"Locked in the Bathroom"

This story is from Joel's sister, Chantelle. This story happened on the set of Super 8 while filming in L.A.

The Time When Joel Got Locked In His Bathroom

Joel spent four months on set filming Super 8; one month in Weirton, WV, and three months in LA. There were many exciting, embarrassing, and crazy happenings while Joel filmed Super 8, and I thought I should share some of them.

The story that stands out to me the most was while the kids were filming the train wreck. Joel had finished his dinner and went to his trailer to put on his costume. He went into his bathroom and the doorknob broke. He jiggled the doorknob, he slammed against the door, he tried to take the doorknob off, he yelled. But the door remained stubbornly closed. He was locked inside his bathroom.

So he tried something else, a last ditch effort. He climbed onto the bathroom counter, and opened the retractable vent. It was not big enough for him to climb through, but he could stick his head out the top of the trailer. And that's what he did. He looked around for help and caught the eye of his make up lady. He kindly and calmly said, "Um, Deborah, I'm stuck. Would you please help me?" At that moment the base camp manager, Carey, saw Joel's head poking out the top of his trailer. She, being in charge of Joel's safety, demanded, "Joel! What the heck are you doing?!!" Joel answered, "I'm stuck. Would you help me, please?" Carey yelled, "Don't you dare move or I swear..." She ran into his trailer and started pulling on the door. But it would not open.

At this point the other boys had heard that Joel was locked in his bathroom. They dashed into his trailer and one of them yelled, "Dude! You locked yourself in your bathroom?!" Joel yelled back, "NO!! The doorknob broke!" The boys stared yelling out helpful suggestions like, "try jiggling the doorknob" and "throw all your weight against the door." Joel rolled his eyes but to humor them, tried again. The door still would not open.  Ryan started hyperventilating, because he gets claustrophobic, and was really worried about Joel and asked, "Dude, are you okay? Just breath, man. Just breath." Joel, trying to calm Ryan down, said, "I'm fine, Ryan, I'm just fine." Then Joel's teacher and several of the moms piled into his trailer, all concerned about Joel and yelling out suggestions. Three maintenance men and 20 minutes latter, the doorknob came off and the door swung open.

Unfortunately, I missed the whole thing. I was eating dinner. But as I headed back to the trailer, Carey stopped me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Chantelle, I just wanted to tell you that Joel was locked in his bathroom for about 20 minutes." My jaw dropped. She continued, reassuring me, "he's fine, he's fine. I sent him to hair and makeup. But I thought you should know..." She was embarrassed and concerned about Joel. I think she thought he might need therapy after such a "traumatic" experience.

Carey's arm was still on my shoulder when Joel came around the corner. I looked at him, mouth still open, and he looked at me. I broke into a huge grin and said, "You got locked in your bathroom?!!" And Joel said, "I know!!" And we both burst out laughing. Carey thought we were crazy. We laughed all the way to set. And we laughed on set when the boys teased Joel about being a diva actor and locking himself in his bathroom, refusing to come out for 20 minutes.

Poor Joel. He'll never forget being locked in his bathroom - mostly because we won't let him forget. But also because only a week after he returned home he got locked in a A&W bathroom and the store manager had to open the broken door.

I'd tell him to avoid bathrooms but that's not really a realistic or desirable option.

Joel Courtney