Eriverto “Eddie” Velazquez grew up dreaming of becoming a firefighter.
Last week he expanded his dreams when he was chosen to be an extra in the location shooting of The Son.
“When I was in second grade I knew I wanted to become a firefighter,” Velazquez said at the station house last week. “I won a contest building a fire truck out of a small box, so I got to the fire station. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
He has been a fireman in Gonzales for over three years, and is a senior firefighter on his shift and is also a swift water rescue diver among other things. But the allure of the big screen got the best of him when the opportunity came along.
“There were three of us [firemen] outside the station one day when a person came walking up and asked if any of us wanted to be considered for a part in the film they were shooting,” he recalled. “I was the only one who decided to do it, and I was thrilled when they let me know I had been chosen to be an extra in the film.
“The chief was really supportive, as he told me to go for it. I am really thankful for just how much support the captain and the whole department has been during this process.”
According to Velazquez, he was told to be available on the days of November 28 and 29. When he found out he had to be in wardrobe and makeup at 6 a.m. on the 28th, he realized he had a problem.
“I was on duty, and let them know I was on my shift until 8 a.m. but they really needed me there at 6:15 a.m.,” he went on. “I thought that killed everything, but I called Firefighter Yosko and he agreed to come in early and I got to do my part.”
Velazquez got to play a Mexican soldier in the filming, and was in a scene where the soldiers confront star Pierce Brosnan.
“It was fun, as I was pointing a gun at one of his guys,” Velazquez said. “I was wearing a uniform and sandals, which I was surprised at. In makeup, they threw dirt and ashes all over our faces and uniforms to make us look dirtier. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”
Velazquez said there were many thrills in being a part of the filming experience, but he enjoyed being one of the few extras who got to meet and shake hands with Brosnan.
“He was a real gentleman, and very friendly in our chance meeting,” Velazquez said. “I was told I was one of the lucky ones who actually got to meet the star.”
Velazquez says he is still enjoying the moment in the spotlight, and has asked the production company to keep his name on file in case they shoot any more films in Gonzales or need an extra.
“The lieutenant claims he is my agent now, so he is doing all the negotiating for my appearances and stuff,” Velazquez laughed. “The guys have been great, but since I am having this story done in the paper now I have to buy all the guys in the fire house ice cream.
“There goes all the money I made on the filming.”