Pump up the Crowd: Hollywood's Inflatable Extras

Colin Patrick

The next time you’re watching that sports-themed comedy or epic Roman war picture and you notice some of the crowd members don’t seem nearly as excited as the others, it’s probably not that they’re bad actors. They’re probably just plastic inflatable people with creepy human-ish masks on.

The producers of The King’s Speech, Iron Man 2, Frost/Nixon, Blades of Glory and Million Dollar Baby (among many others) have discovered a way around the logistical nightmares that come with filming crowd scenes. The solution is called The Inflatable Crowd Company, and it’s just what it sounds like:

The Inflatable Crowd Company was created for SEABISCUIT in 2002. Since then, our Inflatable Crowds have been seen (but not noticed) in over 80 feature films & many TV shows & commercials.

Essentially, someone has created a successful business around the idea that they own a whole lot of blowup dolls. Only in America.

Most of the time, this level of vacant expression takes thousands of dollars in Botox to create:

As you can see, the actor's waiting area is a lot easier to maintain:

Ah, the magic of Hollywood.