Emily in costume on the set of Les Miserables.
A COUNTY Press employee turned French revolutionary when she joined the Hollywood elite and became an extra in this year’s Oscar-nominated Hollywood blockbuster, Les Miserables, which opened in cinemas nationwide on Friday.
Emily Scotcher, who is the yoppul youth website co-ordinator, has been involved in musical theatre since she was four years old, and jumped at the chance to appear in one of her favourite musicals.
She said: "There was an open audition in Portsmouth but I missed it. I got in touch with the agency and got a call offering me some filming dates."
Before filming began, Emily travelled to Pinewood Studios to be fitted for her extensive costume.
She said: "They were trying to be as authentic as possible so we had corsets, petticoats and bonnets. I was wearing about five layers at one point, and they dirtied our teeth, and fingernails, and put blood on our knuckles. There was a warehouse with wall-to-wall costumes and boxes of shoes and hats."
Emily, 23, joined hundreds of other extras to film dramatic scenes, including one where they are charged by the cavalry.
She said: "As the horsemen came at us, on actual horses with actual swords, we had to run. We were told to keep running until Tom Hooper, the director, shouted 'cut’, as it meant the horses were still charging and it wasn’t safe."
While waiting for her scenes, Emily was hanging around the friendly set chatting to another cast member, or so she thought.
"We talked about the set, the weather, and how the filming was going. I only realised who I was speaking to when someone came to fetch him," Emily said.
"I’d inadvertently had a conversation with leading actor Hugh Jackman without realising who he was, which was a testament to the make-up crew. He’s a lovely man."
The cast and crew were invited to a special screening in Leicester Square and Emily was shocked when halfway through the film, the huge screen showed a close-up of someone she recognised.
"It’s a very weird experience to suddenly see a close up of your face. I was so excited," she said.
Emily, who went to Carisbrooke High School, plans to keep on with her busy life of work, writing stage shows and of course, performing.
She said: "It sounds cheesy to say it was a once in a lifetime opportunity but it was. It was the highlight of 2012. I don’t think I’ll have an experience like that again."