Presenting Norwich’s own McStormtrooper. Fast food worker’s role in the Force Awakens
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Not long ago, in an eating establishment not so far away...
In his day job, Tom Elgie works in a fast food restaurant. But a glance at his CV reveals another role... Star Wars stormtrooper.
McDonald's worker Mr Elgie has been a Star Wars fanatic since the age of eight, when he saw Attack of the Clones.
His love of the films grew, and he cites Empire Strikes Back as his favourite. But he never envisaged he would one day find himself in a film.
The 21-year-old, of Thorpe Road, Norwich, was over the many moons of the Star Wars galaxy when he discovered he had been successful in securing a role as an extra in the hotly-anticipated Force Awakens, which opens in cinemas at midnight tonight.
He said: 'I had to submit an application online to become an extra and didn't think for a minute that I had a chance. I was notified by email and it felt magic; I felt like Harry Potter!
'From the moment I walked on the set it felt unbelievable, like I had actually left Earth and gone to the Star Wars galaxy. It was the ultimate fan experience.'
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In reality, he was at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, where he spent a day filming just two scenes, along with around 300 other lucky extras chosen to portray the imperial soldiers.
Mr Elgie, whoi works at who works at the McDonald's at intu Chapelfield, said: 'The day went so quickly, but it's amazing how intricate everything is. In one of the scenes, it was simply a shot of all the stormtroopers turning around at once, at we had to do this around 30 times, to make sure all of us were in unison.'
Despite having only a small part, Mr Elgie found his role all-encompassing, and soon found that many of his fellow extras felt just the same.
'As soon as you put the uniform on, you feel a part of it,' he explained. 'There was a strange cameraderie between us, everyone was making jokes like 'aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?'. All the references came out.'
Mr Elgie, who harbours ambitions of a full-time career in entertainment, claims the most recent film, 2005's Revenge of the Sith made him want to pursue a career in entertainment.
He had considered acting, however studying performance art at St John Leman High School, in Beccles, drew him towards singing and theatre. Now this experience has inspired him to turn his attentions to the big screen.
He is now in the process of applying for university to study film, with just one part of his application remaining: his reference.
'I thought about asking JJ Abrams (film director) for a reference, but I'm not sure he'd remember me,' he joked.
The film release is one of the most anticipated film events of recent years, with fans across the world speculating about what it could entail. However, Mr Elgie has been sworn to absolute secrecy about plot details and which characters he was on set with.
'Even on set things were very hush-hush. I'm having to wait to find the complete picture, just like everyone else,' he said.
His wait is nearly over. The film opens at midnight, and he already has four cinema trips planned for opening week alone; including two in the space of the first 24 hours.
'I had the most amazing, unforgettable experience. The biggest thing for me is looking back on myself as that eight-year-old boy watching Attack of the Clones, knowing that now, he has his own special part in Star Wars history.
'And stormtroopers can shoot straight now!'
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