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Around the Islands | Around the Extras

THE following is an excerpt from this week’s episode of Around the Islands, “Around the Extras”: Sophia Perez interviews Jeremey Wolfe and Vladislav Melnik about their experience being casted for minor roles in “Seven Days,” a Chinese action-drama filmed on Saipan earlier this year.

Sophia Perez: So tell me how you got this opportunity.

Jeremy Wolfe: We answered an ad on social media for people interested in being in the film.

SP: What were they asking for specifically?

JW: They were asking for anyone who looked like they were American to be in the film, no roles.

SP: Anyone who looked American…

JW: Any age. Any gender and ethnicity.

SP: Okay. Well, you know, I was watching and it's just a bunch of big white guys from a Saipan, right? Like I feel like it’s only bodyguard-looking dudes.

JW: Yeah. Well, it's kind of an action-thriller-drama. So there's a lot of action parts. And so yeah, there are a lot of bodyguard-type roles, security. Yeah, fighting off the good guys.

SP: What is the show about? [pause] Do you know? [laughs]

JW: We know! [laughs] From what we understand, there's a kidnapping of some Chinese tourists. And the good guys have to come in and save them. And we're part of the bad guys.

SP: Okay, because I was watching but I couldn't find it with English subtitles. So the whole time I was like, is this...? I knew it was a girl that was clearly being like kept in like a mansion. Like where is that big mansion thing that they filmed in?

JW: That's on Mount Tapochau.

SP: Okay, yeah, I think I've gone past it. With the tower, right?

JW: Yeah.

SP: Yeah, other than that I had no idea what was going on.

JW: Yeah, I think they're gonna release it in English.

Vladislav Melnik: I hope.

JW: We said our lines in English.

SP: So I was noticing that! It's like you're dubbed in Chinese?

VM: Yeah.

JW: Yeah. And they chose a bad voice actor for my dub over.

SP: Don't you speak Chinese?

JW: I do. And that was maybe useful for getting us our number one and number one bodyguard roles on the show.

SP: Nice. Do you speak Chinese, Vlad?

VM: Sometimes. Depends.

SP: News to me, man. Okay, so what was filming it like?

JW: It was a lot of long days. Right. And a lot of back and forth. There were some funny moments, getting our clothes fitted. I think they brought clothes for maybe Asian actors. And it was really hard to get our size. And so they were either, you know, really short, like, what are they called? High waters. Or they were really too big, you know, the jacket either looked like, you know, either look like a baby jacket or like your dad's jacket, you know? So it was funny. But overall, it was fun. It was an interesting experience.

SP: I’m sure. I mean, were you being coached? Like neither of you are actors, right?

JW: No, we're not. We're not actors. And they did give us some coaching.

VM: It was fascinating.

JW: Yes, it was.

VM: We had a great time. There were lots of hilarious moments.

SP: Did you laugh on camera?

JW: Yeah, they had to do some retakes, because we were shooting and, and literally, we were shooting. And then something would happen. Actually, it was our boss, Yvonne, who is a professional actor. He would get tied up with the lines, because the lines sometimes in English weren't very clear, like maybe Google translated. And he had to say, “A little birdie told me you've been looking for information, as much as I do.” And he couldn't get it out. He just couldn't get it out without cracking up. So we shot the scene like 50 times.

Make sure to check out the full episode, “Around the Extras,” on Marianas Variety’s YouTube channel!