WEDDINGTON, N.C. – An opportunity to be front and center for one of the biggest movie premieres in a long time was too good to pass up for the Emerine family.
The Weddington family of four recently flew to Los Angeles to be a part of ‘The Hunger Games’ premiere after several family members worked as extras on the movie while it was filmed in the Charlotte area.
“It was a lot of fun,” said mother Melissa Emerine. “We were just very lucky to come full circle with it.”
Melissa’s husband and two children both worked as extras on the movie for about a week during scenes that were shot in Shelby. They were among about 2,000 who registered through filmmaker Lionsgate to get an invitation to attend the premiere, so on a whim they flew out to L.A. just days before the event.
“We knew we had a confirmation from Lionsgate to stand in line for it, but there was not guarantee we were going to get in,” Melissa said.
Melissa joined her husband, Chad, 15-year-old son Drew and 13-year-old daughter Delaney while they camped in front of the Nokia Theatre for 24 hours to snag four of the mere 400 tickets to attend the premiere with the movie stars.
“The kids started their spring break that Friday so it was perfect timing for us to go on the trip,” noted Melissa. “We had no stresses as far as missing school.”
The family was able to get in to the premiere, and met several of ‘The Hunger Games’ stars on the black carpet. Along with getting autographs, Drew and Delaney were interviewed by the likes of MTV, People Magazine and Yahoo while attending the event.
As for the film itself, the family didn’t want to give away too much of the movie. But Delaney, Drew and Chad were all very visible as extras in various scenes throughout the flick.
“We already knew they were going to be visible in the movie because they were visible in the trailers. We were just happy overall with what we saw and for what we saw for our family as well,” said Melissa.
Her review? Two thumbs up.
“It’s a work of art is what it is. The people that love the book will be very happy and pleased with the movie. It stays very true to the book. The fans should be happy about how they stayed with the book.”
A seventh grader at Providence Day, Delaney has a passion for acting, and Providence Day freshman Drew enjoys the film industry well. Father Chad has played the role of a peace keeper in the movie. The opportunity to spend a week next to actors, directors and producers was one the whole family enjoyed being a part of.
“They had a blast on set, they made a lot of friends,” Melissa said. “Being a part of a big budget movie and getting to see all of that, they just were really excited.”
The family says it will meet up with other local extras for a couple of movie events in the coming days. The film opens nationwide on March 23.
“There’s no telling how many times we will see this movie,” laughed Melissa.