Recently I was asked if I appeared in the movie “The Outsiders”. Of course the answer was no, but it was “Rumble Fish”. Long ago I had posted a clip of my tiny part on YouTube and it did not take long before the clip sored in views, then came the messages. I was being asked to “make” appearances and for my address. I did some research and learned that the movie “Rumble Fish” had formed a cult following, similar to “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. This of course concerned me so I deleted that video and that YouTube account. I thought since the question came up again I will tell the story here on my blog. I can’t find the clip in my computer files so I will see if I can clip it again.
The year was 1982 and I was all of 15, my sister was 13 about to turn 14 and she was in love with the young actor Matt Dillion. I had no idea who he was but my sister learned that he was to play in a movie that was being filmed in Sapulpa. But that would not get her close to him, it would take something else to get her on the inside and my mom held the key. My mom’s cousin owned a furniture store on the corner across from the Rexall Drugs and the second floor of that store was an apartment building at one time. In fact it had remained unchanged and unused since the 1950’s, Francis Ford Copula wanted to use it for Matt’s character’s apartment. My mom spoke to her cousin about my sister meeting Matt and arrangements were made, and it involved me.
She was to meet him at night after shooting a scene; my mom wanted me to go along as “protection”. We arrived on set about 9pm and were escorted to the video monitor room, where we waited and waited. I watched the monitors and the same scene over and over, until I thought I would die of boredom. Around 2am Francis was at last happy with the scene and we were then taken out into the furniture store where my sister met her love Matt Dillion, all covered in fake blood. I took some photos of her with Matt and I thought that was it, but Matt asked if we could come back later in the day. Of course my sister said yes. We went home and got some sleep, around 10 or so we walked back over to the set and were given passes. We were then given a complete tour, by Matt’s agent and later by Matt and my sister had her camera snapping. In 1982 some of the photos would have been embarrassing for the young actor, but his agent allowed us to continue. Several hours later we left and that was supposed to be the end of the matter, BUT NO!
My sister took the film to an overnight development place and the next morning we both ran to the photo store to get the photos, but there was a serious problem, they “lost” the negatives. My sister was horrified and asked me to do something. What was I supposed to do? I knew there was mild concern for some of the photos, so I told my sister we have to tell Matt. We ran back to the set (it was on the streets of Sapulpa) and were not allowed entry. ARG! So I did what any boy of 15 who was being nagged by his sister would do, I crashed the set. I ran into the middle of the closed street hollering at Matt. Security was right behind me, but Matt and his agent waved them off when they heard what I was screaming, “they stole the negatives.” Frances called for a break and after I caught my breath I noticed that Matt, his agent and several other people were around me. I explained what happened and Matt’s agent told security to go to the photo lab and get the negatives. Meanwhile my sister and I were given back our passes and we ate a fried chicken lunch with Matt and crew. By the time we got done eating security was back WITH the negatives in hand and returned them to my sister. Again I thought that was it, but my sister and I were asked if we would like to be in the movie, YES! We were to sit in the back of Rexall Drugs at a table acting like a teen couple having lunch. In the scene the waitress approaches the table. I sat at the table staring at a burger and fries that I could not eat and my coke had to be refreshed every few minutes, ice kept melting. Here was what the camera saw.
Matt was outside crossing the street, he stops, and does a hand in hair turn, during that 1 second turn in the background through the glass of the Rexall you can see me and my sister sitting at the table. If you did not know it was me and her you would never know.
We got to stay on set the rest of shooting and I was more interested in Francis and his directing. In all it was an experience that I still value. At the time I was not impressed with meeting movie “stars” like Matt or the nephew of Francis Ford Copula, Nicolas Cage, who changed his last name from Copula to Cage so no one would realize that his role in “Rumble Fish” was a pity give by Francis. I would still not be impressed to this day, they are people just like me, just had a foot in someone’s door.
So that’s the story of my 1 second of fame and I never want any attention like that again.
DeWayne Watts: I started out writing short stories and poetry. Some of which was published in the 1980's. I have parts of 5 novels written and have completed 2 novels. I have been married over 25 years and raised 2 wonderful sons who have been a great addition to the human family.
Follow me on GOODREADS
The 3 Novels/Books Written By DeWayne Watts
Click Title to Buy the Book.
"The Boy in The Wood"
Click Title To Buy The Book.