Last summer, Los Angeles actor Tim Dax answered an ad for the role of a muscular warrior in what was billed as a desert adventure film on the casting website Actors Access. He worked for a week and half, at a rate of $75 a day, on a low-budget set tucked into a Monrovia strip mall.
But for Dax, this would not turn out to be just another quickie acting gig.
On Tuesday morning, he woke up to find himself at the center of an international crisis when the movie he thought he had made had been transformed into a very different production.
Rather than co-starring in “Desert Warrior,” the movie Dax believed he was acting in, the 40-year-old performer had unwittingly been working on the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims,” which is being blamed for mob attacks this week in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
“It was supposed to be about ancient warriors,” said Dax, who has also appeared in an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” music videos and adult films. “Being a hard-working and hungry actor I put my gusto into it, auditioned and got on set.”
The video, which includes scenes of an actor portraying Muhammad as violent and sex-crazed, was posted on Youtube by a man named Sam Bacile, which appears to be a pseudonym.
Dax said he was hired by a man who called himself Sam to play the role of a muscular slave character with a few lines in a movie then called “Desert Warrior.”
“I would see Sam everyday,” Dax said. “When anyone questioned the ludicrous lines, it would be taken to him. He might change the words slightly but there was still craziness. But he’s paying everybody at the end of the day so who’s gonna question it that much? The overall feel of us all, since we were in a such a low-budget kind of environment, just was kind of rolling with the punches, and you see what the result is.”
Like many low-budget and student productions he has worked on, Dax said he never expected the footage to see the light of day. He was never invited to a premiere, and had largely forgotten about the movie until he was alerted to the 14-minute clip attracting attention on YouTube.
“I feel sad for the people who have died,” Dax said. “I don’t believe a movie that was made in such a back-alley way is an excuse for somebody to hurt somebody.”