For our latest mission we recreated the famous fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally with
actors dressed as Harry and Sally and 20 additional couples in Katz’s Deli. When Sally’s fake orgasm began, 20 additional women (on dates with 20 men) joined in one by one, creating an over-the-top surprise for the Katz’s employees and patrons. This was staged without the knowledge of the restaurant, though thankfully they all seemed to love it.
This project is part of our new series, Movies in Real Life. Every Tuesday, we’re releasing a new video that brings an iconic movie moment to life in the real world.
Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos below.
Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Produced by: Deverge
Producers: Alan Aisenberg, Andrew Soltys
Director of Photography: Ilya Smelansky
Editor: Denis Cardineau
Camera: Myo Campbell, Denis Cardineau, Kelley Dunlap, Chloe Smolkin, Ilya Smelansky
Sound: Harris Karlin
Photography: Ari Scott (photo credit for all photos on this page.)
Production Assistants: Ryan Creamer, Juan Cocuy
Cast: Zach Linder as Harry; Ashley Ward as Sally; Bonnie John as ‘I’ll have what..’ Woman
First off, I need to say that I’m incredibly thankful for all of the awesome ladies (including my wife!) who were game to help out with this project. They had the hard part, and they all did it fearlessly.
We met in a park near Katz’s Deli and went over the game plan. When you’re doing something in a place of business without their permission, things can get really complicated. We needed to get some very specific tables for cast and crew members. Katz’s is always crowded and it’s often hard to get ANY table, much less a bunch of specific spots. The Deverge guys created a map of the tables and we went over our seat assignments at the meeting point. We staged this in the late evening on a Sunday, so the crowd had thinned out a bit. That said, it still took us over an hour to get all of the seats we wanted. Fortunately we had delicious deli food to eat while we waited to begin.
Ari Scott’s movie poster shot
Sign above the official table
Agents Ashley Ward and Zach Linder did a great job as Sally and Harry. We dressed them up as close to the characters as possible, though Harry’s exact 80s sweater proved to be impossible to find. We came close!
Agent Ward starts moaning and the mission begins.
Others join in!
The staff starts to notice. They were all awesome.
Other customers laughed and took photos as they found themselves in the middle of 20 screaming women.
Although the men in the group had a much easier job, I have to say they had some great deadpan reactions that would make Billy Crystal proud.
After the performance ended and the crowd applauded, Agent Bonnie John stood up and proclaimed, “I’ll have what they’re having.” Although this line in the film is very matter-of-fact, she had to shout the dialog to be heard. The noise was actually a huge challenge in this mission. Our performers had to be especially loud to draw attention in the noisy, busy restaurant. Although once things really got going, we certainly had everyone’s attention. We ended up doing the mission 3 times, with five minute breaks in between. We didn’t want to wear out our welcome, but the staff seemed to enjoy it more every time (and it only lasted about a minute each time.)
I had fun chatting with the staff after it was all over. They said they’ve seen people recreate the scene before one at a time, but agreed they had never seen anything close to this elaborate. We all had great dinners, and it seemed like everyone who was there had a good time.
Episode One: Rocky In Real Life
Episode Two: Indiana Jones In Real Life
Episode Three: Lord of the Rings In Real Life
Episode Four: The Matrix In Real Life
Episode Five: Back to the Future In Real Life
Episode Six: Jurassic Park In Real Life
Full set of photos from photographer Ari
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