When James Weston first saw an ad calling for movie extras, he thought it would be a one-time thing.
After all, with a career working for a major airline, how much time could he actually invest into developing a second career in the movies?
Turns out he had a lot of time.
Earlier this month, Weston, a Manteca resident, just finished working on two blockbuster movies that were filming in the San Francisco Bay Area – The Matrix 4, and Marvel’s Venom 2 – that are due to be released between now and summer of next year.
It was the third movie in The Matrix franchise that Weston has worked on, and the fourth Marvel movie – in which he plays an escort guard at San Quentin that accompanies Tom Hardy outside of the prison walls.
He’s had turns in movies and television over the course of a 16-year career and doesn’t plan on giving it up anytime soon.
“Working night shift at the airport gives me the chance to make it to the calls – I don’t sleep very much when I’m filming, but I love being a part of the experience,” Weston said. “You get to see a lot of the detail that goes into the process – all of the special effects – and I get a kick out of that.”
Weston, who is precision driver, was part of the highway chase scene in The Matrix: Reloaded – which is one the longest chase scenes in movie history and was filmed in the Bay Area.
The nine-week shoot for that one scene was based primarily on the shuttered Alameda Naval Air Base and included a freeway replica complete with sound walls to give the impression of an actual freeway chase.
Just last month he was there for the helicopters and the high-wire stunts in Downtown San Francisco, and while he usually plays a police officer or a government agent, has also worked in stunts.
“It’s exciting, but realistically it’s a lot of standing around and waiting for your turn,” Weston said. “But I love it – I love the excitement and getting to see the finished product once everything is done.”
Weston has lived in Manteca with his wife since 2014.
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