By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The movie series, “The Fast and the Furious,” is a series of American action films centering on illegal street racing and heists.
The series was established in 2001, and after Fast and Furious 6 enjoyed a successful run this summer, a seventh movie is scheduled to come out in theaters in the summer of 2014.
A Liberal High School graduate has a small role in the upcoming sequel, and Tremayne Martinez said he received a call on Sept. 5, his birthday, from the casting company for “Fast and Furious 7.”
“I’m a subscriber to CL Casting out of Atlanta, and I saw they were needing some extras in background for the movie,” he said. “They were needing a role for an EMT. I’ve got some experience in first aid and sports medicine there at Seward. I did sports medicine for two years.”
Along with his application to be in the movie, Martinez also sent some pictures to the casting company, who also called him on the Saturday following his birthday.
“They needed me there the following Thursday to get my fitting,” he said. “That Sunday, after they called me on Saturday, I booked my flight, got my hotel and flew out the following Thursday morning. I got to Atlanta about 2 o’clock. I got my fitting about 6. I just missed Vin Diesel by about an hour. He was there being fitted as well for all his costumes he does.”
After getting fitted for his costume that Thursday, Martinez then joined the film’s cast for dinner, and on Monday, five and a half hours of casting would take place.
“I met Vin Diesel,” he said. “I met Michele Rodriguez. Paul Walker filmed earlier that morning. I didn’t get to meet him, but I saw all their dressing rooms and their costumes. The director, Mr. Wan, I met him as well. We actually had lunch together. We all ate lunch together in the same trailer.”
Martinez said being cast in Fast and Furious 7 was a great experience, and he hopes to do more acting in the future.
“I recently put in another application for The Hunger Games, which they are filming in Atlanta as well,” he said. “It’s a sequel.”
Martinez’s role in the upcoming movie is but one scene, and although he could not talk specifically about the scene, he gave a brief description.
“Someone gets dragged into the emergency room, and I’m in the hospital,” he said. “When I come in, they’re bringing one of the main characters in. We help out with that a little bit.”
Martinez said, though, about 50 to 60 takes were needed to shoot the sequence.
“That took about five and a half hours,” he said. “There were multiple different camera views. One of the main ones that we focused on was when they’re coming down the hallway. There were cameras above us, behind us, below us. It was a great experience. Lights everywhere.”
Martinez had put other applications in for Fast and Furious 7, and he called the call from CL Casting a “luck of the draw.”
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” he said. “I went ahead and booked the flight.”
Having had no previous acting experience or training, Martinez needed to be prepped for his part in the movie.
“Before we started filming, we actually did a rehearsal for about two hours without cameras or anything,” he said. “They were telling us you need to do this, this is how you should walk, this is the look you should have on your face, this is where the main character’s going to be coming.”
Martinez, a K-State alumni, was actually at home watching a Wildcat football game when he got the call, which he initially was cautious about answering.
“It says Atlanta, Georgia,” he said referring to the caller ID on his phone. “I usually don’t answer calls that I don’t have stored in my phone. I answered it. They said, ‘Mr. Martinez, this is from CL Casting, Atlanta, Georgia. We want to know if you are available to be here Thursday, the 12th.’ I got up. I was in shock.”
Martinez said at the time of the call, family was in town visiting, and after motioning his mother over to the phone, he ran to the kitchen, to put the call on speaker, where the CL Casting representative gave the full details of what was about to happen.
At this point, Martinez said he was speechless.
“I called two of my good friends,” he said. “They were excited. I was excited. Friday, I invited some friends to Applebee’s, celebrated, and that’s when I told them about my position, what I’m going to be doing.”
Even after arriving at the set of the movie, Martinez said the experience still seemed quite surreal.
“I couldn’t believe it ’til I got my fitting,” he said. “I saw the Rock’s outfits, Vin Diesel’s outfits, Michele Rodriguez’s outfits, and that’s when it hit me that I was going to be in this Fast 7 movie.”
The producers of Fast and Furious 7 had filmed in Colorado prior to going to Atlanta, and Martinez said some scenes will later be shot in Tokyo.
The movie arrives in theaters on July 11, 2014.
Martinez, who currently works as a quality assurance supervisor at Seaboard Farms, has a degree in food science and agriculture business, but he said he has now been bitten by the acting bug.
“Since this happened to me, I feel there’s a lot more out there,” he said. “I’ve always known, but anything can happen. I’ve looked into taking some acting classes. I was talking to a couple of guys who have agents and that were in the movie and had speaking roles. They told me if there’s something I want to do, keep on doing what I’m doing. Keep on being extra, background. Keep on applying for these movies, and start taking acting classes.”
Martinez said he does plan to pursue acting classes in the future to continue in the performing arts.
“That’s something I want to do, and I will make time for,” he said.