Radioman, or "Radio" is a bum.  His real name is Craig Castaldo and he’s a former homeless man from NYC who earned his name by having a large radio hanging from his neck.  What makes him stand out from other homeless guys is the fact that he’s appeared in over 30 major motion pictures, including The Departed, Mr. Deeds, Elf, and Godzilla. 

I first encountered Radioman while I was waiting in line to meet Paul McCartney last November.  At first I thought he was just trying to find a place to sleep, but then the next day we actually saw him in the building waiting in line with the rest of us.  I learned his name when a couple of guys walked by and shouted "Hey Radio!"  He sat there all night rewinding his tape and singing along to commercial jingles that he liked.   It was really annoying.

Fast forward to yesterday – I was in New Haven picking up my costume for Indiana Jones 4, when Radioman bursts into the door and runs right past security.  At first everyone was kind of startled, but once they realized who he was they brought him over, gave him a shave and a costume, and let him be an extra. 

Following the last shoot of the day, Radioman walked towards Steven Spielberg to personally thank him for allowing him be in the movie.  Spielberg let him come right up to him, shook his hand and said  "No problem!  Great to see you again".  Again?  They know each other?  So I looked him up online.  There are pictures of Radioman kissing Jessica Simpson, a story about him in the New York Times, and even a profile on IMDB.   His website features pictures of himself alongside people like Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan, and Johnny Depp. 

Radioman used to be homeless and a drunk, but now is able to support himself by collecting the small amount of money he earns from being an extra in movies, and by selling the autographs of the celebrities he meets.  Sometimes he sells autographs for sandwiches.  He’s become well known among New York celebrities, and is a source of information for paparazzi because he’s "in the know" when it comes to celebrity appearances and movie filming. He has hopes of becoming a big actor himself one day.


From the New York Times.

Written by Sean Henri