Friday, May 13, 2011

Hollywood comes to Chandler Street

While walking home from work tonight, I spotted a giant crane casting an ice-blue light down Chandler Street. Police kept a swelling crowd at bay, a guy in a hoodie sat in a director's chair, and giant fuzzy microphones were strategically placed along the street. And then the telltale sign: an Apple laptop sitting on the curb unattended. Yep, Hollywood had come to the South End!

The movie is "Ted," starring Mark Wahlberg. This is a comedy about a guy, John, who as a child wished that his teddy bear would come to life. Wish granted, the bear apparently causes some problems for John later on down the line. The movie is directed by Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy." It also stars, as John's love interest, "Black Swan" supporting actress Mila Kunis, whom I at first thought seemed creepily too young for Mark Wahlberg, but maybe that's because she looks young for her age (27), and he looks a bit old for his (39).

While writing this blog item, I also learned that Laura Vandervoort, whom I like because of "Smallville" and "V," is a cast member as well. I have been a fan of hers for a while (and was lucky enough to meet her last year at Trek Expo 2010), so that to me is the coolest thing about "Ted" so far.

Apparently, the cast and crew have also shot scenes in Swampscott, as well as other spots in Boston, including the Public Garden, Liberty Rent-A-Car on Tremont Street, and Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Avenue, where one of my co-workers spotted them last week, so I'm glad I'm now keeping up a bit. After getting an initial glimpse on my way home, I grabbed my dog, Grace, and we headed back to the area of filming, which was between Berkeley and Clarendon. All along that block, residents were sitting on their stoops nursing glasses of red wine and bottles of beer, snacking on Chex mix and other finger foods, while trying to get a glimpse of a star or some other movie magic.

One guy I chatted with said that he'd sighted Wahlberg earlier in the evening, but I didn't see anyone famous while I was there. The glitziest thing I saw was a beautiful red Mustang, but it wasn't clear to me whether it was part of the movie! Could have just belonged to some well-to-do South Ender.

Grace was a big hit with the crew and neighbors, which was nice. Unfortunately, all the commotion made her a bit nervous, so we came home, giving up an off-chance of spotting Vandervoort in lieu of watching her in the series finale of "Smallville," quite a landmark for us sci-fi junkies, or at least the few of us who have stuck it out with this show for 10 whole years!

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"West African Dark Blue Cloth" image is displayed courtesy of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University.