Hiding Out

Editor's Note: This article is part of a double feature of sorts. Couch Thing's own Nathan Tyree reviews Hiding Out at this link, and the marvelous Virginia Lee gives us a glimpse behind the scenes below. 

Hiding Out

By Virginia Lee

That’s pretty much what I did during that shoot. I was kept in a holding room for the majority of the shoot. Luckily, the other people hurrying up and waiting were pretty affable so far as I remember. I got the gig not so much because I was right for it, but because my mom had recently had a heart attack and I was bugging all the casting people I knew for work. 

I was called to work several days as background. I’m thinking at least three but possibly five. I can’t remember if I did a street drive-by or not. If I did, it was more money. Drive-bys are great b/c you generally don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing or make-up and you get paid more. I had access to two very generic vehicles that were relatively new, so I could work multiple days on a shoot for that alone. I think the most I ever worked on a shoot was ten days b/c of being able to do drive-bys. I have no clue what movie that was. It might have even been Hiding Out.

The only time I was actually told to do anything was briefly on the campus of UNCW and I was nowhere near the action and truly far background. I remember it being very bright and being glad I was not told to put away my sunglasses. It was the only time I saw Jon Cryer and it was from pretty far away. I had not seen Pretty in Pink, so I didn’t know who Duckie was and his Superman foray wasn’t out yet when Hiding Out was being made. I do remember a lot of excitement among the other females on set. 

I got to chat a bit with Keith Coogan who, for reasons beyond my ken, stayed in the classroom in which they corralled a number of us instead of in a trailer. I was under the impression that he was bored on his own. I remember he played cards with some folks. I have no idea if I played or not. Knowing me, I had a book. Coogan was a nice kid as I recall, quite chatty, and had at least one production assistant keeping an eye on him since he was underage at the time of filming. I remember thinking he was somewhere between bored and lonely on that set, possibly both.

And that is about it. It’s probably the film I remember least of all even though I was on set a few days getting paid for basically nothing. I am thrilled to know that John Spencer was in the movie even though this was pre-West Wing and I was nowhere near him that I was aware of at any juncture.


Virginia Lee was fortunate enough to live in or near Wilmington, North Carolina in the mid to late 1980s when the film industry there was starting to take off. During that time she worked on seven different productions as a featured extra, as in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, or a regular extra on the films TRAXX, Track 29, Hiding Out, Collision Course, Dracula’s Widow, and the television miniseries Windmills of the Gods. After working for a decade as an actor regional theatre, Lee retired from the stage and went back to college and achieved a Liberal Arts BA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. Today Lee writes colloquial fiction, personal essays, and more. You can find some of her short fiction at The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature which is one of the longest running online literary zines around. Mrs. MagnumEdam ElvisA Chocalate TaleRusty Roses