NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – When acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino walks up to you to chat on his movie set, that’s a pretty good day at the office.
All in a day’s work, right? For Dixon native Courtney Moore it was. But not everyone’s office is the Playboy Mansion and not everyone’s work attire is a Playboy bunny outfit.
It was for Moore, though, who landed a role in the summer blockbuster “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” directed by Tarantino and starring just about every Hollywood A-lister in the business.
“Quentin came to me on set and talked for about 30 minutes,” Moore said. “I’m just thinking ‘I’m at the Playboy mansion talking with Quentin Tarantino and I’m playing a Playboy bunny. What kind of life am I living now?’”
Moore, 37, is single and lives with her dog in North Hollywood and has been pursuing her acting dream for about 6 years. She’s been successful by most actors’ standards, but then came the day she showed up for what she thought was another casting call.
“There is a huge casting database where you submit yourself and they asked me to come in for a fitting,” Moore said. “I didn’t even know what it was for. Then I found out and I freaked out. I’ve got a scene with Margot [Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate] but there were several other stars there. It’s one of the coolest moments I’ve had to date.”
That’s saying something, since Moore has had a few experiences that would rank high on anyone’s list of star-studded moments. How many people can say that singer Katy Perry has come right up to them at a party to say hi and chat for a bit?
Courtney Moore has her hand in the air.
If you have watched one of Perry’s videos or a commercial she’s been in, that person just may have been Moore for a few seconds.
“I actually worked with Katy Perry, and I body double for her in almost everything, her commercials and videos,” Moore said. “Everything but my face. It’s a lot of fun and we’re always doing fun stuff at her shoots. She is the nicest person ever, and so sweet.”
Moore notes that those are not typical work days. In fact, there are many days with no work at all. Moore understood that when she decided to leave her comfortable, secure life in Dixon, pack up only a few things and head to California to chase a dream.
“I had a great job at KSB Hospital and had retirement and everything, but acting is always something I’ve wanted to do,” Moore said. “So I had to follow my dreams, and I don’t want to live with regrets.”
She sold her truck, said goodbye to her horse, Annabelle (which she still keeps here) and headed to California. She took a few acting classes and hired an agent, but soon found she was the best agent she could find.
“Nobody works harder for you than yourself. I seem to do it better on my own,” Moore said. “If you’re gonna work out here you have to put your nose to the grindstone.”
But Moore the agent can’t seem to find a role that Moore the actress really would prefer.
“I grew up riding horses and rodeo and I’ve done some work with a stunt coordinator. I was never a girly-girl, but I can never get a job as a cowgirl,” she said with a laugh.
She thought she finally had landed the role perfect for her when she was cast in a video that featured the border wall and some immigrants. Finally, a chance to rough it up a bit. Moore again was disappointed when she showed up on set.
“Everybody else was all dirty and they wanted me to be super sexy in front of this wall, so I had to be everything I hate in this world – but it’s a role.”
She loves the fact her job allows her to go from playing Playboy bunny to a devilish witch girl who kidnaps a young child in a video.
“That’s the great part about acting. You get to be someone you’re not for a while,” Moore said.
She emphasizes the “a while” part when talking about her roles on movies and videos. The Tarantino movie is a good example.
“I had one scene for a couple days and I was done in November. But filming on set is about 18 hours. They are long days and it’s really not glamorous. It’s a lot of work and lot of people involved.”
Which doesn’t leave much time for socializing or going out to Hollywood parties. Moore spends most of her time at home rehearsing her lines because she knows she has to be sharp or there are hundreds of others who will gladly take that job.
“It’s really intense and you definitely have to know who you are and have a thick skin. It’s hard to know who your friends are,” Moore said. “But I’m super close to my family and I’ve got a great support system.”
Sure she’s done a scene in a major movie that will be opening in July and been on shoots with Katy Perry and done a Hydroxy commercial, but she remains grounded as just another actress trying to make a living. But she also said if her life and decision can help convince someone else, she would be thrilled to be that kind of role model.
“If it helps to inspire somebody else I say just do it. No dream is too big,” Moore said. “If I moved home now I can say I’ve done some amazing things and I don’t feel bad. I don’t have any regrets.”