A "SWEET" waitress from Lostwithiel found herself cast in Richard Curtis's new blockbuster film – after the director was bowled over by her pizza-serving skills.
Rebecca Chew, 18, was working in Sam's on the Beach restaurant at Polkerris last summer when the movie mogul dropped in for dinner with his family.
Mr Curtis, who was in Cornwall to film scenes for About Time with stars including Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams, had been looking for an extra to play the role of a café waitress.
And within minutes of meeting smiley Rebecca he knew he had found the perfect addition to his time-travelling romantic comedy.
Speaking to the Cornish Guardian at the movie's premiere on Saturday, he said: "She was so sweet when she was giving pizzas to our kids that we cast her in the film and she came up and acted a crucial part of a waitress in Pret A Manger. This was just typical of the reception we received – people were so nice that we wanted to take them with us."
Rebecca, who has just completed a singing diploma, said she was amazed that the director remembered her.
She said: "It was a massive surprise. It's quite an honour really and I love his films, like Love Actually and Four Weddings And A Funeral. I'm just a Cornish girl; this isn't something you expect to happen.
"I'd heard rumours about him filming in Cornwall but when he came in with his family I didn't recognise him at first. Rachel McAdams came in later in the evening so the pizza must have gone down well."
The former Fowey Community College student said it was around a month after she served Mr Curtis that she received a phone call – as she lay on a beach in Mallorca.
"I was on holiday so it was all very surreal," she said. "The assistant director called me up and said Richard Curtis would like me to play a small part in the film. I was in shock. I think he must just have seen me at Sam's on the Beach and thought I might fit the role."
She described filming her scene, in which she serves a sandwich to one of the film's stars, Domhnall Gleeson, as "very nerve-racking".
"There were quite a few takes but I don't think that it was because I did anything wrong," said Rebecca. "I hadn't done anything like this since school plays, and usually I was just a backing dancer or something."
Her sister's birthday party meant she was unable to attend a cast and crew screening of the film earlier this summer, so Rebecca has not yet seen herself on the big screen.
"It's going to be a complete surprise," she said. "I can't wait to see it."
She now aims to forge a career in musical theatre – and hopes that catching Mr Curtis's attention could be a good omen for the future.
"He certainly wouldn't be a bad contact to have," she said.
For more on the premiere see pages 28 and 29.