You name a television show, movie, or commercial there's a good chance that this dude is in it. Jesse Heiman has well over 100 acting credits, and he's not stopping anytime soon. I can finally say that we chilled with the world's most famous extra.
EBW: We have a very special guest today here at eBaum's World. This is Jesse Heiman, and coming from somebody who's actually done extra work. Congrats. You did it, you made it, you're doing the thing.
Jesse Heiman: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah it's good. It's great to be here. Thank you for having me on eBaum's World.
I think we want to jump right in. So back in 2013, you did this GoDaddy commercial for the Super Bowl where you lived out pretty much every guy's fantasy and you got to make out with Bar Refaeli. Can you tell us what that was like? Can you just walk us through that a little bit?
It was amazing. I got this audition from my commercial agent at the time and they said are you okay with having to make out with someone for a commercial?
Jesse talks Bar Refaeli and their GoDaddy make-out session.
It turns out it was a supermodel. Who would say no to that, you know? First we had to make out with a blow-up doll. Then Bar's stand-in for the commercial was the girl that we were kissing at the second audition. So it's a heck of a day of work when you have to sit down and start kissing a giant supermodel you know?
Start sucking some face.
Exactly. And there was a lot of lip balm and chapstick and all those things. But it was great. I mean, it was basically 8-10 hours of kissing. Can you imagine, man?
How many takes was that?
That was 65 takes.
It was just an amazing experience. She was super friendly and everyone on set was super nice. And I mean, that basically made me an overnight sensation. I was typecast as the nerd guy. Not the worst thing.
So that same year you were also cast in a Michael Bublé video? You actually got to make out with Jaime Pressly as well.
He gives us the down low on kissing Jaime Pressly.
Ever since I got booked as that nerdy guy who kisses hot chicks, all the girls wanna kiss me. But yeah, it was really cool. Michael was super chill and a super nice guy. But that's all improv, like they didn't write that.
You were the yoga instructor, correct?
I was. Namaste. I was helping her with her breathing.
Right. So real quick, who do you think the better kisser was? Was it Jaime or was it Bar?
You know, they're both really good. I'm still single at 44. So I wanna say - if I ever get married - that my wife would be the best kisser, but I haven't met her yet.
That's the correct answer. There you go! So we'll get into some of your extra work, because if people don't already know you, they're going to know you. How did you start?
I didn't wanna be stuck in an office. I wanted to be on set. So my roommates were registered at Central Casting, and the very first day that I signed up, I worked as an extra that night on a movie called Rat Race.
So that was my first foray into extra work. But it was a great test of my strength as a person, and perseverance and seeing that I can do this. The work just kept flowing in. Luckily I still look young which is a great thing.
It's a timeless look honestly. And I remember I first started seeing you in stuff like Van Wilder and Austin Powers in Goldmember. Those are the movies I grew up with, you know?
What's funny is I ended up working with actors that are now more famous than they were. I worked with Aaron Paul before he did Breaking Bad, I worked with Joey King before she was the Joey King that she is now.
I was working with actors like James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, Kate Bosworth, just the who's who of entertainment. I worked on Rules of Attraction during 9/11 so we all kind of bonded.
So what's the best thing? What do you like about being an extra and on the opposite side, what is the worst thing about being an extra?
I love being an extra, but overall I like being an actor. You get to become a character. You get some nice meals, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. You get to meet people that you've grown up watching. I was inspired by Michael J. Fox and Back to the Future. I wish they were still making them so I could be in that. That was my dream. People are gonna remember you because they keep watching those movies over and over again.
Like right now - Spiderman was one of the first things I worked on. And it's the 20th anniversary, I was standing there in the background.
Jesse talks about his infamous 'Kirsten Dunst' photobomb.
That's so cool. I keep seeing that clip of you behind Kirsten Dunst and it's just so awesome.
Yeah, that's what I'm referring to. You know, it's special for me.
Have you had any bad experiences that you wanna talk about? Your worst extra experiences or bad sets?
I can remember working on the movie Ali with Will Smith, and we were shooting like five days in a row at the old LA sports arena. And it was brutal. There were probably 3,000-4,000 extras on set every day. Which is atrocious when you're trying to get through a line.
People always think - the movie business, the industry - it's all glamor, but you guys are doing the hard work, you're putting in those hours.
The technical term for a scene like that is 'cattle call.' We're just moving livestock, you know.
So then what has been one of your favorite experiences? What show or movie did you absolutely love working on?
Zach asks about Jesse's favorite experience working on set.
Well for five seasons, I worked on a TV show called Chuck. Where I was part of the main ensemble that worked in the Buy More where Chuck works when he's not a spy. And that was definitely my favorite job, because it was so frequent.
Oh man, that's pretty cool. So extra work aside, what would be your dream role, if you could play any role? Because obviously you're being typecast right now.
I wanna do something where I get to play the same role for the majority of a production. You know, that show that gets to go for like 14 seasons and you have to be there for every episode. I like being a recurring actor.
I mean, yeah. That's the dream, right?
Yeah, there's still so many memorable things that could happen to me. So I'm looking forward to those.
So I love that you just own it now - you are the world's greatest extra.
Someone made a video about me on YouTube called the 'world's greatest extra.' And that was my first foray into fame for what I'm doing.
It was like over a million views before I even saw it. Now it's over 4 million views and it projected me on a grand scale. I went viral. I got to be on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And that was really, really awesome.
So you are sort of bigger than yourself now. You're bigger than extra work. Do you have any fans? Do people come up to you on the street?
Of course, all these TV shows aired in Europe and around the world. So I get fans coming up to me online and everywhere, from every walk of life. I have people send me fan mail. That's why I'm on Cameo. I do a lot of cameos for people saying happy birthday and stuff. I somehow found out that all the actors that were working with me were talking about me and were fans of me as actors.
I mean that's a testament to you not being a dick on set either, you know, like you're there to work.
I've worked with Seth Rogen. I've worked with a lot of those guys, James Franco. So I'm kind of in their world. They can treat me like a human Easter egg, you know?
That's so awesome, man. Well, thank you so much. This was so cool.
Awesome. I'm so glad you reached out and we got this done.
Cool, dude. Thank you. Jesse Heiman, everyone!
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