Roustabout Tommy Lukasewicz was sweet enough to share his Water for Elephant set story with us! It sounds like “circus life” was really hard work… and an incredible amount of fun!
As I approached the open field and saw the giant mass which was the Benzini Bros. Circus tent I began to smile. I was going to be in a 1930’s circus movie and the excitement was about to begin. Since that first swing of the sledge hammer on day one of training I was hooked. I met some of the most interesting people of my life on this movie and most of them were my roustabout brothers. I noticed that as the days went by we were no longer actors acting like we were in a 1930’s circus, we were actually transforming into the real deal. With every swing of a sledge hammer, grunt from a pole raise, tie up of a rope, blistered up hand, and sweat laden daily existence, we were becoming the Benzini Bros. Circus.
The crew was amazing from day one. The first people to greet us roustabouts during training were the PAs (production assistants), Fed, Anieka, Christian, and the AD (assistant director), Greg. They were awesome in every
way imaginable and their work ethic was very appreciated by everyone involved in this film. The complete package also included working hand in hand with some of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever met, The LA Circus. These guys were the definition of hard workers. Without the guidance from workers in the La Circus such as a great guy named Ralph, whom I’m not holding grudges against for smashing my finger with a sledge hammer during a key scene of the film, this film wouldn’t have been possible.
We also had some of the hardest working ladies in show business dressing us and making us look just dirty enough for our close-ups. I want to say thank you to my hair stylist Laurel Kelly and wardrobe stylist Courtney Hoffman, I take my hat off to you. I would also like to thank Jimmy in costumes and Julie Adams, you guys rock.
The cast on this film was A+. The young man we all know from the Twilight series, Robert Pattinson was spot on during every single emotion that was captured on camera. He is a truly talented individual and an all around nice guy. The man we all know from his inspiring role in Inglourious Basterds, Christoph Waltz was nothing shy of inhuman when he was acting, man this guy is incredible. I found myself gazing at the beautiful, Reese Witherspoon from time to time, whose work was something of perfection in every glance. The role of Kinko, played by Mark Povinelli couldn’t have been played by a kinder, more good-hearted person. The sleeper in this film is a most interesting man named Jim Norton, who played the role of Camel. I have a feeling when the film comes out people are going to really enjoy his performance. I’d have to say that with a package of actors like this how can this film not break boundaries.
I would like to thank all of the cast, crew, and my roustabout brothers for the conversations that we have engaged in during my 45+ days on the film and I wish you all the best of luck in life. I am honored to have acted in a film directed by Francis Lawrence and DP’d (director of photography) by Rodrigo Prieto. These guys are very special individuals with incredible minds. I am also honored to have met such amazing individuals. I end my rambling with one statement, “Thank you for the opportunity to work alongside greatness”.
Thank you so much for sharing Tommy, it’s great to get a peek behind the scenes. Best of luck to you in your career!! You can follow Tommy on twitter @tlukeaf where he sometimes tweets his set pics.