SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Coastal Empire has long been known as a popular filming location for movies and television shows.
Savannah native Sheila Jackson says she’s had the opportunity to appear as a small character in the Marvel series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which is now streaming on Disney+.
In Jackson’s appearance thus far in the show, she stands alongside actor Anthony Mackie, who portrays Sam Wilson/Falcon in the show.
“During the time the first episode came on, I got a call in the middle of the episode and someone said, ‘Sheila Is that you?’ And I said, ‘yeah!’” Jackson told WSAV NOW.
“It’s exciting to know how many millions of people are watching this, and that people that do know me say, ‘hey, I think that’s my next-door neighbor!’” the 64-year-old shared. “It’s very fun.”
Jackson says she’s new to acting as an extra, having also briefly appeared in the 2019 sitcom, “Florida Girls,” which was also shot locally.
“It’s a little scene and if you blink, you’ll miss me, but I’m there,” she said.
During her appearance in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Jackson says she respected the rule that extras weren’t allowed to interact with the stars.
“But in the episode that I was in, [Mackie] came right up to me and touched me, and I was like, ‘oh, my gracious!’” Jackson shared, adding, “Now, if I’m in this little segment with Anthony Mackie, they are sure to keep this in the [show] — and they did.”
While excited for the opportunity to be featured as an extra, Jackson admits that at first, she didn’t realize who the actor was.
“I didn’t know Anthony Mackie by name, but when I got home, I Googled him, and then I said, ‘oh this is Anthony Mackie!'” Jackson said.
“I recognized him from movies he’s been in and different television shows, so I was excited to know that I’d be in this [show] with him,” she said.
Jackson says she was first drawn to being cast as a film and TV extra when she learned about an audition for “The Lady and the Tramp,” which was filmed in Savannah.
“I decided that I would give it a try,” she said.
“We were to meet at the Savannah Civic Center, and I went there and gave all my information, but I unfortunately wasn’t called back for that particular role,” she added.
That didn’t stop Jackson, who tried auditioning again through a casting company called Central Casting.
It was through that opportunity that she landed her first appearance as an extra in “Florida Girls.”
Jackson says since her recent appearance on Disney+, her 7-year-old great-nephew believes she’s a celebrity.
“He mentioned, you know, ‘Auntie Sheila, I didn’t know she was famous!’” she laughed.
“I guess for him to see me on television in a show that I’m sure young people watch all the time, he thought that was great,” she said.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” was reportedly Disney+’s most-watched series premiere.