Valparaiso man appears in Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' movie with The Rock, Emily Blunt

Savannah Evanoff
Northwest Florida Daily News

VALPARAISO — The trailer for the Disney movie “Jungle Cruise,” starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is playing in theaters and on TV before the movie's release Friday.

The scenes are familiar to Brian Cain, who remembers them from being on set shooting it a few years ago in Atlanta. Cain, a Valparaiso resident, appears in the trailer as a background actor portraying a British soldier.

The Army veteran who previously served in Afghanistan has done many military roles because of his prior experience and connections with casting directors in Atlanta, where many films are made.

“They're always looking for people who know how to handle firearms and how to put the uniform on, because it takes a lot of time and effort to basically get into character,” Cain said. “They called, because they know I’m reliable, and I could basically look the part. With a mustache, (I) could look like a British soldier from World War I.”

Valparaiso Army veteran Brian Cain portrays a German soldier and a British soldier in the Disney movie "Jungle Cruise."

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Cain formerly lived in Atlanta and worked full time in the film industry, but moved to Valparaiso to help care for his 98-year-old grandmother. He works for Forever Blue Pool & Spa in Destin.

Cain’s first time on the set of “Jungle Cruise” was for one day as a British soldier. The fake mustache was “very hot,” he said.

“The big thing was, especially with a British soldier costumes, they were actually period correct, so they were solid wool,” Cain said. “Everything was wool — the overcoat. I think we shot that three years ago now in July, so it was in the high 90s and we were all wearing wool, so they also wanted to make sure they had people who could stand the heat.”

Valparaiso Army veteran Brian Cain is featured as a British soldier in the trailer for the Disney movie "Jungle Cruise," starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

That scene entailed lead actress Blunt running away from something (Cain isn’t sure what), jumping on top of a double-decker bus and landing in a group of soldiers.

“We just had to make sure that if she were to land wrong or anything, we were there to grab her, make sure she was OK,” Cain said.

Cain came back for one week of filming to portray a second background role as a German soldier. They needed people who had blonde hair and blue eyes.

“They try not to use the same people in different scenes because somebody with a good eye can tell the difference,” Cain said. “With the British soldier, I had a hat on, a mustache, all that. In the German scene, I was clean-shaven and real dirty because we're in an old U-boat and we're chasing down The Rock and Emily Blunt on their boats firing torpedoes. That one actually entails stunt work because we were getting blown up, so we were being thrown around the submarine.”

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Valparaiso resident Brian Cain wore a faux mustache to portray a British soldier in the Disney movie "Jungle Cruise."

This wasn't Cain's first time to work among celebrities. He was in TV shows such as “The Walking Dead,” “Stranger Things” and “Ozark,” and such movies as “Logan Lucky,” “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Spiderman: Homecoming.”

The leads he met during “Jungle Cruise” were his favorite.

Cain met Blunt as a British soldier.

“We were literally all day on the bus with her, but she would actually sit down and talk,” Cain said. “Super, super nice. Anything you've heard about her as positive is 100% true. She’s not one of those actors that shy away from talking to background workers. She’s very, very personable, fun loving; one of the best actresses I’ve had the pleasure of being able to talk to.”

The Rock was similar.

“Imposing man, but just very down to earth, very humble,” Cain said. “He’s very grounded. He still believes in being a person, not just a celebrity. He is hands down the best celebrity I’ve ever met. … I'm glad it was my last actual film, because they just left a good impression on me.”

Although he loved the film industry, “Jungle Cruise” marked Cain’s last film.

“I knew I was getting ready to quit because there are a lot of people that do background work better that I'm still in contact with, that their dream is to pursue acting as a career,” Cain said. “After doing it a few years, my heart wasn’t set on acting and I knew that. I had a lot of fun. I had a few big things happen. It wasn't for me.”

If Cain got a call for “something big,” though, he wouldn’t say no. Doing background work is tedious and underpaid, he said.

“The people that do it full time, they have a lot of heart to be able to be out there 14, 16 hours a day for basically $8 an hour,” Cain said. “It’s great experience. A lot of them go on to work in the film industry, behind the camera. I've also had friends that ended up being seen by the director and they have a certain look, and they end up getting speaking roles, and that can launch their careers. But unless it's something huge, I’m done.

"I like what I do now. I’m very passionate about my work.”

Cain feels like he left at the right time, too, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s something a lot of people want to experience, they just don't know how,” Cain said. “Even if they get to do it for a day just to see how the process works in film. People working in the film industry, especially right now with everything with coronavirus happening, a lot of those people have to get tested daily and have to wear masks on set and it’s 100 degrees. I’m in awe of my friends that are still doing it.”

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Cain thinks the “Jungle Cruise” release date was postponed because of the pandemic. He plans to watch it on Disney Plus one night after work, he said.

“Probably get a few buddies that I filmed it with so we can compare notes and see if we saw each other. That’s the big thing,” Cain said. “At least I saw myself in the trailer. That might not make the cut for the movie. That might be it.”

Truthfully, he doesn’t care.

“It's not a big thing for me; it's more for my daughter,” Cain said. “I have a 6-year-old, Serenity. With her being able to point and say, ‘Look, it’s you,’ that gets me. It’s a blessing seeing her face light up when she sees something I’ve worked on.”