastar Angelina Jolie.
Dressed in black pants, a grey singlet and her customary floppy-brimmed hat, the svelte A-lister waved and smiled to the adoring crowd before popping in and out of view as she walked back and forth from the director’s tent, chatting to actors in between takes.
Based on the best-selling biography, the movie charts the amazing life of Olympic track star and fighter pilot Louie Zamperini, who was shot down over the Pacific Ocean during WWII and spent two-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war.
Over the past few weeks parts of Single St have been transformed to depict the southern Californian town of Torrance, where Louie grew up in the 1920s and 1930s.
In one scene, filmed in the narrow lane next to the Railway Hotel, Ms Jolie shouted words of encouragement to the American actor playing the young Louie, CJ Valleroy.
“Almost got it,” she said after the first take.
Dozens of extras – most of them locals – could be seen relaxing on chairs under the shade of nearby trees or along the footpath as they waited patiently for their close-ups.
Two extras, who did not wish to be named, said they had been there since 7am.
Old-model cars, driving on the wrong side of the road, chugged up and down the street during one scene, while crew members fanned what looked to be fake smoke or fog onto the road.
Janette Davis, a Werris Creek born-and-bred local, had been at the busy scene since 7.30am.
The eager onlooker said she was memorised by the proceedings.
“It’s just fascinating to watch. It’s just amazing to see how they pull it all together,” she said.
“The clothes are all so authentic, the men in the three-piece suits must be baking.”
Sarah Brazel, who had taken the day off to watch the historic event with two of her friends, said she was “kicking herself” that she did not sign up for a chance to feature in the film.
“I’m devastated we’re not extras,” the Tamworth resident said.
“I didn’t even think about it.”
The Country Music Capital will get its staring moment today when a “splinter crew” films a scene along the picturesque King George V Ave. It is understood Ms Jolie will not attend this shoot.
Single St will remain closed to traffic between Anzac Pde and Coronation Ave until 8.30pm today.
Filming is expected to move to the iconic Werris Creek Railway Station on Monday.