The Outsiders -Summer 1984 (Friday Flashback)
2004-04-11 @ 4:53 p.m.
My freshman year of high school I was obsessed with the Francis Ford Coppola movie The Outsiders. I would go to the first matinee and stay twice, sometimes even three times. Repetition paired with my astonishing ability to remember lines meant I practically could recite the movie by heart. It was a nice movie, filled with cute young actors many of which eventually became talented, even if very few of them were very good in The Outsiders. My friends and I reread all of S.E. Hinton’s books again, and quoted the Outsiders relentlessly, in the geeky way that only can be managed by teenagers. I was that way (and am that way) with any movie I really was taken with, but the Outsiders was the standout freshman year for me.
So when That Was Then, This is Now was being filmed in Mpls, and my friends and I got the opportunity to be extras in it, we went. Although the original buzz had been that it would be a movie starring Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise (the two were reportedly close friends-and we knew it was true) Tom Cruise’s career had made a jump onto a busier plane of existence with the success of Risky Business. I had to say goodbye to my sweet pre-adolescent crush since he appeared in Taps, because every smart girl knows- if every girl in town has a crush on your movie star boyfriend, then you can’t even cling to a good fantasy sequence without a stranger crashing in on it. But we all were delighted with Emilio Estevez coming to town, and Jenny from All My Children was in the movie too.
Extras mostly stand around. In a scene that took place in a lunchroom, I got to be one of the mobile extras, which meant that I was walking through and past the camera around the actors shooting their scene. So for approximately 2 hours, I would get to stand right next to Emilio ( waaay shorter than me) waiting for the director to say “action” and then I would walk through a pattern up one aisle of tables and then crossing back down. I was about 12” away from Emilio’s naked famous bicep and it was a good day to be 16, let me tell you. Me and legalbeagle got Emilio’s autograph and Kim Delaney’s, as well as Craig Sheffer’s (if only I had known then that his brother would helm the writing team of my favorite soap opera…), but the best meet of the day was recognizing Ramon Estevez, Martin Sheen’s youngest son. I asked for his autograph that he signed really nicely with a date and everything. “I love the Dead Zone”, I said to him. “You know that I was in that?” he seemed surprised to be approached by anyone actually knowing who he was. Admittedly, he was only in the movie for moments, but ever the movie buffs, we were girls who knew all of Martin’s sons and all the movies they appeared in with their dad.
It was my senior year before the movie came out, and the premiere was in the Twin Cities. All the extras got to buy tickets for the premiere for $20, and it was pretty cool even though I don’t think any of the stars were there. I was thrilled to be able to say I actually saw myself in the movie. Like any authentic high school episode, afterwards we all drank coffee late into the night at Perkins.