Introducing “Calcium” for Burgen
Donning a white full body lycra suit on my latest TV commercial almost turned into a total disaster when a tiny cut on my foot reopened as I was squeezing myself into the tight outfit. The suits had been made to measure for every extra in the Burgen Bread TVC and there were no back-ups. The stylist’s face was gold but wearing a wet suit (cold water quickly got rid of the blood, thank god) took some getting used to. Getting stitched into the lycra wasn’t the best feeling either, in particular since I had several hours of waiting and shooting exercise scenes ahead of me and wouldn’t have minded the occasional sip of cold water.
We shot two versions on the day with around a dozen extras, all dressed as the good nutrients in Burgen Bread, from phytoestrogens (Gemma Ayres) over Omega 3 (Michael Terry) to Calcium (me), exercising like crazy. Michelle Bridges and Shannan Ponton, the personal trainers from The Biggest Loser, put us through our paces. The idea being that we were working hard for people’s wellbeing. (Like the bread.)
Once on set for my role in the second version, all angst about bodily fluids was quickly forgotten – there’s only so much thinking you can do while balancing on a Swiss ball and performing over 400 crunches. (For evidence, check out my speed in the TVC and consider that we were shooting for several hours.) We hit a slight hitch when I had to do chin-ups (and not just one) for a close-up with Michelle and Michael. My first thought was “impossible” but with some coaching from Michelle, I managed to pull myself half way and pretend I was doing them properly while standing on a box. My heart sank when the director shouted: “Take the box away.” But I still managed a few jumped chin-ups. Two days later, my elbows were in a world of pain and sneezing, laughing and coughing all caused me to double over in agony.
Was it worth it? Check out the TVC. (I’ll upload it asap.) I had a great time on the day and enjoyed talking to my fellow extras and busy Michelle. But if anyone ever asks me to do chin-ups again, you’ll see me running!