Who doesn’t love a movie with Vince Vaughn? He’s funny, he’s real and not to mention… incredibly tall. Vince is back on the big screen showing off his home town and mine, Chicago. I just left the “cast and crew” preview of “The Dilemma” and loved it. Sure, I might be biased after being on set for more than 10 hours for 2 days in a row with Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. (Let’s be real, I think I even left one night with tears in my eyes because I was frozen and couldn’t feel my feet from being laced in my skates for hours.) However, it was definitely worth it and I’m blessed to have the opportunity along with my fellow Ice Crew friends Yanina, Jenna and Claire.
Yes, I am a SAG actress and definitely wanted to audition for another part, but the casting people were right- I was a perfect Ice Crew girl. All four of us were actually, just as we always were at every Blackhawk’s home game. Although, a few things were quite different during the filming. For one, the United Center was empty having around 600 extras as fans. (It’s a ton of extras, but we were used to our 20,000 screaming fans.) In addition to the extras, they had plastic dummies dressed up in Hawks gear mixed in with the “hawks fans.” (Which is very creepy if you look out into the stands and forget you are shooting a movie and wonder why some fans look lifeless.) Speaking of the lack of real bodies, it made the UC unusually frigid on the ice. You would think we would have been used to the ice, but it was actually so cold we had someone in charge of giving us our sweatshirts in between takes. The best part of the movie was having our own hair stylist/makeup artist follow us around. The fabulous; Tom Terhaar, was on top of adjusting every strand and making sure our lips stayed glossed. We definitely wished that we had him by our side 24/7 in real life. It did feel like a semi fantasy rubbing elbow with my favorite actress; Jennifer Connelly, while she sat next to us in our usual dining hall of the United Center. Not the mention having Kevin James thank us for our lovely job of cheering him on while he “shot the puck” or watching him “fight” Vince Vaughn right before our very eyes. And finally, having Ron Howard direct us was just very cool in itself. It was one of the best times I’ve had on a movie set and I will always remember it. The cast and crew were amazing to work with.
The movie is obviously funny and a comedy packed with an all-star cast. However, the message of being “honest’ and true to your friends is clear. As I sat along side my Ice Crew girlfriends and my boyfriend in the theater, I could not be happier. You will see us doing what the Hawks fans loved at every game….cheering, clapping, waving and having a blast on the ice- being ourselves. It was our personalities and energy that made every Hawks game memorable. And now being a former Stanley Cup Championship Ice Crew girl, I am even luckier to have that moment caught on film for millions to see. The Hawks games brought me endless fun, long lasting friendships and the largest Chicago celebratory win. I think Vince saved the best for last, ending the film with our signature dance, cheering and favorite song.
Oh…Did I mention not to blink when Kevin James shoots the puck? Well, you WILL see us more than once…but, no more hints! Go see the movie. One last important thing. THANK YOU Hawks fans for your unending and continued support. That will always mean the world to me and I am forever grateful. Let’s GO HAWKS!
Check out my interview with Elliott Harris from the The Sun Times.