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SYFY WIRE Zack Snyder

Army of the Dead’s Tig Notaro shot all her scenes alone on a green screen, and got a fake Oscar for her trouble

By Josh Weiss

Last summer, Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead found itself in a sticky situation when one of its cast members, Chris D’Elia, was accused of inappropriate behavior with underage girls. He was subsequently dropped from the film and replaced with comedian Tig Notaro, who stepped into the role of the heist crew's wise-cracking helicopter pilot, Marianne Peters. 

The change came nearly a year after the Netflix project had wrapped principal photography, so Notaro found herself acting alone on a green screen as Snyder reshot all of D’Elia's scenes. "Because I was the only one on set, I started to think I was the star of the movie," she recently admitted to Vulture. "Then I told Zack that I realized, 'Oh, not only am I not the star, but a lot of these shots are me blurred out in the background.'"

For her troubles, the director awarded Notaro with a fake Oscar for Best Out-of-Focus Background Actor at the end of their shoot together.

Notaro said something similar last month during an appearance at Justice Con, where she also showed off the statue. "I started to think, 'Oh my God, I am a total movie star.' Then I told Zack that it dawned on me two weeks in that while I was thinking I was a movie star, that he was likely, most of the time, filming in blurry, in the background shots. I started laughing so hard that I was trying to look and whatever and then I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm probably blurred out, walking by in the background."

You can check out the faux Academy Award below:

Army of the Dead Justice Con

“It didn’t seem possible for me to take on what Chris did. We’re such different actors and comedians,” Notaro mentioned during the Vulture interview. “I honestly thought, regardless of what’s going on in his personal life, that his performance was excellent. But Zack said, ‘We want you to do exactly what you do.’ And, in turn, that’s all I did."

 Despite the reshoots to replace D’Elia, Snyder has gone on record, stating that Army is totally his vision. "This was probably the most gratifying experience I've had making a movie," he said after the release of the official trailer in April. "Everything about it was fun ... Everyone's been incredibly supportive and just a joy to work with. This is the movie, there's no other cuts of the movie. I didn't have to fight them — it was the opposite. This is the director's cut. You don't have to see a bastardized version, you just get to see the awesome version first."

Army of the Dead opens in theaters this Friday (May 14) for an exclusive one-week engagement on the big screen before hitting Netflix next Friday (May 21). Click here for SYFY WIRE's interview with the cast and VFX team. Click here to see what audiences are saying about the movie, which currently holds a fresh 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.