January 25, 2000Eddie is Bemused About Blacklisting
Former Lord Of The Rings movie extra Eddie McCarthy does not
feel bitter about being blacklisted by Wellington acting agencies after spilling
"secrets" about the making of the film. He just finds it laughable.
McCarthy, a member of Porirua Little Theatre, says he is an
amateur actor who does film work for fun rather than as a profession or for the money (he
made $53 after tax, commission and expenses for a day's work on the Rings movie set).
"It's hysterical because it's so ludicrous. How can they threaten a 68-year-old
amateur actor [with no more work] when I just do this sort of thing for the love of
"I've been there and done my thing. I've sung in music
shows in the 60s before Avalon Studios were built." McCarthy's "ordeal"
began after Contact published an account he wrote about his brief stint as an extra for
the Rings movie at Stone Film Studios in Miramar.
Extracts of the article read: "I will never forget
walking on to the set for the first time. It was like Hollywood, huge monster trailers
with plush interiors for make-up, trailers with cameras, lighting and technical equipment,
hundreds of people moving about. It was intoxicating . . . 'What's your name?' I heard
Peter Jackson ask me. I saw every face on the set looking at me, everyone. 'Eddie
McCarthy,' I replied, trying not to show any nervousness in my voice. 'Eddie,' PJ said,
'try to get the timing right this time, all right?' . . . My God, Peter Jackson spoke to
me . . . He knows my name."
The article prompted the solicitors of Peter Jackson's
production company Three Foot Six Ltd to send him a threatening letter. The letter told
him he had breached a contract with the company which banned him talking to the media
about details of the film and warned him not to do so again.
Three Foot Six could not be reached -- the company's listed
number had been disconnected and no new number provided. But it was when McCarthy
contacted Trio Talent Management for more film work, that he was sent a letter suggesting
he could consider himself blacklisted from the film industry talent agencies around
The letter from Trio says his breeach of confidentiality has
put his reputation in the industry under a cloud, he says. "I was virtually told I
would never get work in this city again," he says.
McCarthy says he does remember signing an agreement to keep
tight-lipped about the Rings movie but is baffled over what the fuss is all about. He says
the article was "light hearted and humourous" and he was careful not to give any
"I understand thay don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry
talking to the media but I was careful not to give things away. If I wanted to expose them
I could have mentioned a lot of other things. I was just overwhelmed and delighted about
doing the shoot and loved working with Peter Jackson. I felt good about the experience and
wanted to share that," he said.
But Trio Talent Management agency owner Sharon Tower says
commercial agencies in Wellington are unlikely to put McCarthy on their books because they
wouldn't risk taking on someone who may breach contracts.
"I see where he is coming from -- that he had a good
time -- but my reputation relies on doing things the right way. I won't risk him doing
something like that again," she says.