The ominous-looking fliers went up several days before the blessed event was taking place on June 8. As the flier showed, the movie would feature Kate Winslet (ohh!) and directed by her husband Sam Mendes. The movie is based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates. The flier failed to mention other co-stars, such as the leading man. You may have heard of him, an up-and-comer who I think has real potential -- Leonardo DiCaprio, who would be making a triumphant return to the East Village, where he shot parts of The Basketball Diaries in late 1993 and early 1994.
Anyway, as the week went on, more and more equipment was assembled around Tompkins Square Park. This thing promised to hog up most of Avenue B between 6th Street and 10th Street. Plus the north side of 7th Street between Avenue A and C. (Good lord, where would people heading to Le Souk this Friday night park!)
I chatted up some poor bastard who had to sit there in a folding chair and guard a truck. Turned out they were only filming interior shots at 295 E. 8th St. at Avenue B. That regal-looking building on the other side of the street from St. Brigid's was erected in 1887. It was known as Newsboys' and Bootblacks' Lodging House as well as Tompkins Square Lodging House for Boys and Industrial School, Children's Aid Society. Parts of Jim Sheridan's movie In America were filmed there a few years back too.
Anyway, after all that, the filming wasn't as disruptive as I thought. (I'm open to horror stories, please.) In fact, it was pretty mellow, as least what I saw of it. No obnoxious PAs barring residents from their homes or sidewalks, etc. No screaming fans looking to mob Leo (guess that's why his name wasn't on the flier). It was a pleasant change of pace from some of the other obnoxious shoots around the Park. The movie comes out here on Dec. 26.
Earlier on EV Grieve:
Why the East Village will be a mess tonight and tomorrow
Bob Arihood shows how Cupid disrupted the neighborhood, particularly the business at Ray's. (Neither More Nor Less)