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Articles > Entertainment October, 08, 2015

What It’s Like To Be An Extra On TOWIE

Anonymous
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I lived in Essex for just over 2 years, and during that time I lived and worked in Brentwood. I’d often see the TOWIE cast around, doing filming or posing for the paparazzi outside Sainsbury’s (that they called on themselves). So when I was asked to be an extra in the background of my work, I said yes just for the experience. Being a Media Studies student at college I wanted to see what an actual filming set was like.

First of all, if you’re interested in knowing how to become a TOWIE extra then I don’t know. I don’t think they take on many new extras now after something was exposed by a girl about the plot line for the upcoming series; I think they re-use a lot of the extras now. I never applied or asked for the experience I simply did it to help out at my work and I never expected to get paid. I would suggest looking at an extras website or a Facebook page for casting in Essex as they always need background nightclub extras. They don’t film in actual clubs, they’ll go when it’s shut for the night and use background extras as they did at my work.

There was A LOT of ‘free time’ when the crew weren’t filming. I got out of work at midnight and they’d arrived at about 9:30. They set up more equipment than expected and it goes to show that everything you see on TOWIE is completely set up, there is no ‘popping for fish and chips’ on this show. I once thought it was a small camera crew following the cast around, but it’s actually a hell of a lot of lighting, wires everywhere, a track for the camera to move across and more. I actually dropped a salt shaker really loudly during filming which was embarrassing, but hey ho, they ended up doing about 7 takes of everything anyway.

Arg and Lydia were both really nice and I filmed a talking scene with them (I took their order behind the till, haha) which was cut but during takes we chatted about my job and other stuff. Lauren kept to herself (I’m saying she’s stuck up in a polite way) but Lewis was lovely and spoke to me and my boss for ages (probably because it was so boring waiting around for the crew to set up a different camera angle!)

All in all, I had a fun time and learnt a bit about how reality television is ACTUALLY filmed, but I wouldn’t apply to be a full-time extra…

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  1. Megan Taylor

    I’m from Essex and have watched the show from day 1.
    As a major fan I was exited to enter Chloe Sim’s Press Event Party for her new blog. I’d entered it and then won and therefore was given an invite and my name on the guest list along with a friend. However, I witnessed the same “scene” be shot around 5 or 6 times as Marnie Simpson and Chloe Goodman…
    Obviously a lot of the cast were there and did often stop to have pictures; whereas some tended to give a certain look and deliberately avoid us. It wasn’t like we were being annoying fans.
    However, I still enjoy the show and have heard about the extra’s roles as a family friend is one and has told us about what goes on.