Local man appears on screen

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 22, 2012

Willie B. Williams doesn’t have daydreams about becoming a television star or anything like that. But, he does admit that the thought has crossed his mind.

Williams anxiously awaited the airing of “Necessary Roughness” Wednesday night. He likes the sports-related show but, on this night, he was making an appearance on the show – he hoped.

“When you’re an extra, you don’t ever know if you made the cuts or not,” said Williams, of Troy. “I’ve been in a couple of other TV shows. One of them you had to look real quick to see me. But in ‘The Game,’ I was eating at a table in a restaurant and I was in the background of a scene.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I was a scout in ‘Necessary Roughness,’ so I thought I had a good chance of being on.”

Williams didn’t have to wait long to know.

“I was in the opening scene, right there on the sideline with my note pad,” Williams said. “I was a scout and I was seen a few more times. It was quick but I was there. I got some camera time.”

Williams will also be an extra in an upcoming episode of “Single Ladies.”

“I’ll be in a restaurant again. I guess, they like me in restaurants,” Williams said, laughing. “In one scene, I’ll be sitting at the table with my wife eating. Then, I walk over to the bar with a young lady.”

Williams is excited about the camera time that he has gotten, but his big chance is yet to come. Williams was selected as an extra for the upcoming, ‘made for the big screen” movie “42,” which is about the life of Jackie Robinson, an American baseball player who broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

“It’s a thrill and an honor to be in a movie about someone as famous and someone I admire as much as Jackie Robinson,” Williams said, adding that if he only gets a blink-of-the-eye part in the movie, it will be exciting.

“But I think that I’ll get more camera time than in all the TV shows put together,” he said. “I’m a fan in the stands and I’m also a member of Jackie Robinson’s baseball team, the Kansas City Monarchs.”

Williams said playing the role of an extra in a big-time movie is no easy thing.

“Just for the scene where I was a fan in the stands, we had to be at Rickwood Field in Birmingham at 7 a.m. Rickwood Field is America’s oldest ball field. We were there filming until 6 a.m. We saw the sun rise. It was long and tedious, but it was exciting.”

The “extras” eagerly took directions for their scenes.

“We wanted to do good,” Williams said. “This was our chance to be in a big movie. Some of the time, we were told to act real excited and to cheer loud. Another time, we were to act excited but pantomime cheering. It was fun, but the waiting was hard.”

As a member of the Monarchs baseball team, Williams was in the scene filmed in Macon, Ga.

“That was the scene where the team got off the bus at a gas station on a dirt road,” Williams said. “I was the second player to get off the bus. Chad Boseman, who plays Jackie Robinson, got off behind me, so I should get some good camera time there. And, I think that I’ll be in other scenes because I’m one of the baseball players. I’m real excited about being in the movie and can’t wait for it to come out.”

But Williams might have to wait until April 2013.

“They are trying to push the opening of the movie up to December but I’m not sure if they’ll make it,” he said. “I hope they do. I don’t want to have to wait until April to see it.”

Williams said he has entertained the idea of bigger and better parts in TV shows or in the movies, but he knows that’s a long shot.

“I just enjoy being a part of making television shows and movies,” he said. “It’s fun and exciting and, if I ever get a chance for more camera time, that will be all right with me.”