27 year-old Jason Fitzsimmons grew up hearing stories of how certain celebrities may have faked their own deaths. From Elvis to Andy Kaufman, from John F. Kennedy to Tupac, Fitzsimmons became fascinated.
“A lot of my friends called it an obsession,” explains Fitzsimmons. “I would always talk about how cool it would be to fake death and come back later on saying, ‘Gotcha!’”
When he was 21 years old Fitzsimmons moved from Wausau, Wisconsin to Los Angeles, California to pursue his dream of becoming an extra in motion pictures and television. Extras are actors who usually have no lines and can be seen in the background of scenes in movies and TV shows. “It’s a living,” says Fitzsimmons, whose credits include Gossip Girl, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Big Momma’s Like Father, Like Son. “That one was my favorite. My foot is in a shot for exactly twenty-three seconds!”
On March 24, 2012 Fitzsimmons decided that he was an established enough actor to fake his death.
“A guy walked up to me on set that morning and said Jason was dead,” recalls Jennifer Bonnett, a 23 year-old aspiring actress. “I didn’t know who he was or what he was talking about, but I just said, ‘Sorry to hear it.’”
“When I told that chick about me dying – it was priceless!” exclaims Fitzsimmons. “The next day I went back up to her and said, ‘I’m actually Jason!’ It was great! I did what few people have ever done… and got away with it!”
You can see Jason Fitzsimmons and Jennifer Bonnett in the 2013 release of Austin Powers 4.