Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Norwalk woman known as 'Cookie Lady' on sets of 'The Avengers,' 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

So far in this ongoing celebration of Captain America's 75th anniversary and his five years on the big screen, I've reposted a feature I wrote two years ago about Norwalk, Ohio veteran Alison Smith being an extra in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Plus some other cool stuff you can check out by clicking on the "Captain America" tag at the bottom of this flashback feature and its preview!)

Teri Sizemore, of Norwalk, Ohio became known as "the Cookie Lady" on the Cleveland sets
of "The Avengers" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." 
Now it's Teri Sizemore's turn. This lucky lady -- who also lives in the Maple City -- has been an extra in two (that's right; two!) Marvel Studios films. Shortly after "The Winter Soldier" was released, I interviewed her husband and mother-in-law about her time on-set -- and how she earned the reputation as "the Cookie Lady." 

Come back to CCC for my reviews of the first two "Captain America" films -- "The First Avenger" (which I re-reviewed as part of a series leading up to the May 2012 release of "The Avengers") and "The Winter Soldier." All in time for Friday's release of the highly anticipated "Captain America: Civil War"! Also, look for reposted reviews of the CIVIL WAR limited series (on which presumably, parts of the new film will be based) and why I say "it's OK to be a Caphead"/why Captain America is a badass. 

Enjoy this feature I wrote which was published in the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper!

NORWALK, Ohio — Teri Sizemore hasn’t been an extra in just one Marvel Studios superhero film; she’s been in two.

And she already has a reputation — as “the Cookie Lady.”

Most recently, Sizemore was part of what’s known in Hollywood as a “precision driving team” for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Significant parts of the film, which is in theaters now and has made about $205.3 million so far, were filmed in Cleveland.

“The car she’s driving was mine,” said Sizemore’s mother-in-law, Lorraine O’Sullivan, of Milan.

In mid-August of 2011, Sizemore played a business woman for scenes shot in downtown Cleveland, which doubled as New York for “The Avengers.” The 2012 superhero ensemble movie is a sequel of sorts to “Captain America: The First Avenger” while “Winter Soldier” leads into next summer’s “Avengers” sequel, subtitled “Age of Ultron.” 

For “Winter Soldier,” Sizemore was behind the wheel of a Chrysler Sebring convertible.

“Teri, for the most part, was a member of the precision driving team,” said her husband, Ray. “They had to be prepared to be calm, maintain distance (between other vehicles) and speed regardless of what was going on around them. She tested really well for that.”

This is a behind-the-scenes shot of the crash involving the black SUV driven by
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), courtesy of Runde Auto Chat.
Sizemore was driving when Samuel L. Jackson’s character Nick Fury has his black sport utility vehicle T-boned at an intersection.

“She was right there on screen for that,” Ray said. “She saw an awful lot of explosions.”

The crash involving Fury’s SUV is part of a massive car chase in which the SHIELD director comes face to face with the villain of the film, Winter Soldier.

As far as the convertible driven by Sizemore goes, her husband said audiences get a glimpse of it outside of the apartment of Steve Rogers (aka Captain America).

Back to Sizemore’s experience as extra on “The Avengers.”

Teri and Ray Sizemore take a selfie in Los Angeles.
She and her husband Ray went to a massive Cleveland-area casting call in mid-July 2011, but only Teri Sizemore was selected.

She then went to Cleveland for a costume fitting. Thousands of people showed up for the casting call.

The Sizemores were in line for about 3 1/2 hours and in the building for only about 45 minutes. 

“When I say the line snaked around the property, I’m not kidding. To say the line was a mile long would not be an exaggeration. It might have been longer than a mile,” Ray told the NORWALK REFLECTOR in August 2011.

“People kept arriving throughout the day,” his wife added.

Teri Sizemore took about three weeks off work from CBC Innovis to be an “Avengers” extra. CBC Innovis sells products to banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders.

Her scenes in downtown Cleveland were shot in August 2011.

“On the set of ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Winter Soldier,’ she became known as the Cookie Lady. She would bake cookies, brownies and cakes for the cast and crew,” her husband said.

Ray said his wife made the baked goods so she could get them “into the hands” of the crew members who oversaw the extras and then increase her chances of getting on-screen.

In fact, he said his wife’s baking made such an impression that Maryellen Aviano, Marvel’s extras casting director, called his wife by name when she showed up for “Winter Soldier.”

Comic book writer Ed Brubaker co-created
the character Winter Soldier.
“She remembered Teri as the Cookie Lady,” Ray added. 

Sizemore used a front cover of a CAPTAIN AMERICA issue featuring the Winter Soldier character as the icing for one of her cakes. Hollywood and Cleveland became a small world as comic book writer Ed Brubaker, who co-created Winter Soldier, was on the set — and ended up eating a piece of Sizemore’s cake.

Her husband said Brubaker “was gushing” about how good the cake was and how it was decorated from an issue he wrote.

“She took immense pride in that Ed Brubaker ate her cake,” Sizemore’s husband said.

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