Surprise appearance thrills crowd
In 30 seconds, Danilo Begovic and Osmin Hernandez became unlikely symbols of the UCC's "extravagant welcome" and the tumult that can result from such a message.
About two years ago, Begovic and Hernandez, both part-time actors from Florida, answered a casting call — along with several hundred others — for "bouncer types."
"We did not even see the script," Hernandez remembers, something not uncommon. So when the two arrived for filming, they had no idea what was ahead.
The television "bouncers" made an appearance during General Synod's July 1 opening session. Keeping true to character, Begovic and Hernandez stood on stage behind a velvet rope and turned away a variety of people — even a cartoon character.
Begovic and Hernandez did not see the UCC's commercial until it aired. Begovic recalls seeing it for the first time during a CNN news report.
Once the commercial and the ensuing controversy became public, both actors said they received a bit of notoriety from family and friends. They were both surprised by the controversy the ad ignited.
"Now that I see it here, I understand what the message is all about," Hernandez said.
Begovic and Hernandez still reside in Florida. Begovic just completed filming an infomercial for an exercise product. Hernandez is still working full-time in another field but hoping his acting will soon become a full-time endeavor.
And both are occasional nightclub bouncers.
"Every now and then, someone recognizes us," Hernandez says, "and puts his hand out and says, 'No way. Not you.'"