Peter Gallagher

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Recollections from the Set of Last Dance

By Rita Hamlet

I was an extra in a movie with Peter Gallagher a few years ago (Last Dance), and he and I got to be pretty good friends. It was my first night on the set when he walked over to me and said "Hello, I'm Peter. Who are you?" Out of the 100 or so extras on the set, he picked me to hang out with, both on and off the set, and we became friends for the rest of the time that he was here in Nashville filming. It made me feel very special. He is every bit as beautiful and charming in person.

We hit it off from the first moment. From that point on, whenever there was a break in filming we went and hung out alone somewhere on the set and just talked and talked and talked. We ate together in the meal tent and on days off we would go out to local restaurants, play pool, golf, whatever. I cannot stress enough that he is a very nice man and it was a pleasure getting to spend time with him.

I brought my sister and my best friend to the set one day so they could meet him, too, and they both agreed completely. I swear, when I introduced them to Peter I thought they were going to drool on themselves! He is without a doubt the most charming man I have ever met. Too bad he is already married.

I have a couple of fabulous photos of us, and the one you see here is prominently displayed in my house, as you might imagine.

The man who played my husband (also shown in the photo at right) had some lines in the movie, but I didn't have any lines so I don't think you ever see me. I was a little disappointed, but still the experience was worth it. I didn't get to meet Sharon Stone, she wasn't in the scene I was in. It's the party scene with the governor, so I got to look at Peter in a tux for several days while we were filming. Not a bad view!

As for the fact that he usually plays smaller roles rather than lead roles, he told me that he prefers that so that he can work regularly but does not have to be away from his family as much. His wife, Paula, is a producer and he has a son and a daughter, whose names I don't recall. He is very much a family man. I got to listen to him talking to his kids on the phone one night and it was sooooo sweet! His little boy was sick and wanted his Daddy, so Peter flew home that weekend to be with him.

When I met him, he had just taken up golf, so he and Randy Quaid did a lot of golfing when they were in Nashville. Recently he got a hole-in-one in a celebrity golf game, so evidently he had no trouble picking up the game. I also know from personal experience that he can hold a lot of tequila shots!

Now maybe you should hold onto your seat for this one. We had dinner one night in his hotel room, just the 2 of us, because shooting went really late that day, and I was sitting on the sofa, he was sitting in a chair. We were drinking a bottle of wine and eating room service. We had the stereo on some easy listening station, and he stood up, walked over to me and extended his hand and said "Would you like to dance?" Are you kidding? I've wanted to dance (or anything else for that matter) with him since I saw him in The Idolmaker!

Just so no one gets the wrong idea about this dinner, let me repeat, he is definitely a dedicated family man. But I still have the memory of being held in his arms, even though it was only for a dance. I must admit when that beautiful face looks down at you and in that charming "Peter Gallagher" way asks you to dance, I swear, it will just about leave you breathless. When he talks to you, it is like there is no one else in the world. Just so you can get the full visual, he was wearing jeans, no shoes and a white linen shirt untucked and his little wire frame glasses. In my opinion, that is his best look other than in a tuxedo. If ever any man was meant to wear a tux, it is Peter Gallagher.

Okay, a little trivia for you. He told me that he once was in the same dance class with Madonna before either of them were famous. When she told him that she wanted to sing, he told her he thought she should stick to dancing. How funny! Oh well, so he's been wrong once. Nobody is perfect.

Little more trivia that you may or may not know. You can purchase the soundtrack to Guys and Dolls in which he is playing the role of Sky Masterson. It might be kind of hard to find, but it's definitely out there.

In short, he is a great guy! The Peter you see on television interviews is the real Peter, charming, funny and gorgeous!

I am so glad that I had the chance to get to know him. He deserves all of your fan support and admiration.

Last Updated Saturday, May 12, 2001

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