"They had cast someone else and lost them late in the process," Mark says. "I think T. Max Graham [a Kansas City actor also in the film] turned [Stock and Spiva] on to us."
Soon they were whisked to San Jose, California, to play the harried parents of three on the day of a massive garage sale. The movie seems to take place in real time while the family deals with the early birds and Felliniesque oddballs who appear on their driveway. The film's tension is induced by cutaways to newspaper headlines about a garage-sale robber on the loose. "The set was the director's home, and our kids were played by his and the producer's kids," Mark recalls. "Everybody knew everybody except us."
For seven days, twelve hours a day, the McCarthys were able to compare the low-budget independent shoot with their roles in other feature films and TV movies. Hollis, who worked for three weeks on the new Sam Mendes film The Road to Perdition -- where her costars included Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law -- says the bigger budgets "allow more depth and more attention to detail." Shooting Perdition, she says, "we spent one whole week on one scene. And the food's a little better, like smoked salmon for breakfast. I ate constantly. Though I was a tiny cog in a huge machine, it was fascinating to watch."
The McCarthys are in nearly every scene of Garage Sale. "We had done smaller but decent roles in other films," Mark says. "Here, we were all over every [script] page. The other difference was, on bigger shoots, there's the keeping alert and awake while you're waiting. Here, there was none of that -- we shot a scene and then moved right on."
Asked what they miss about Kansas City, Hollis says, "Our friends mostly. Shooting pool. And barbecue."