When I was in 3rd grade my Mom had just finished reading the book with me, as I was a Roald Dahl fan. When I heard they were making a James and the Giant Peach movie and filming it in San Francisco I was thrilled. I was even more excited when my Mom took me to an audition to be in the movie itself. At first, I actually didn’t get the part. I knew another kid in my class who had auditioned as well and he had been called back as an extra. I was bummed.
It was a big deal with the other kid getting to miss school to be in the movie, so I clearly remember when he got to leave. After just one day of filming a bunch of kids dropped out, and I got a surprise visit from my Mom about an hour after she dropped me off at school she came back and took me into the city. Next thing I knew I was on set. They sent me to wardrobe, gave me an impromptu 1940’s haircut, and put me in a maroon robe.
We were in a series of old warehouses where they had built the set. They literally had created a giant peach sitting on top of truck in what was supposedly the streets of New York City. The set had that distinct Tim Burton feel to it, as he produced the movie.
My Mom actually knew one of the assistants, and I was suddenly shoved right in front of the camera for several scenes at the end of the movie.
It was an interesting experience, I got to meet all the actors and actresses, and the director Henry Selick. I also got to eat a lot free food.
As for the other kid from my class, he sadly didn’t even make it into the final version of the film.