Amputee's cameo moment in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge
NOT too many actors can claim that their first credited role in a feature film is being talked up for an Oscar, but after chatting with Mel Gibson while getting prosthetic war wounded legs installed and filming with Andrew Garfield, it's the latest in a series of unforgettable experiences for Adam Bowes.
The former Maclean High Student landed a role as a credited extra, specifically titled Rescued Wounded Leg Soldier, in the Mel Gibson directed war epic Hacksaw Ridge.
"Last year my agent said there were auditions for amputees for Mel Gibson's new film, and I said I could definitely do that," Mr Bowes said, who had both his legs amputated when he was young after being born without a tibia in each leg.
"I went to the casting, they took measurements and a few pictures, and they got to know me a bit, and they called me back a few days later and told me I was going to be an extra."
As a wounded soldier, Mr Bowes required hours of work with make-up artists and prosthetics experts to make the wounds as realistic as possible.
"I was on the set lying on this steel table for the scene, and it was with Andrew Garfield (who plays Desmond Doss), which was just amazing, and I was trying not to freak out the whole time," he said.
"I was looking at my legs because they were so lifelike, they had leg hairs and everything and the wounds looked so life-like, and there was something beyond my stumps which was really weird, and Andrew came over to me and asked if I was alright, and that was just so incredible talking to him.
"He was absolutely lovely, and asked if I was comfortable on the table and asked an assistant to get me a pillow."
Mr Bowes said it was incredible to see the kindness and generosity shown by the cast and crew on the set. Even Mel Gibson was up for a chat with the young actor.
"I didn't imagine that Mel Gibson would come and talk to me," Mr Bowes said.
"Mel asked me who I was and where I'm from, and when I said Yamba he said 'I've been there a few times' and said how he loved the area.
"He loved the prosthetics and was admiring the work, and then he pulls out his phone and started taking a video of my legs, then started filming me, asking me how I was, and all I could think about was how awesome it was, talking to Mel Gibson.
"Everyone was really lovely and down-to-earth, which was really cool."
Mr Bowes' agent managed to score an upgrade for his client, which meant another two days on set and another chance to work with Andrew Garfield, as well as his name listed in the cast appearances credits.
"I got to see the movie about a month before it was released and it was so exciting to see my 10 seconds on the screen," he said.
"To be honest I may have teared up just slightly seeing my name in the credits. It was an amazing experience just doing the film and the fact that it is just an amazingly inspiring film is even better.
"I learnt so much just observing the actors and their processes and how they prepared for the scene between takes. It was just an incredible experience."