Extra Drama

Posted August 10, 2007 at 5:39pm

As if Washingtonians didn’t have enough drama in their lives, now they could be cast as extras in the new movie that super-director Ridley Scott is filming in town in September.

Warner Bros., the studio producing “Body of Lies,” is looking for locals to share screen time with stars Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio and fill the following roles: “Military Types/Punks/International Looks/German Car Owners,” according to an announcement by the city’s Office of Motion Picture and TV Development. A casting call is being held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at 1724 H St. NW. [IMGCAP(1)]

Lucky thespians chosen for the flick might get their 15 seconds of fame during the film’s shooting on Sept. 5, when Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market will be subbing for a market in Amsterdam, a setting for part of the movie. An announcement helpfully warning neighbors about the filming explains that two cars will be mechanically overturned.

So there’s no need to call 9-1-1, just your agent.

An Iraq Debate, With Cheese. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) might differ with the anti-war activists who have been shadowing him as he criss-crosses Iowa over the August recess, but that didn’t stop him from breaking bread with them — or at least a few hamburger buns.

Part of the job of field workers for the anti-war campaign “Iraq Summer” is to tail Members of Congress who support the war, showing up at public appearances to record them and ask questions about their pro-war stance. Sponsored by a coalition called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, the campaign is aimed at “turning up the heat” on Members who have opposed a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Two workers in Iowa were doing just that on Aug. 7, bird-dogging Grassley as he worked his way across the state, hitting six (whew!) town hall meetings in one day. About three meetings into the day, the Senator had become accustomed to seeing Liam Gallagher and John Slaight shadowing him around. According to Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Americans United for Change, one of the groups in the coalition, the amiable Senator finally turned to the two fellows during a stop in Leon, Iowa, and asked if they planned on trailing him to the last stop of the day, a town hall in Mount Ayr.

When they answered in the affirmative, Grassley surprised the two by suggesting not that they leave him alone, but that they all go out for burgers afterward, according to Funk. Grassley made good on his word, and the unlikely party adjourned to Sue’s Roadside Café in Mount Ayr, where they dived into the joint’s famous (mmkay) burgers and had a “cordial, down-home conversation about Iraq,” Funk said.

The only-in-Iowa moment amazed Gallagher and Slaight, and according to Funk, it showed they were able to get their message across civilly.

“I think he figured that … if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em — for burgers.”

Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Evian. Rep. Patrick Kennedy is planning to take part in a boat race on Sunday where the only thing high will be the tides.

The Rhode Island Democrat is getting together a strait-laced crew to race in the 35th annual Nantucket Opera House Cup, and the island’s laissez-faire summer atmosphere will likely be in full effect with boaters tossing back a few (or more) offshore brewskis. But don’t expect Kennedy to be falling off the wagon now that he’s taking to the high seas. The recovering addict tells HOH he’ll be resisting temptation by putting together what he calls a “sober crew” for the annual regatta.

But one potential sober crewmate already bailed on Kennedy: Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), who is Kennedy’s recovery sponsor. Ramstad had been planning on spending some time in Nantucket, but duty called and he’ll be back in Minnesota instead, according to spokesman Dean Peterson.

Dead Man Earmarking. Earmarks, like diamonds, are forever. Just look at two late Members whose largesse lives on: Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.) both passed away earlier this year, yet they’re still named in the Water Resources Development Act conference report for successfully obtaining earmarks.

Millender-McDonald, who passed away in April from cancer, snagged $15 million for a pipeline in Southern Los Angeles County, Calif. Meanwhile, Thomas, who died in June from complications with leukemia, finagled $30 million for the Cowboy State for water and wastewater projects. And while committee staffers assure HOH that both requests weren’t made from beyond the grave, earmark critics such as Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense say their appearance “definitely shows that earmarks can be eternal.”

The Senate Told Me to Order This Shot. Before the Senate adjourned for the August recess, it adopted a little-heralded bit of legislation that HOH humbly brings to her readers’ attention so they might plan accordingly (i.e., ask for some vacation time now): September is officially “National Bourbon Heritage Month.”

The resolution designating the month as a celebration of all things oak-aged was passed unanimously and was sponsored by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), whose home state includes the namesake Bourbon County and cranks out some of the tastiest bourbons around.

Before they knock back a slew of Manhattans in observance of the national holiday, though, bourbon-o-philes might want to note the bill’s finer print. “Wheras people who enjoy bourbon should do so responsibly and in moderation,” it reads.

Why, it’s practically your civic duty.

Kids on Recess. Displaying a healthy regard for the Congressional schedule despite their tender ages, two Hill newborns waited to make their big debut until the August recess.

Claire Hannah Davis was born to Associated Press reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis, a stalwart of the Congressional press corps, and her husband, Jonathan Davis, on Aug. 6, just hours after Congress finally left town. Two days later, Jenny and Josh Manley — he’s a senior minority staffer with the Senate Appropriations Committee and she’s chief of staff for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) — welcomed David “Reeves” Manley.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.