Raleigh police blocked streets and kept crowds at bay today as actors Colin Firth, Emily Blunt and Anne Heche made movie magic in downtown Raleigh.
Producers for Arthur Newman, Golf Pro filmed along Fayetteville Street in the morning and outside the News & Observer building on McDowell Street in the afternoon.
Several locals were engaged as extras, including the operator of a hot-dog cart for a scene in front of the First Citizens Bank on Fayetteville Street. In the film, the setting was supposed to be Orlando, Fla.
In the afternoon shot, Raleigh subbed for Terre Haute, Ind. The exterior of the N&O building, at 215 S. McDowell Street, was transformed into the Terre Haute Police Departments Central Precinct for the scene. The crew installed a new sign on the front of the building, added a police decal to the front door and parked a Terre Haute Police car out front.
Firth, who won the best actor Oscar this year for his starring role in The Kings Speech, was filmed with Blunt sitting at the entrance of Nash Square on McDowell Street. In another scene, Blunt walked out of the police department lobby, and crossing McDowell Street to meet the waiting Firth. Heche filmed with Firth on Fayetteville Street but was not in the McDowell scenes.
Arthur Newman, Golf Pro, directed by Dante Ariola, is described as a dark comedy about a man who is unhappy with his life and despised by his family. So he fakes his death and assumes a new identity in a new town. Blunts character is also running from her past, and the two of them begin breaking into empty homes pretending to be the absent owners.
Firth fans far outnumbered fans Blunt and Heche fans throughout the day.
Connie Crumpler and Bethany Schuelke both took half a vacation day from their jobs at Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company in Cary to stake out a spot near the filming. Both are big fans of Firths work as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice, which has a cult-like following.
Tricia Keipper of Wake Forest is also a dedicated Darcy fan. I have him photoshopped into my wedding pictures, she said, producing a photo of her and her husband with Firth as Mr. Darcy in the middle.
My husband thinks Im crazy, she said.
Arthur Newman, Golf Pro will film scenes at the N.C. School of Science and Math in Durham on Thursday. Other North Carolina movie locations include Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Currie, Wallace, Fairmont, Lumberton and Graham.