Edmonton

Blink and you'll miss Alberta musician with background role in 'Avengers: Endgame'

Avengers Endgame is the biggest blockbuster of the year, and Doug Hoyer had a very small part in bringing it to the box office. Very small.

'I was totally that fuzzy little speck in the background'

Actor Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, centre, in the blockbuster 'Avengers: Endgame,' was joined in one brief scene by Doug Hoyer, an Edmonton-born background actor. (Marvel Studios )

Avengers: Endgame is the biggest blockbuster of the year, and Doug Hoyer had a very small part in bringing it to the box office. Very small.

The Edmonton-born musician who now works at a hearing aid clinic in Calgary had the tiniest of cameos in the new film from Marvel Studios.

Blink and you'll miss it.

"I was totally that fuzzy little speck in the background," Hoyer said in an interview Wednesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM, the morning after seeing the movie in theatres for the first time.  

"That was definitely, definitely me."

'No spoilers'

Hoyer was a background actor in a 25-second scene featuring superhero Ant-Man, who is surveying damage caused by some big disaster.

"No spoilers, but there is a scene with a memorial and Paul Rudd is sort of running around," Hoyer said.

"We were also supposed to walk around as if we were also looking at memorials too, but everything was done with CGI in post-production so we were just starting at these little construction flags.

"It was the hardest acting I've ever had to do, just staring at nothing and looking impressed."

Look closely and you may be able to spot Doug Hoyer in the new Avengers film. (Ellis Choe/CBC)

    Avengers; Endgame is the epic conclusion to Marvel studio's decade-long series of blockbuster films.

    The star-studded film, which sees superheroes such as Captain America, Iron Man and Thor reunite for one last battle to save the universe, has been highly anticipated by fans for years.

    The film has shattered box office records, surpassing US$1 billion globally at the box office during its opening weekend.

    On set, the screenplay was a closely-guarded secret, Hoyer said.

    Code names were used by producers. 

    Extras like Hoyer were kept out of the loop on almost every detail of the plot. Their electronic devices were seized by the set managers and placed in large manilla envelopes. Non-disclosure agreements were required.

    "It was definitely the most security I've ever seen on set," Hoyer said. "It wasn't even about physical security, it was more about leaking information about the movie.

    "They locked up our phones and patted us down to see if we had extra recording devices and they actually put all of our phones into a big locker."

    How did Hoyer end up behind the scenes?

    "It's a funny story," he said.

    Hoyer began working as an extra about three years ago. He had moved to Athens, Ga., with his wife, but after some issues with his visa, he was scrambling for a job.

    I fumbled my way into the world of background acting.- Doug Hoyer

    He learned that the background-acting business was booming during a chance meeting at a Star Trek convention.

    Jonathan Frakes, most famous for his portrayal of Cmdr. William T. Riker in the intergalactic television series, told Hoy being an extra was easy work —  and Georgia was the place to land a gig fast.

    Georgia is the new Hollywood, Hoyer said.

    "There are so many television shows and movies that are filmed down there. Essentially, I fumbled my way into the world of background acting."

    Within days of making some casting calls, Hoyer had earned his first gig. He would go on to play background roles in a handful of productions including Halt and Catch Fire, Vampire Diaries and Hidden Figures.

    "Not that the pay was that good, but it was just so weird and so interesting. It was really cool to dive into this other world.

    "And eventually, one day, I found myself working ... in a scene with Paul Rudd in the world's most expensive movie."

    Being part of Avengers: Endgame was by far one of his coolest cameos, Hoyer said.

    "The budget was like $350 million and I got a piece of that. I got a paycheck out of that. That's pretty cool.

    "It's not like I'm a fanboy but it's neat to see these people who are really iconic doing their thing and getting paid to do it."

    About the Author

    Wallis Snowdon

    Journalist

    Wallis Snowdon is a digital journalist with CBC Edmonton. She has nearly a decade of experience reporting behind her. Originally from New Brunswick, her journalism career has taken her from Nova Scotia to Fort McMurray. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca

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