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Hundreds from region seek roles as extras in sci-fi film

If he is selected to work as an extra in “I Am Number Four,” the film with be Kevin Kukler’s fourth.

Kukler, 29 of Belle Vernon, last worked as a pretzel vendor in “Next Three Days,” a film shot in Pittsburgh staring Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson. That film hits cinemas later this year.

At about $100 for a long day, Kukler and other aspiring extras for “I Am Number Four” earn considerably less than big names like Crowe and Neeson.

But he and hundreds of other people still showed up for an 8 a.m. casting call at the Doubletree Hotel, Downtown.

“It’s not about the money. Anyone who thinks that is making a mistake,” said Kukler, an aspiring filmmaker with a day job at Wal-Mart. “I do this because I just like being on a film set.”

By 10 a.m., more than 300 people had lined up to sit for photographs, which will be sent to the DreamWorks studio.

The film’s producers are looking for adults 18 or older who look young enough to play high school students. Extras also are needed to play police and fire personnel, reporters and townspeople.

“I Am Number Four,” which will be filmed in Vandergrift, Murrysville and a dozen other locations within 50 miles of Pittsburgh, is a film geared to teens and people in their early 20s.

It tells the story centers of nine aliens who escape from their planet just before it is annihilated by rivals. When the nine arrive on earth — thanks to the protection of a charm — they can only be killed in numeric order.

Number Four, the story’s protagonist, passes himself off as a high school student living in the town of Paradise, Ohio — for which Vandergrift and Murrysville double.

Samantha DeFazio, 27 of McKees Rocks, who found out about the casting call on the Pittsburgh Film Office’s website. She coaxed her friend, Jonathan Hughes, 24, to come to the casting call.

“I am nervous. I could be the next Denzel, though. My mother would really like that,” said Hughes, of the North Side.


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