1,000 audition for roles in Dennis Quaid movie in Winnipeg

A long line of people vying to fill paid extra roles in the latest Dennis Quaid movie stretched out and around the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg on Sunday.

2,000 paid extras needed for film based on New York Times bestseller

A long line of people vying to fill paid extra roles in the latest Dennis Quaid movie stretched out and around the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg on Sunday. 1:08

A long line of people vying to fill paid extra roles in the latest Dennis Quaid movie stretched out and around the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg on Sunday.

A Dog's Purpose is based on a New York Times bestseller and will be shooting for 50 days in Winnipeg from August through October. A casting company announced the call for 2,000 paid extras last week.
The Fairmont Hotel was packed on Sunday with people trying to land paid extra roles in A Dog's Purpose, a Dennis Quaid movie being shot in Winnipeg. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

Kari Rieger with Kari Casting said prospective extras showed up as early as 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

"I think people just get excited in Winnipeg still for films," said Rieger, adding the movie is probably the most ambitious project the company has ever taken on in Winnipeg.
A casting call in Winnipeg attracted about 1,000 prospective extras to the Fairmont Hotel on Sunday. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

The story is told from the perspective of a dog who is reincarnated several times between the 1960s and 1990s. It's set in small-town America, so the company is looking for "wholesome" looking characters.

If you're a man with a shaggy hairdo, they might have a use for you, too.

"This is a period piece based in the 60s and the 70s. For all men who are not follically challenged, please grow your hair out!" an organizer shouted out to the crowd at the Fairmont.

'Cool thing to have done'

Tracy Feschuk, a.k.a. "Zilly the Clown," saw the listing included a call out for the comically inclined, so she decided to show up to the audition in character.
Tracy Feschuk, a.k.a. "Zilly the Clown," showed up to the auditions in full costume. (CBC)

"If you're going for a job interview, you put on your best outfit, put your best face forward!" Feschuk said. 

She has never been in a movie before. If she lands the job, Feschuk said it will act as proof to her mom that "the clowning wasn't a waste of time."

Chris Nemish, a retiree, was hoping to land his first movie role, too.

"It was one of the things on my retired bucket list, try out and see what happens," said Nemish. "[I'm] not sure what they're looking for, but you never know."

Jessica Desjarlais said while she doesn't see herself doing any other acting projects, making the final cut for this one would be exciting because it would give her a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the filming process.

"I think it would be cool to look back when I'm older and say, 'Hey, I'm in the movie,'" she said. "It's a cool thing to have done."

As of 2:30 p.m., 1,000 people had completed auditions with many more still waiting in line. The event was supposed to wrap up at 3:30 p.m., but Rieger said they would have to extend the casting call if they hoped to get through all of the auditions.


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