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Stonington OKs permit for Streep movie to shoot

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: The Day

Published July 19. 2011 4:00AM
Filming in borough could occur from Sept. 26 to Oct. 11

Stonington - The Board of Warden and Burgesses on Monday approved the permit needed to film parts of the upcoming movie, "Great Hope Springs," in the borough this fall.

Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell will star in the $30 million movie with a plot revolving around a couple whose 30-year marriage is getting a little stale, Ronnie Kupferwasser, the movie's location manager, told the board Monday night.

"Streep's character becomes unhappy and looks for ways to feel better about herself and her search leads to a book written by a doctor (Carell)," Kupferwasser said.

The couple then retreats to a small town in Maine where the doctor resides to attend intensive therapy sessions. Parts of the borough, which will depict the Maine town, have the "charming" look Kupferwasser was aiming for.

Part comedy, part drama, Kupferwasser said the movie's schedule isn't final yet, but crews are looking to film from Sept. 26 to Oct. 11. He said a day's filming typically lasts 12 to 14 hours.

During the filming, roughly 80 to 100 people will be in the borough working on the movie.

Scenes in the borough are slated to be shot Along Water Street, at the Old Lighthouse Museum, a home on Church and Orchard streets, and three restaurants: Skipper's Dock, Water Street and Noah's.

Members of the board and some residents questioned the logistics of closing streets and rerouting traffic during the filming.

Earlier Monday, Warden Paul Burgess, Chief of Police J. Darren Stewart and Capt. Jerry Desmond met to discuss security for the movie.

Burgess said the meeting covered "a number of police issues, closing streets, parking, support vehicles, and coordination."

"The police have experience having done this with 'Mystic Pizza,' so they seem fairly comfortable handling something like this," Burgess said.

Michael Blair, who served as warden from 1987-92, said the chance of having another motion picture filmed in Stonington should be looked at as a positive. Blair was warden when parts of "Mystic Pizza" were filmed in the borough in 1987.

"I felt that it was something very positive and the thing that caught my attention was that a lot of the kids who are very much into movies, got an opportunity to see the process of making a movie," Blair said. "It's positive for kids and it's a positive for adults."

j.hanckel@theday.com

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