How I helped bring Ian Dury to the big screen

6 Nov

Marc Lambert-Clarke (second right) with other extras from sex&drugs&rock&roll

In his own words, Marc Lambert-Clarke tells of his experience as an extra in the biopic sex&drugs&rock&roll starring Andy Serkis.

“The first day I arrived on set, I was greeted by a man walking with a stick, dressed in some turned up jeans and a dirty looking jacket. He asked me if I was okay and if I needed anything. He explained where I needed to go and who I needed to speak to and then left, simply saying, “Well, I have to go do some work now, I will see you later”. Only as he walked away did it register who he was: Andy Serkis dressed as Ian Dury.

My name is Marc Lambert-Clarke and during my time as a trainee I was asked to be a drummer, a punk, and I filmed one of the crowd scenes with an old Bolex camera. Being an extra during the Watford shooting days was perhaps the most tiring, but extremely exhilarating few days of all. The job I was given was to dress as a punk rocker and simply rock out for a couple of days. What the director failed to mention was that I would be rocking out to the same song for the same scene for nearly 14 hours. I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong, it was amazing. Imagine going to a gig where the energy never changed and, for the whole time you were there, you were running solely on adrenalin.

The truth is, if you want to work in the film industry, you need to be prepared to work for it. Whether you’re asked to make coffee, direct traffic or rock out as an extra. It may have been my first time on a film, but it was an experience I can chalk up as one of the best. Before that, I didn’t know much about Ian Dury; I had heard ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, but aside from that I hadn’t really heard of him. Once being part of this film, I found myself buying a few Blockheads albums and listening to their songs. Ian Dury might be dead, but he remains a strong inspiration. Never let your problems get you get down and strive for whatever you want. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.”

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