It's not every day you can claim to be stood up by a glamourous Hollywood movie star.
But that fate befell international ice hockey referee Rick Williams after Academy Award winner Natalie Portman pulled the plug on her lead role in Days of Abandonment, which was due to start filming in Sydney last week.
Williams, a Canadian-born Aussie, based on NSW's Northern Beaches, was cast as an extra in a Boston restaurant scene (shot at an eatery in Coogee). He would have been seated just metres away from Portman.
Portman, who won a best actress Oscar for 2010's Black Swan, said "unseen personal circumstances" were behind her decision to withdraw from the project, which has now been cancelled.
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"It would have been my first major movie so it's a real bummer," Williams told Inside Back.
It was the second big blow in a year for Williams, who also missed out on a role in Russell Crowe's Poker Face.
But he's been in a beer ad and that, for us, tops an Oscar any day of the week.
Williams played himself - an ice hockey ref - in one of the famous How Do You Feel Tooheys ads in the 1980s, shot at the old Narrabeen Ice Rink.
"We only got $500 for a two-day shoot but the catering was five star," he laughed.
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