Gina Omilon had her own Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood moment by appearing in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning movie.
The Red Deerian, who’s been living in Los Angeles since 2012, was cheering for Once Upon a Time … while watching the Academy Awards telecast at a home with friends on Sunday.
“Whatever category it was nominated in, I wanted it to win,” adds Omilon, who was thrilled to see the film pick up two Oscars (best supporting actor for Brad Pitt, and best production design).
Sharp-eyed viewers will notice the Notre Dame High School graduate in a couple of scenes from Tarantino’s cinematic tribute to late-’60s Hollywood.
In a film-within-the-film, Omilon plays a script girl holding a clipboard while Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton character is having a momentary crisis portraying a cowboy in a western.
In another scene, Omilon can be seen as a party-goer at the Playboy Mansion. She’s visible just behind actor Margot Robbie as her Sharon Tate character enters the party.
While Omilon’s few spoken lines were cut and she never got to chat with DiCaprio, she did have several friendly encounters with Robbie, who she describes as “very nice and down-to-earth.”
At one point, Omilon was about to go through a doorway at the same time as Robbie, “who told me,” ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry, please go ahead.’
“And I said ‘No, you go ahead!’” recalls Omilon with a chuckle.
She describes Tarantino as a joy to work with. Omilon recalls the director created a low-stress atmosphere, stopping to remind everyone to relax because “we’re doing what we love.”
While Omilon didn’t share any scenes with Pitt, she could watch him filming just outside her apartment window on Hollywood Boulevard, which was transformed to look like it did in 1969, with vintage billboard signs and vehicles.
Omilon figures her long dark hair was right for the era and helped her get cast from a head shot she submitted.
Although she was disappointed her lines were cut, she heard Tarantino had to take hours out of the film, including entire scenes with some big-time actors, so can’t be too dismayed.
The Red Deerian moved to Los Angeles right after finishing high school to attend the AMDA College and Conservatory of Performing Arts. She’s been acting there in commercials, films and TV shows ever since.
Among Omilon’s screen credits are the horror comedy Tragedy Girls, with Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) and portraying a crime victim in the TV show Criminal Minds.
She hopes to start landing larger roles, but “I’m taking baby steps,” says Omilon, who considers each new project “definitely an interesting experience.”
Her next feature film is to begin shooting this spring. Omilon says she can’t reveal much else at this time, because “they are hoping to score an A-list celebrity … if they do, it will be a big deal …”