By Grace Ballenger
Editor in Chief
Adam’s Sandler’s new movie Grown Ups 2 comes out in the summer of 2013, and if you happen to see it watch the school scenes closely and you may just see Holliston High School (HHS) alum Joe Duda in the background.
Duda, who graduated HHS in 2010, was cast as an extra in Sandler’s comedy after auditioning at a casting call in Boston.
He initially had very low expectations for the audition. In a phone interview Duda said that, “I said, what the heck, I’ll go. I wasn’t expecting to get anything because they were looking for thousands of people.”
To say he was surprised when he got the call saying that he had been cast two weeks later would be an understatement. Duda explained that he was “so, so shocked” when he got the news that his “hands were… shaking.”
Filming for Duda’s role took place in one day. In an email interview he explained: “It was a 14 hour shoot. I got to the set at 6:20 AM and we filmed our last scene around 8:30 PM. I filmed 6 scenes in which I am just walking through shots at the school.”
Although the role that Duda played in the movie was not huge, being on the set of a major movie was an experience in itself. “Being on a huge film set with cameras on cranes, huge lights [and] microphones was just so amazing,” said Duda.
When the extras got on set “the first thing they said is don’t approach the actors,” recounted Duda. Nevertheless there were still chances to see famous actors on set. At one point Duda, who allowed the use of his car in the movie, was told to go stand near his car. About “ten minutes into me standing at the car” Duda realized that “Adam Sandler was standing at the car across from me.”
One of the highlights of the experience for Duda was also watching Sandler at work on the set. In addition to watching Sandler act, Duda said “it was also very cool to see him doing work behind the camera as well!”
All this still remains surprising for Duda who said “I never thought I’d be in a movie.” The actor started out acting on the stage when he was young, eventually getting involved in the drama program at the Prana Center.
One of Duda’s favorite roles was “John Proctor in “The Crucible.” [It was] one of my hardest roles [because the] character has a wide variety of emotions that he goes through.”
Currently attending a community college, Duda is making an effort to continue acting, recently taking a part in a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with a theatre company in Wellesley. He said that he hopes to keep acting in his future, and said “Whatever other opportunities arrive I’ll do them when I can.”
Acting appeals to Duda because “There’s just something about playing characters that are nothing like you and [experiencing] their emotions.”
Duda said that he also enjoys being able to act in front of an audience when he can “see how the audience reacts.” Finally Duda enjoys acting because of some of “the people I’ve met. I’ve made some great friends. And some of the directors that I get to work with… [it is an] honor and a privilege.”
Currently Duda is trying to figure out his future. He said that he is “still not really sure what he wants to do. He lists theatre, film and teaching as a few of his possibilities, but said ultimately “We’ll see what the future holds.”