I’m in a film. Yes, me. A film! With co-stars Patrick Dempsey (‘Grey’s Anatomy’) and Chris Noth (Mr Big in ‘Sex and The City’).
Confused? Well, so was I.
Last year – in April – I was asked to fly out to Belgium in order to film for a “new business reality show, where a team of experts help improve the chances of a group of unemployed people from around the world”. The director met me in my very nice hotel the day before to talk me through what I was required to do exactly. The brief was to train each candidate (I would be seeing three) in dining etiquette. He specifically had chosen lobster, snails and oysters for me to teach. Three of my least favourite foods in the world, but fine, I shall teach how to eat them. They were paying me, at the end of the day.
The next day, a delightful runner collects me and drives me to the location (another hotel in the city). I was filming almost within ten minutes of arriving at the location. Anyone who’s filmed anything before will tell you that never happens. Filming is usually just a lot of faffing about and waiting. I knew something was up.
I was asked to open the door to the lobby and bring in the first candidate. Sitting outside were two ladies. One perfectly normal lady, and one Japanese-looking one. I had been told to work with the Japanese lady first. And in she came. Falling over herself, kissing me, and behaving in a very odd way.
Little old me thought that she was just a hopeless candidate that the TV programme had found – great for TV. So I went along with it, trying to be as charming as possible and cope with the stupid questions, prying questions about my personal life, and lobsters being waved in my face. Only about ten minutes in did I realise that she really couldn’t be for real. I was giving as good as I got (I mean, I just about survived Russell Howard), but I have to admit I was probably coming across like a rabbit in the headlights.
The sequence ended with me having this Japanese girl – Ushi – thrust a choux bun in my face as she showed me how she would eat it. It dropped all down my suit. I nearly snapped at this point. It had gone far enough.
After filming with Ushi was done, I was then told they didn’t need any more from me. What about the other candidates? I asked. Nothing more needed, the answer came. I asked the director and sound engineer whether she was for real; I was told she was. Hmmm.
Thankfully, my runner – who was taking me back to the hotel to change and then fly home, let me in on the plot. Although she thought it was for a TV show. I didn’t realise it was a film until LAST NIGHT when I found a trailer on YouTube. It appears Ushi (who I discovered is The Netherlands’s answer to Borat and Keith Lemon) has duped many others in the making of this film, including Messers Dempsey and Noth. Ho hum.
I was livid at the time – more so about my suit than anything else. But now that several months have passed, I am finding the whole thing funnier. Just.
The film is released on Thursday in Europe.