Giulia Porcella, 12, has never seen The Godfather or Rocky, but last August she was on the streets of Manhattan reciting lines from those Oscar-winning films–for none other than Spike Lee. "My father told me he was a famous director and I was like, 'Ohmigosh!' I tried not to get too excited," says Porcella, an Italian tourist who was one of 200 unsuspecting hopefuls plucked off New York sidewalks for their chance to appear in an Oscar TV ad campaign created by Lee. In an exotic array of languages and accents the "actors" hammed up dialogue from Gone With the Wind to Jerry Maguire. "We were looking for different faces, different colors–the Oscars are something that is watched all over the world, not just here," says Lee, who helped choose the classic lines and the 40 wannabe film stars who made the final cut. "You want some lines to be obscure ... [others] have become part of the culture–they're just too easy," says Lee. "Like 'Show me the money!' I was fighting against that one!" (His own favorite? Chinatown's "Forget it, Jake ... it's Chinatown.") The spots–which will run through Oscar night Feb. 25–may even have uncovered some future Oscar talent. Giulia "did lots of lines and was really great," says Lee. And, yes, the aspiring actress plans to tune in to this year's awards: "I'll be glued to the TV!"
"Someone grabbed me off the street," says Ginns, 25, of her scene in Little Italy. "I was nervous, and it was kinda surreal ... but it was great. "
"That girl has potential," says Lee of Porcella, who was spotted sightseeing in SoHo while visiting America with her family.
Pembroke Pines, Fla.
"I liked the lady with the glasses," says Lee of Hoffman, who filmed her scene in Grand Central Terminal. "She was a real character."
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