“I did my audition with Spike, which was terrifying. It turned into this 45-minute improv, and it just went all over the place.” – Laura Harrier
Many successful actors will tell you: When your potential big break comes knocking, not even hell or high water should stop you from taking it. That even includes getting a call for a career-making role from a famous filmmaker when you’re nearly 5000 miles away. So when Laura Harrier got a call about a role in an upcoming Spike Lee joint while in Europe she was determined to make her way across the globe to land the role.
Reflecting on her “big break” with Netflix Queue, the Spider-Man: Homecoming star remembers, “I was on vacation in Greece — this must’ve been the summer of 2017 — and I was sitting on a beach with my friends, on an island, drinking rosé,” which already sounds like a wonderful way to start any good story. But, believe it or not, it gets better:
“And I got a phone call from a number that I didn’t recognize. I picked up, and the very familiar voice on the other end said, ‘Laura, this is Spike Lee.’ I honestly thought someone was playing a trick on me. It was his voice. Everyone knows what Spike Lee sounds like. And so I said, ‘Hello, hi. Do you have the wrong number?’ And he replied, ‘So, I want to meet you for my new movie.’ I said, ‘Of course. Oh my God, yes, absolutely. I’m actually in Europe right now, but I’ll be back in New York next week. I would love to meet with you as soon as possible.’ He goes, ‘No, I need to see you Tuesday.’ I replied, ‘Spike, it’s Sunday.’ And he goes, ‘See you Tuesday. Vacation’s over. Bye.’ And then he hung up. I turned to my friends and said, ‘I have to get off this island.’ I had to get on a ferry to Athens the next morning and then catch the next flight to New York. I made my way back within 24 hours.”
With the stress of having to make it back to the United States in less than a day behind her, Harrier at least expected that the audition would be standard procedure. As it turns out, it wasn’t normal in the slightest.
She continues: “The next day, I went and met Spike for the first time and did this audition. It was a crazy audition. Normally, you walk in expecting to read with another actor, and the director is usually there watching and taking notes or giving you suggestions. I walk into the room, and it’s just me and Spike. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to read the scene with you.’ So I did my audition with Spike, which was terrifying. It turned into this 45-minute improv, and it just went all over the place. We were talking about Sal’s Pizzeria at one point. We finally wrapped, and I got the part the next day.”