What follows is based on the accounts of a 38-year-old man named Danny Boyle (not that Danny Boyle) who was an extra on the Brad Pitt zombie movie "World War Z." He found out that he was cut out of the movie (along with the entire original ending) after paying to see "World War Z" over the weekend.
You were an extra in Brad Pitt's zombie movie, "World War Z."
You're excited to see "World War Z" because you you spent 14 hours filming a scene off of the coast of Falmouth, England. Brad Pitt was there. You thought that he was nice. He even stuck around to chat with the extras after shooting ended. You're not entirely sure what happened in the scene that you filmed, but you were on a boat and Russians were involved. Boy, you cannot wait to see how this scene turned out in the final film.
Of course, it's already widely known that your hard day's work has been excised from the final cut of "World War Z." In the original ending, Brad Pitt's character, Gerry Lane, flies from Jerusalem to Russia, is captured by the Russian government and transformed into a zombie killing machine. Back home in the United States, in exchange for her family's safety, Lane's wife has been forced into a sexual relationship by a character played by Matthew Fox. Lane then assembles a ragtag army to cross the ocean by boat, arriving in Oregon, all in an effort to save his wife and family.
You were on this boat, but there is no boat in the final cut of "World War Z." There are no Russians in this movie. Matthew Fox has all but been cut from the movie. All of your scenes were left on the proverbial cutting room floor in a Paramount Pictures editing room.
You are a barber who works in Truro Cornwall, which is a long way from Hollywood. A friend of yours mentioned that there would be local casting for a Brad Pitt zombie movie. At the audition, you and your friend are measured in every possible way and your photograph is taken. You're told that you'll hear something soon, but you're not expecting any phone calls.
A few weeks later, you're offered the part of an extra in "World War Z." They never called your friend who told you about all of this in the first place.
You arrived at 3 a.m. for makeup. You are told that you're going to be a "Russian fighter," but your wardrobe reminded you of a Mad Max film. All of the other extras are given scars, you are not. You are deemed "rough enough looking" on your own.
You are on the main boat with all of the other extras. You see a speedboat off in the distance. Brad Pitt is in the speedboat. His entrance reminds you of James Bond.
Your scene is about to be filmed. The director of "World War Z," Marc Forster, is giving you directions. Your character is in line for a weapon, but you are to bump into Brad Pitt as he runs by you. You are nervous. You hear "action," Brad Pitt is running at you, you lower your shoulder into him and immediately think that you hit him too hard. No one ever mentions this to you, not even Pitt when he walks back by you later. You shoot this scene numerous times, from every possible direction.
Between shots, you need a cigarette break. You head towards the designated smoking area -- it's just you and Brad Pitt. He looks at you and says, "Hey." He's drinking black tea and smoking a Marlboro Light.
Shooting is about to start again. Pitt grabs a megaphone and yells, "Prepare for war." You and your fellow extras start cheering with excitement. Fake snow is blown in your face.
After a day of shooting, you're not allowed to leave the ship with the rest of the extras. Someone gave you the wrong kind of identification card. Someone thought you were actually the director, Danny Boyle. You explain that you did not direct "Slumdog Millionaire."
It's almost two years later. Finally, after waiting so long, you get to see your Hollywood debut. You buy a ticket to "World War Z" on opening night. There is no boat in the movie. There are are no Russians in the movie. You are not in the movie. You feel gutted.
You learn of the massive rewrites after filming was complete. You learn of the all new ending that takes place at the World Health Organization. You learn that you are part of one of the most high profile, infamous rewrites and re-shoots in movie history -- even though all you have to show for it is your leftover set pass and the memory of Brad Pitt smoking a Marlboro Light.
If nothing else, you now have something in common with Matthew Fox.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.