WATCH: An Extra’s Life – On the set of Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers was a 2001 TV series starring Damian Lewis, and produced by Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks. It is based on a book, by the same name, by Stephen E. Ambrose, who collected the stories of soldiers in Easy Company. The men of Easy Company were American parachuters who fought in Europe in the last years of World War II.

Spielberg and Hanks already had experience with making war films from their work on Saving Private Ryan in 1998. Band of Brothers won a Golden Globe in 2001 or best miniseries.

The events of the film come from Ambrose’s book, which he researched thoroughly, though some of them have been changed a little to suit television. The characters are based on the actual members of Easy Company, though some characters are really combinations of real soldiers. It is not until the end of the miniseries that we discover the identities of the real men.

Easy Company was part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. They fought at the Normandy Landing in June 1944 and fought for the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands in the Battle of the Bulge. They also participated in the invasion of Germany and were still fighting when Germany surrendered.

This short documentary has a look at the extras who worked on Band of Brothers. It was shot on the show’s set in Hatfield, England. You will see what the extras did every day and what it was like being part of such a successful television show as Band of Brothers.

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.