Several months back, Julie and I were watching that movie "The Men Who Stare At Goats" and there's a scene during the opening credits where Ewan McGregor's character, Bob Wilton, is preparing to go to Kuwait in an attempt to be an Iraq war journalist. In one frame, about seven and a half minutes in, he is signing his Kuwaiti visa. I said to Julie,"Hey, I have a visa just like that one!" I had spent a few days in Kuwait before running up to Iraq for work, and I even posted a scan of my visa and the story behind it back in August 2007. But just in case you don't feel like following the link to read that exciting entry, for the purposes of this entry I'll post the scan again. Here it is:
Now as you can see, my name is only written here in Arabic, as well as the Kuwaiti company who acted as my sponsor for the purposes of this Visa. But my old passport number is clearly written there in Arabic numerals, as well as the residency number.
So this guy, 3azeez, commented on that particular post last week, and then we continued the conversation via email. He speaks Arabic, and had been watching the film, and when he saw the Kuwaiti visa pop up he was confused because the name in Arabic did not match the name of the character played by McGregor, Bob Wilton. In fact, the name on the passport was mine. So he did a search online and eventually came to my blog, where he kindly informed me of what must have happened.
That's right! Some prop guy for the movie must have run across my blog when searching online for a Kuwaiti Visa, and rather than bothering to reproduce it, he just copied mine with minor changes! And to prove it, here's a still from the film!
My passport number, except for the 0 covered by Ewan McGregor's thumb! My residency number! All they did was change the dates in Arabic numerals, and change the top part from where it said 'Residency' to 'Work Visa'. And if you have a keen enough eye you can match up the Arabic writing to see that my name is there and everything. Ha ha! My passport is famous! Right up there onscreen next to the producers... one of whom is George Clooney! It loved acting with Ewan, but it feels bad it didn't get an actual scene with Clooney or Jeff Bridges. Right now we're waiting to hear on a deal with the next Peter Jackson film.
3azeez asked me to cut him in on a percentage if we decided to sue, but I don't think we can and anyway I wouldn't. I just think it's awesome. Especially because it's a pretty cool movie. It could have been much, much worse. There are very few films out there lately that I don't consider pure garbage. Besides, in a movie about psychic spies, perhaps I should take it as a sign from the Universe. Maybe I'm supposed to join the New Earth Army.
Anyway, my Kuwaiti Visa was actually used twice during the opening credits. I guess the film editors thought it was such a good actor that they wanted to see it again. Here it is, a few seconds later from another angle.
My regret is that they did not contact me to ask about it first. Not for any reason other than that I could have saved them from a few Kuwaiti Visa continuity errors. For instance, they shouldn't have had him sign it. That signature on my Visa isn't mine, it's the Kuwaiti issuing authority's. Also, in the upper left corner of the visa you'll see that blue stamp, where it's half white on the top. Well, that's actually a hologram stamp, and when I scanned it it just came out with a glare like that. So that's another indicator that it's a copy. And also, I'm not entirely positive about this one, but I'm pretty sure that unless Bob Wilton was going to be doing journalism in Kuwait, he wouldn't have needed a work visa. He may have needed a residency visa just like I did since when he would be going to Iraq, he wouldn't technically be leaving Kuwait since it was a closed border at the time. See the entry I linked to up top for more info on how that all worked. But I didn't go over as a journalist so like I said I could be wrong about that one.
If you want to join my passport's fan club, or just be alerted on any upcoming roles, please contact it at email@example.com to join the mailing list. Thank you for all your support and love and it would especially like to thank the Seattle Passport issuing agency without whom it never would have existed, and also messiestobjects.typepad.com for daring to give it a chance. God bless.