My Secret Movie Star Life

I have something big to confess to you guys.

I’m really a movie star.

Well, more like a stand-in for movie stars while they take extended bathroom breaks. Even Kate Winslet has to pee sometime, right?

What — you think I make a living merely blogging? [insert long, drawn-out cackling fading away to soft weeping here]

Here’s my official headshot.

On second might want to look away.

You might remember the above gem from my previous post, Very Bad Profile Pics. (Let’s face it, it haunts your dreams even now, doesn’t it?)

But it’s true — this sweet canned ham I have for a face used to rake in the beaucoup bucks as a stand-in for some of your favorite iconic movies. Allow me to reminisce…


The Shining

You might be surprised to know I actually replaced Jack Nicholson halfway through filming because he was high as a kite the entire shoot. I like to call the above scene: “Heeeeeeeere’s an-extremely-sleep-deprived-and-rather-irritable Mommy!” Strangely enough,  no one on set even noticed the difference between a pissed off mom and a raging alcoholic with homicidal tendencies.


Ah, yes. ET.

This scene was particularly grueling. Spielberg kept yelling at me to “Be sadder!” but I was hyped up on about 10 pounds of Reese’s Pieces during most of this shoot. And that kid next to me? A complete asshole once the cameras stopped filming.


I don’t think I need to say anything about this film, do I? Other than it took about 100 takes of me holding up that friggin 1,000 pound radio over my head. By the end of it my lower back seized up, forcing the crew to hot glue a heating pad to my ass. At one point I was close to heaving the boom box straight through the bedroom window and telling her and Peter Gabriel to go straight to hell. (Yes, I also had a complete sex change operation just for this movie. Ever hear of “method acting”? Well, a good stand-in’s gotta do what a stand-in’s gotta do, even if it involves getting a temporary penis.)



Oh! Now THIS movie was the pinnacle of my career! This is where I showed off my acting chops, managing to smile through the agony of freezing seawater spraying straight up my nostrils for the 15 hours it took to get this scene just right. Not to mention the fact that Pervy Leo keep reaching up to grab my boobs between every take.

And finally, To Kill A Mockingbird

I managed to unearth a rarely-seen photo of my very first acting job. I was thrilled to land the coveted stand-in part for Scout, especially after having to previously eke out a living doing lame commercials for candy cigarettes in the 1960s with the motto: “Hey, Kids! If the Sugar Doesn’t Kill You, Perhaps Some Nicotine Will


The odd thing about this photo?

Fine, the oddest thing about this photo, other than the fact I wasn’t alive yet?

Even at the tender age of nine,  I was a dead ringer for that chick on House.


And that wraps up my stellar “stand-in” movie career!

Impressed? No? Shut up.

Be sure to look for my role in the upcoming flick: The Shining Silver Lining Playbook Hangover Hunger Games where Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and I stagger drunk through a giant hedge maze in the dead of winter while hunting the much-too-perky-for-her-own-damned-good Jennifer Lawrence using only a bow and arrow and an empty tequila bottle.

Will we get to her before Galifianakis succumbs to extreme starvation and eats all of us? Stay tuned!

And HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s all try to make the next year less sucky. You with me?


160 thoughts on “My Secret Movie Star Life

  1. I knew your secret when I recently caught a glimpse of you standing in for Gandolf in the second Hobbit movie. You wear a beard well.

    Ps – you know I can’t take that face. I read this before getting out of bed and was shaking with laughter, trying not to wake Mr. Rache. This was epic and the perfect way to start the day!!

  2. *giggles* *attempts to comment* *giggles some more*
    Yep, that’s about all I can manage. Except perhaps to note that that is quite possibly the most epic derp face I have ever seen. *cracks up again*
    OK, I’m done…

  3. I’ll never let go, Darla. I’ll never let go.

    I noticed you didn’t list your gig as the kleptomaniac (Ally Sheedy) in The Breakfast Club. We’ll keep all the dandruff retakes to ourselves.

  4. There are so many times in life when a picture is worth way more than a thousand words. These are worth a million laughs at least. Waaaay better.

