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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Living a dream

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Heather Killion in costume preparing to be in a scene of "Public Enemies" as an extra. Courtesy Photo.
Heather Killion recently had what she called "the experience of a lifetime!"

The life-long Johnny Depp fan recently had the opportunity to serve as an extra on the set of the movie "Public Enemies," which was recently released to theaters worldwide. In the film, Depp portrays bank robber John Dillinger.

"It was amazing to be a part of the filmmaking process," Killion said via e-mail. "(Director Michael Mann) spared no expense in making every detail as accurate as possible."

Heather grew up in Crown Point and attended Indiana State University. There, she met future husband Andrew, who grew up in Brazil and is currently the director of bands at Lowell High School.

Andrew's mother, Cindy Boswell, still lives in Brazil. She told The Brazil Times she was "proud" of Heather for having the opportunity to serve as an extra.

"She was dying to get in," Boswell said. "She's a big Johnny Depp fan. She tried out and they picked her. I thought it was really exciting."

Heather, who teaches music at DeMotte Elementary School near Crown Point, said the scene she is in takes place during an arrest of character Billy Frechette, portrayed by actress Marion Cotillard.

"I was a female pedestrian walking in front of the Tumble Inn as Dillinger speeds away in his vehicle after he realizes his girlfriend has been apprehended," Killion said.

She said she arrived on set at 5 a.m. to begin the makeup process.

"Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood put the final touch on my wardrobe, handpicking the brightly colored scarf to go with my outfit," Killion said. "That in and of itself, was an awesome experience.

"After wardrobe, we were taken to the filming location on the corner of Clark and Hubbard (in Chicago). After waiting for several hours on location, while the crew put the finishing touches on the set, we were briefed on our scene."

While waiting to film the scene, Heather said the crew gave the extras background information on what would take place.

"Our group was told to walk down the street and 'react' to the oncoming agents with Tommy Guns," she said. "We rehearsed the scene several times before cameras rolled. Needless to say, it was very easy to react to men running at you with automatic weapons."

The scene was filmed during June and Heather said she was on set for more than 15 hours.

"Many people have the perception that celebrities/actors have a glamorous lifestyle making movies," she said. "From my short experience, I can tell you that isn't always true. It was a very long day on the set."

She added another extra told her during a dance scene -- which lasted approximately 21 hours -- that Depp showed "signs of exhaustion."

Heather's time on the movie set also coincided with Depp's birthday.

"He took time between takes to speak and chat with extras," Heather said. "During one of the breaks, I looked up to see Dillinger himself, (Depp). He was talking with some of the crew and actors on the street.

"I was frozen with my awestruck amazement and a couple of other extras encouraged me to approach. They flanked my arms and scurried me over. When we got within a couple feet of (Depp), he looked over and smiled, and said 'Hello.' That was all I needed.

"It became a culmination of my experience. (Depp) is the 'real deal' and despite his huge popularity, hasn't lost touch with reality."

Heather said she didn't get a chance to meet any of the other stars of the film while on set.

While filming her scene, Heather added she didn't feel too much pressure.

"I wasn't nervous (not entirely true)," she said. "But I was able to keep composed enough not to embarrass myself."

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I too would love to get close to Johnny. I know I would be nervous, but I guess that's life. He get's nervous too. But that is part of his irristable? charm. I hope I spelled that word right.

-- Posted by melsmom93 on Thu, Jul 16, 2009, at 11:27 AM

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