Odd JobsJill Goldston, background actor.

Odd JobsJill Goldston, background actor.

Issue 52

, Starters

  • Words Elle Hunt
  • Photo Rick Pushinsky

You might not know Jill Goldston by name but there’s a good chance you've seen her before. With 1,900 appearances in television and film, Goldston is the world’s most prolific film extra. Now 81, Goldston has retired from extra work, but she is finally getting her moment in the spotlight as the star of the short film Jill, Uncredited—a collage of her appearances in the background of movies like The Elephant Man, The Long Good Friday and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines—that is streaming on Mubi. As Goldston says, she might have done the same job for half a century, “but every day was different.”

Elle Hunt: What’s it like, being an extra? 

Jill Goldston: It’s 90% standing around but I loved chatting with my friends among the extras and people-watching. It was ideal, really. Mostly it’s a day’s work but some shoots could be three days or two weeks; Fiddler on the Roof was a month.1

EH: How did you get so much work?


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