Shrill Naked Bike Ride Extra

I Was a Naked Bike Ride Extra in Shrill Season 2

You’ve heard of Shrill, right? Season 2 of the Hulu series dropped a few weeks ago, and it should be on your watch list. The show films in my city of Portland, Oregon, and they are always looking for extras. When I heard they were recreating the World Naked Bike Ride for an episode, I had to do it.

This was my first time being an extra on a show, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. After arriving and signing all the paperwork, I stood in the wardrobe line. Wait – you’re recreating the naked bike ride, so what exactly are you wearing? This. This is what I was wearing:

Modesty Pouch

The garment you see above is a modesty pouch. In most of the films and TV shows you watch, actors are wearing this for, uh, modesty. Though the modesty pouch looks simple, figuring out how to keep it on and in place presented a challenge. Halfway through the night, I and a few other extras figured it out. We’ll spare you the details.

Hurry Up and Wait

Once I had my modesty pouch, I hopped in a van and went to the staging area near the filming location. There were about 40 extras of many sizes, ages, genders and ethnicities and we all sat in a room until a director came in and told us to get into costume and put on a robe, and grab your bike.

Any nervousness you might have about dropping trou around 40 strangers goes away quickly when you realize nobody cares what you look like. Everyone was there to do a job, and they’re all wearing the same thing as you.

We walked our bikes a few blocks down the street to a long tent that we would ride out of. The director talked through the process with us and we did our first test ride around the block. Riding out of the tent, we passed the cast and crew who were there and ready to do their thing. The test ride was a success, so then it was time to wait until they were ready to film us.

And wait we did.

The call time for extras was 5pm. We didn’t get started until much later, and after we did a few tests, they sent us back to the tent to stand and wait with our bikes. There was a 3 hour span during which was just stood in our robes, with our bikes, in the tent. Finally, thankfully, a production assistant came in and told us it was time.

Shrill Naked Bike Ride Episode
It’s me! Image: Hulu

It’s Showtime!

I estimate we went around the block at least 15 times. Each time around, a crew member would give us direction to keep in mind for the next time around. For example, when the camera is filming you from behind, and you’re naked, they don’t want you to pedal your bike standing up. It’s a bit more than even Hulu is willing to show. At one point around the block, I lost my modesty pouch and had to go back for it after they cut.

Shrill Hulu Naked Bike Ride
It’s me again! Image: Hulu

Calling it a Night

Finally, around 4am, we wrapped on the naked bike ride scene. We took our bikes and our robes and headed back up the hill to the staging area to put our clothes back on. Although the night was long, it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I got to represent plus size gents in the episode, even if it ended up being a short few seconds at the end of the episode.

Would You Bear it All as an Extra On TV?

Would you shed your clothes as an extra for a scene in a film or on a TV show? Tell us what you think in the comments below. Check out the finished product in episode 4 of Shrill season 2 on Hulu for yourself!