    And that girl on House really does look like you.

    Happy non-sucky New Year!

  5. ermigal

    I just have to comment, and sending kudos your way, Darla, this is fabulous, funny fodder for folks! Thanks for the giggles, and my #1 resolution is to master Photoshop so I can have more fun…wheeee! Happy 2014, everyone :-)))

  6. Oh, dear. Just clicked on this page and shot coffee straight out of both nostrils. That’s some power you have there, Darla! I LOVED you in “Mockingbird”. May your New Year hardly suck.

    1. I have to admit the mockingbird shoot was my favorite too. Although, truth be told, rumor has it the original actress was off smoking more than candy cigarettes off-set during her “breaks”. So sad what Hollywood stardom does to innocent kids.

  7. I’m just glad my coffee mug was firmly on the coffee table (because where else would you put it?) before I started scrolling down, because I lost it when I saw the Shining photo and it was all downhill from there. How is it that you have perfect comic timing even with photographs, for fuck’s sake? And I can’t believe you forgot to include your Oscar-winning performance as Scarlett in Gone With the Wind–you’re way too modest.

    Happy New Year to you and all the Maineiacs, Darla! Also, I owe you an email, which I will send today.

      1. OK the Scarlett picture caused an epic coffee/computer screen incident. Giggling like a loon here in my office where serious work is supposed to be going forward. Stop it. STOP it!

  8. Wow! You’ve got some serious acting chops. I never knew this about you and damn, am I impressed. Can’t wait to discover your other hidden talents come 2014. Happy New Year, and may you continue to rock on!

    1. Yes!! 2014! Less Sucky! LESS SUCKY! LESSSSSS SUCKY!!!!

      (I felt the need to bust out my pompoms and make it a chant so it’d come true)

      Happy new year to you as well, Honie, my dearest “draws-her-eyebrows-on-with-old-lipstick” blogger-in-arms.

  9. I would think you just want a chance to show-off your mad Photoshop skillz if I hadn’t always suspected you were a movie star, Darlonica Lake.

    I’m planning to pitch a tent outside the Metro-Movie-Plex so I’m first in to see “The Shining Silver Lining Playbook Hangover Hunger Games.”

  10. Oh my gosh! The Titanic one really got me! I had to take a break from reading and go pee (like Kate did). This is so hilarious. By far the funniest last thing I’ll read in 2013! Thanks for your 2013 hilarity, I look forward to peeing in my pants some more in 2014. 🙂

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  12. I friggin’ KNEW IT. I kept telling My Bride, “I think this Maine chick is a movie star. I’ll bet she is.”

    Happy New Year. Yes, less sucky would be fine with me. I have three modest requests of the Gods. If they grant even ONE I’ll be happy. It pays to have low expectations.

      1. Seriously…I’ve developed some knee-jerk low expectations and you can’t IMAGINE what a joy life has become! Nothing is ever as bad as your lowest expectation, so everything is a pleasant surprise. Try it! I should start a new church. [Tax-breaks and all.]

        Did you enjoy Frozen? My Bride got weepy. As usual.

      2. My daughter was in absolute heaven the entire movie. My son pulled his hoodie up over his head so I wouldn’t be able to tell that he really liked it too. we’re going to Disney World this May so I have a feeling we’ll be bringing back lots of Frozen dolls. Sigh.

  13. Everytime I go through my reader when on my phone, I accidentally unfollow someone!!!! GAH!
    This is brilliant Darla! A fresh new face for the new year. It will be forever burned onto my retinas….

        1. I’m waiting for a groundswell. The only problem is it is now 12 noon on the east coast and some (most) of your readers have probably started drinking to usher in the new year.

  14. What I find most amazing is how you turn your pretty face into one that is, well–interesting–this post was a riot–but I was rather taken aback to see the pic of Scout–it looked like me at that age except I was not wearing glasses yet

    1. Hmmm….yes, I think “interesting” is a nice way of saying “complete wackadoodle” I actually did wear glasses at that age, thick brown tortoise-shell ones a la the 1970s. And I had Scout’s haircut at one point (right after my Dorothy Hamill one)

  15. formyfrog

    Goodness, I was going to wish you a Happy New Year, but with all these comments it’ll take you until February to see mine, so hey, Happy February!

