Looking Back - The Way
By Annie Santiago
|Annie with Martin Sheen during filming of The Way|
Looking back with fondness today at my 2012 Camino
when Joe and I were hired as extras for the movie
with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez.
Joe was standing in line to get his Compostela
when an announcement was made
that a movie company was shooting a movie
and looking for extras.
They wanted pilgrims who had completed the Camino.
The weather was cold and windy
and we had a few days to spare,
so we showed up in the Cathedral Square
next morning and signed up!
We were given a contract to sign
which promised to pay us €2,
a paycheck we never received.
But what the heck!
It was a wonderful experience,
well-worth doing for free!
They did, in fact, feed us…
We were in the shot where the three peregrinos
are walking up to the Cathedral.
We were in a group of 3 pilgrims,
and the shot was filmed several times.
We were also in the shots inside the Cathedral
and got to see the Botafumeiro swing
We thought it was funny that Emilio Estevez
was dressed up like one of the priests,
and didn't know why
until we rented the movie later.
In fact, we knew nothing about
the story being told.
When we finally were able to rent the movie,
we were so excited!
We watched it, looking for ourselves at the end.
Where WERE we?
We played it back again.
"Do you see us?"
Then we played it frame by frame
I saw big old tall Joe.
But where was I?
Oh… there is my shoulder and my head,
behind you, Joe!
so much for a career in Hollywood.
We laughed at our silly excitement
of being in a movie where we had to
stop each frame to see ourselves.
It was an otherwise incredible experience.
Martin Sheen was so gracious,
spending time with his fans
to the point of his son,
who was directing the movie,
having to call him several times
to get him back to work.
He chatted with folks,
took photos with fans,
and was really a sweet guy.
Emilio was no less kind,
spending several minutes talking with Joe
in the Cathedral.
We really enjoyed the day!
In the end,
The WAY made a pretty big impact
on the Camino.
Numbers of pilgrims walking
I asked many people the next year
how they found out about the Camino,
and many responded,
"We saw THE WAY!"
So thanks, Mr. Sheen and Mr. Estevez,
for the memories.
And for your kindness.