One lucky extra: Six-year-old William Nero appears with Johnny Depp in PUBLIC ENEMIES

Dressed in worn overalls and standing outside an Illinois farmhouse, six-year-old William Nero seems to have stepped out of a Dorothea Lange photograph. No doubt his huge, haunting eyes helped win the young actor his role as a featured extra in Michael Mann’s Depression-era PUBLIC ENEMIES. However, when he reported for work outside St. Anne, Illinois on June 26th, he didn’t know that he would be appearing in a scene with Johnny Depp. His mother Lindsey reports that they didn’t even know which movie William would be shooting that day: “They don’t tell you,” Lindsey explained. “We didn’t get to see the script or anything.”

In William’s case, a script would have been unnecessary: “He doesn’t have any lines, but he screams a little,” Lindsey Nero told a reporter for the Herald Times. She added that William was “so excited” to spend a day on-set with Johnny Depp: “My son was having him recite lines from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.” The two actors pose for the camera in the photograph at left; to see a full-length version, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny Depp and William Nero on set, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the story; you can read more about William Nero on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Thanks also to Emma and Carasun for the photographs. –Part-Time Poet

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