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Federal Way cop gets his 15 minutes
Federal Way police officer Kelly Smith achieved minor-league fame on television’s “The Shield” and decided Hollywood was not the place for him.
Smith packed his belongings and moved to California last year. While waiting to be hired on as a police officer there, he tried his luck at acting. This was not intended to be a career choice, but rather a way to make a quick buck before starting his police job. Smith’s minor, non-speaking role debuted on the series finale of the FX Network’s law enforcement drama series Nov. 25.
In a brief shot, lasting approximately five seconds, Smith can be seen in the episode working as a federal agent.
With bricks of cocaine held in each hand, he waves the confiscated goods. The appearance was short and easy, Smith said.
When extras are needed for shows, casting agencies are often called. Smith showed up to open casting calls last year and waited while industry personnel documented his physical attributes then photographed him.
“They need thousands and thousands of people everyday to be extras,” Smith said.
He was filmed as an extra in about four episodes of various television series. He is uncertain if his character was edited out of the other episodes he filmed for or if he will again be featured on television.
For “The Shield” producers, Smith embodied their vision of a federal agent. He got a call and reported for a day in front of the cameras. He received free food, a minimal wage and bragging rights for his appearance.
“How many times can you say you’ve been on actual TV?,” he said.
The episode was shot in October 2007. Though Smith’s part was brief, it was filmed several times and took nearly an hour to complete each time. Being on set lent itself to a run-in or two with Hollywood folks. Smith met Emmy winner Michael Chiklis, who stars in the show’s lead role as Detective Vic Mackey. Chiklis did not pass on pearls of wisdom or lasting words however.
“He was too high on his Hollywood horse,” Smith said.
Smith remains humble about the experience. He watched his performance, but did not watch the whole episode. He had not viewed the show before appearing in it and has no desire to pursue acting.
“It’s by far not an easy job for everyone involved in that industry,” Smith said. “Those guys work crazy hours.”
Smith has since moved back to Federal Way to resume his job as an officer here. His brief brush with fame has turned into a little something to smile about and pass on at the police department.
Contact Jacinda Howard: firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565.