  16. GOLDMINE!! The photos in the post were priceless, but then to see more of them sprinkled in the comments? Brilliant! This totally made my day, Darla. Way to flex those Photoshop muscles! (Or Powerpoint muscles. Whatever.)

  17. singleworkingmomswm

    Holy cramoly and jeezum crow! LOLOLOLOLOLThank GOD I read this as I say “see ya” to 2013. Never could I muster a 2014 laugh as loud as this without having done so! Did you also stand in for Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”? You MUST have! XOXO-SWM Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!

  18. Ho. Ly. Cow. Darla!! Have you gotten into the champagne early? New Year’s Eve party time isn’t for quite a few hours yet! Then again, you’ve never looked so beautiful as you have today. I gave you my heart and you gave me . . . a pen. But then again, my heart will go on. Because you’ve turned on my heartlight. And all work and no play make Darla a dull girl. Hey, Boo.

    Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. Have a great new years, girl. Cheers!!

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  20. Hey, at least you got to stand in for famous people. Remember those 70s disaster flicks, with credits like “Third guy from the left trapped under the on-ramp”? Yeah – whenever you couldn’t see his face, those were MY legs. A single hand, groping out from the wreckage? A faceless body, spun around while trying to board the last spaceship out? Heck, I got a whole CLOSET full of red shirts! (Let’s see if she gets THAT reference. 😀 )
    I will DEFINITELY second you on the “less sucky” concept. Here’s hoping you have a Wonderful New Year’s Day, and a great 2014! (And if you’re good, I’ll send you an autograph from my most famous role, “Idiot Geek with Model Of K-9 on Local PBS Station”. 😉 )

    1. I didn’t get your red shirt reference, tell me, John. (it is still early in the morning for me and I haven’t woken up yet)

      I also wish you a sincere Less Sucky New Year. Honestly, I’m not sure this year could be as sucky if I tried…..

      1. Well, I’ll forgive you for not getting that reference – just this once. From the original “Star Trek” series of the 60s, when a landing party would beam down, you’d have four or five of the main stars on the transporter pad, and one poor schlep in a red uniform shirt. He’d usually be dead in the first 5 minutes. So much so, that the Trekkie community coined the term “redshirt” for anyone or anything that was (and usually proved to be) expendable. You know, the young, nubile girl heading into the dark room in any of the Friday the 13th movies – she’s a redshirt.
        And never, EVER invoke the gods of “oh this CAN’T be as bad as that”. That’s a SURE way to … well, turn yourself into a redshirt. 😉

        1. Hate you? Never! If you ever do want to dip your toe, try “Star Trek 4:The Voyage Home” movie. It works pretty well as a standalone, but does reward those familiar with the franchise with a little extra. Not the best of the Trek movies (albeit FAR from the worst!), but pretty good, and (because of its’ broad appeal) one of the most popular. And if you have cable or satellite, both the original series and The Next Generation are all over the place, so you should be able to catch a few episodes. It ain’t everybody’s cup of tea, but something tells me, from your wit and wisdom, that it might appeal.

      2. One of my all-time favorite movies is Galaxy Quest. It’s a spoof of the Star Trek ongoing conventions phenomenon. The aging stars of the once-popular show, along with one “redshirt” crew member named Guy, get involved with real aliens. When they are attacked, everybody assumes the aliens would go for Guy first, just like on the show. Pretty funny.

  21. cooper

    I looked around for some other iconic celeb foots but I don’t think I could do any beer than what’s been posted. You make the perfect Scarlett o’hara

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  23. You should be in the movies! In just that one picture of yours, there is more facial expression that there ever was on Kristen Stewart’s face throughout her entire career.

  24. Pingback: My Secret TV Star Life | She's a Maineiac

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