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Michael A. Coller

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Michael A. Coller Investigates Johnny Depp's ‘Black Mass’


As he reached over to quell the annoying alarm on Monday June 1, 2014 at 4:30 AM, Peabody, Massachusetts Private Detective Michael A. Coller was already putting on his game face. His game face is his permanent one. Gruff, scowled and his nose a bit slanted to the right from years of sticking up for what is morally and ethically correct. His regime is unwavering, shower, shave and take meticulous mental notes of his upcoming day’s events. After brushing his teeth and slicking his hair with gel in an attempt to portray a 70’s gangster, he points two fingers at the mirror admiring his good looks anddrops his thumb mimicking a gun’s hammer.

Today, he has been invited to a casting call of which includes using a 1968 Convertible Firebird 400 for Johnny Depp’s upcoming movie ‘Black Mass.’ Coller had previously attended a casting call hosted by the producers in April. This is not his first attempt at being an extra or being on film. He is renowned expert on truth and deception and has been featured on many radio and television shows. Upon arriving, Coller is greeted at the entrance to the parking lot adjacent to the Port Hole Pub Located in Lynn, MA.

Quickly the producers begin to strategically place vintage cars throughout the parking lot in an attempt to make it look as a day of regular business. Breakfast was then prepared by a catering company and then the monotony commenced. This day would turn out to be fifteen hours of boredom. “Other than enjoying the Hollywood set and watching the filming of a potentially an upcoming blockbuster, it was pure torture,” Coller exclaimed. “The one scene filmed twenty times will probably be ‘three minutes’ of moviegoer viewing time.”

Although the casting company requested the drivers to dress in clothes  that represented the 70’s era, none were asked to partake in filming. The only ‘Extras’ involved in selected scenes were the SAG individuals. They are union Screen Actors Guild Extras that according to Coller were like “day camp kids running around like they were waiting for their first ride on the roller coaster at Canobie Lake.”

Lunch was prepared with a modest selection of meat and fish. Other than the Extras placed at the “bottom of the serving and pecking order” it was a comfortable setting and delicious. A small annoyance was the Assistant Producers treatment of the Extras. Coller felt it was “condescending and childish like treatment.” He then joked that these individuals were grumpy because “they just finished their late shift at their local fast food drive thru then had to come here for fifteen hours.”

As the day progressed, the sun rose and the heat intensified, still no sign of Johhny Depp and his entourage. At approximately 4:00 PM Coller went to the rear exit and proceeded outside with a bottle of water. From the boat yard behind the restaurant he noticed a young woman and a man with a white tee shirt walking towards him holding hands at a quick pace passing the open gates adjoining the two properties. Immediately, Coller noticed that the male individual was an identical image of Whitey Bulger and the woman was Amanda Heard, Depp’s girlfriend. Both passed Coller within a foot from him. That was his brush with stardom.

When asked by this writer who the most influential person he has ever met during his high profile cases, radio and television appearances, his recent four weeks of travel to California and the making of a pilot for his hopefully upcoming reality show was? Coller quipped “the man I see in the mirror every morning.”