“Battle: Los Angeles” is a fast-paced, action-packed movie based on a supposed 1942 World War II false-alarm air raid. A small number of UFO theorists now believe the event was an encounter with extraterrestrial spacecrafts. Jonathan Liebesman directed the alien invasion film, which many consider to be a cross between “Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down.”
The film, set in modern-day Los Angeles, stars actor Aaron Eckhart, who played Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight.” Other major actors include R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, RamЧn RodrТguez from “The Taking of Pelham 123” and Michelle Rodriguez, known from “The Fast and the Furious” and the hit TV series “Lost.”
Haynes was cast as an extra in the film out of luck, playing the role of a Master Gunnery Sergeant. The outgoing, energetic Haynes was at an LSU football game one weekend and unknowingly asked the movie’s casting director why Eckhart looked so familiar. The casting director told him who she was and gave Haynes her card, saying they needed extras for the film.
Haynes worked as an extra in the movie for three months, taking off from his job at a finance company to film whenever he could. He received a military crew cut and filmed in authentic Marine equipment, running and jumping in and out of an Osprey helicopter.
Haynes participated in scenes filmed on a stretch of Florida Boulevard, at Celtic Media Centre and several others. He also filmed at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport, used to represent the Santa Monica Municipal Airport in California.
In addition, Haynes has worked as an extra in several other movies, including “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Expendables,” “Jonah Hex,” “Red,” “Green Lantern” and “Battleship.”
“I answered every e-mail and was on set every time they asked me to be there,” said Haynes. “I was always there early in the morning ready to start.”
For now Haynes considers his extra work to be a part-time hobby but hopes to continue building his resume.
The Columbia Pictures’ film, filled with special effects and countless explosions, ranked number one its opening weekend, bringing in over $35 million. Haynes went to see “Battle: Los Angeles” on its opening day, Friday, March 11, and was pleased he made most of the major scenes he shot.
Haynes said he most enjoyed getting to meet all of the major actors and liked exchanging fist bumps with RamЧn RodrТguez after a scene finished filming.
“Of course they did run us real hard,” said Haynes, who was sore for weeks after the movie finished filming. “They ran us like marines. We took very short, quick water breaks.”
Haynes said he would usually arrive on set around 5 a.m. and wouldn’t leave until 8:30 or 9 in the evening.
“This was an exciting run and gun, down and dirty experience of playing a real Marine in a supposedly real alien attack invasion. I loved every minute and every day of being in this big budget major motion picture,” said Haynes. “I'm trying to push people to go watch these [Louisiana] movies. It benefits the state, and it gets the Hollywood producers to come knock back on our door again.”
Haynes said he’s looking forward to filming part two next.