How to chase Jonny Lee Miller around London... it's Elementary!

Elementary series 2 has started filming in London and my mission was to find the cast. Becoming an extra? Totally my own doing…

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How to chase Jonny Lee Miller around London... it's Elementary!
Written By
Emma Daly

Standing around, it turns out, has its advantages.

Having braved the crowds of Trafalgar Square for a good four hours in the hope of spying Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, the stars of US drama Elementary who are filming parts of series 2 in London, I’d got as far as getting a picture of the camera.

On a tip-off the stars were actually down the road in Pall Mall, I’d also scored a picture of a bunch of trailers.

I wasn’t going to win any prizes for that.

I’d also been told the cast would be filming in London all week, that there’d be some scenes in the back of a black taxi, near Buckingham Palace and that a behind-the-scenes film was also being made.

Good stuff, but not what I’d been sent to do.

But after another hour, by which time my editor had told me to stop getting pictures with so many people in them (a challenge in itself in Trafalgar Square) I struck lucky.

Having been told numerous times to get out of the way, an important man (and by important, I mean he had a headset) yelled out, ‘Who wants to be an extra?’.

I confess to being surprised at myself as to how quickly my hand shot into the air.

But heck, I’d stood around long enough to feel part of the show, even telling passers by who the stars were, why not get involved?

Now, I’d love to tell you that being an extra involves being swept back stage, whisked through hair and make-up and a meet with the cast, before a few glamorous takes in which the director runs out after each one to tell you how fabulous you are, darling.

In reality, I (along with about 100 other willing extras) was told to stand still, be quiet and not look at the camera.

Not quite my Hollywood break.

I can totally have an IMDB page though, right? ‘Elementary series 2, episode 1, unnamed girl in Trafalgar Square’. I’ll laugh about it one day with George Clooney.

Anyway, if one was to grade extras – I’d totally be in Premier League. I was laughing and joking with the staff – them mainly at me for how long I’d been standing in Trafalgar Square on a Wednesday afternoon – and diligently finding something to do while the stars walked past.

I certainly wasn’t getting told off, unlike some other extras who ruined a fair few shots after they whipped out their cameras to grab pictures of Jonny and Lucy (I’m on first name terms now, obviously…).

I could be snobby and call them amateurs, but actually they were just bemused tourists who 1. Didn’t speak English and 2. Frankly didn’t have a clue why some irate man in a high-vis jacket was now yelling at them.

One ‘crowd controller’ got so fed up of telling people they were filming “a US TV show” (Elementary would have been quicker), he resorted to telling people it was a Mars Bar commercial.

Anyway, standing around chatting (quietly) while trying to remember not to slouch, flip my hair at the appropriate time and generally look über casual, got – I must confess - a bit boring.

I left, quietly checking my phone for calls from a talent-seeking agent... I can only presume I had no signal...

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