It was day one of my filming for the short film that I am doing, "Hard to Swallow". It's got an exciting cast of promising young hip things from shows such as "The Book Group", "The IT Crowd" "Nathan Barley", "Man Stroke Woman" and "Spoons" and then me for some reason. I don't know how I got the part. They needed a fat bloke and I presume Nick Frost was busy. But nice to be asked. I don't want to be an actor but like to do a few days a year on stuff like this, mainly because it's much easier and more fun than writing. Plus you get to mess around with actors in your winnebago and what could be more fun than that?
My character is a greedy and unpleasant man who hates his girlfriend and I was mainly called upon today to swear whilst eating huge amounts of cold mashed potato. It was one of the most disgusting and sick making things I have ever had to do and brought back memories of the day I filmed nearly all my milk sketches for TMWRNJ and was called upon to drink pint upon pint of milk, which despite the proclivities of the character I was playing (the character of Richard Herring)isn't something the real me particularly enjoys. By the end of that day all milk smelt and tasted off to me, even though it wasn't. You just become more attuned to the smell of a substance when you are forced to eat it and nothing else for a seven or eight hour period.
The same was true of the mash, which to begin with I was gleefully eating even in the rehearsals, but which was very soon making me nauseous. At the end of each take I would spit the mash into the sink (to begin with I spat it back into the pan that I was mixing the mash in, but very soon the mash/saliva mix became too sloppy).
Of course it wouldn't be too bad if you only did one take of these things, but each scene is played out at least four or five times, so for example the fairly brief scene in which I had to have my mouth filled with mash to the point that I could barely be understood was particularly unpleasant.
Again after a while there was a strange aroma to the mash that I hadn't noticed at the start of the day and my clothes and face were caked in the stuff. Even as I write this now in different clothes to the ones I was wearing, all I can smell and taste is mash mash mash.
Luckily for lunch there was no mash on the menu, but suffice to say I wasn't all that hungry anyway.
Still I can't complain. Today it was my job to eat mashed potato, which would have seemed like a dream come true to a younger, more potato obsessed me. But be careful what you wish for, because it might come true. If you have a friend who seems to becoming addicted to mash then it might be an idea to make them go through such a day as I have had. Like a dad who makes his errant child smoke every fag in the packet I have been put off the thing that I once loved by enforced over indulgence.
Tomorrow I go back - though there should be less mash. But more eating. If I wasn't fat enough for this part at the start (and apparently I was) then I certainly will be by the end.