It might be the sleepiest street in the quietest corner of this low-key town 30 miles
south of Boston. But Hollywood came to Curve Street, setting up camp in a cornfield at
the end of a dusty dirt road.
It was high-octane Hollywood, too: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, fake plane wreckage
from a fictional jetliner crash, and a staged explosion expected to shoot flames and a
mushroom cloud of smoke 200 feet into the air.
Needless to say, Chris Sprague, a 13-year-old Curve Street resident, was taking a lot of
calls from his friends.
“They want to come and have a sleepover for the next two days,’’ he said.
Given the fat Massachusetts tax incentives that have recently lured a steady stream of
Hollywood talent, celebrity sightings in the suburbs have become almost everyday fare:
Sandra Bullock’s car is hit by a drunk driver in Gloucester. Adam Sandler chows down at
the Hamilton House of Pizza. Martin Scorsese takes over an old mill in Taunton.
Add the plans to build a Hollywood East megacomplex in Plymouth, and the day may
come when movie crews and starlets don’t warrant a second glance.
In Bridgewater - at least on Curve Street, where residents lingered in yards and on
porches - that day had not yet come. Christine Sprague, Chris’s mother, said she was
keeping a close eye on the set through her kitchen window, and planned to stay up
past her normal bedtime tonight to take pictures of the fireball slated to light up her
Elsewhere in the town of 25,000, enthusiasm for the movie shoot was muted by the
cinch-tight security around the set and surrounding neighborhood. Streets in the area
were closed to all but resident traffic, and police stood sentry, quizzing drivers. There
was no place to gather and gawk, and for almost everyone except the Bridgewater
firefighters who will help extinguish the staged blaze tonight, no chance of seeing the
Still, some dared to dream.
“If Tom Cruise came and ate here, he’d come back again,’’ boasted an exuberant, red-
haired Ronald Ferrone, draping slices of American cheese atop a hot steak sub at his
Bedford Street takeout stand, Sonny’s Hot Dog.
Two pyrotechnics experts from Los Angeles, in town to work on the movie, had already
stopped by for pastrami sandwiches, he said.
Officials with 20th Century Fox have released few details about the movie, an “action
comedy’’ scheduled for release next summer and known, mysteriously, as the “Untitled
Wichita Project.’’ According to the Hollywood Reporter, its plot follows “a lonely woman
whose seemingly harmless blind date turns her life upside down when a superspy takes
her on a violent worldwide journey.’’
In recent weeks, the movie’s crew has taken over
Gaslight brasserie in the South End and the
Worcester Regional Airport, which was reportedly
used as a stand-in for the Wichita, Kan., airport,
with props including imported copies of that city’s
Wichita’s mayor, Carl Brewer, said yesterday that he
was doubtful the essence of his city could be
captured in Massachusetts. He urged filmmakers to
reconsider, and said he would be glad to show them
around the real Wichita - the largest city in Kansas
with 361,000 people, and the self-styled “aviation capital of the world,’’ where the
largest employers are Boeing, Cessna, and Raytheon Aircraft.
“It’s not too late,’’ he said.
The mayor’s administrative assistant, Becky Fields, was looking on the bright side.
“At least it’s Boston,’’ she mused. “It could be a whole lot worse. It could be Des
Moines, Iowa. We should probably be flattered.’’
A source close to the film production said the reasons for choosing the cornfield in
Bridgewater included its size and the maturity of its crop.
Cranberry farmer Stan Kravitz, chairman of the Bridgewater Board of Selectmen, said he
expects the town to take in as much as $150,000 in exchange for its participation,
including $40,000 to compensate the Fire Department, additional payments for police
details, and a donation to the town’s senior center, which was used as a base camp
away from the set.
Kravitz said he could not recall Bridgewater playing a similar role since shots of
Bridgewater state prison were used in a movie about the Boston Strangler.
“I’m just enjoying seeing the town have fun,’’ he said. “It could all still end up on the
cutting room floor.’’
Plane wreck in Bridgewater corn field
by Roland Hansen
|Delta Films - Movie News
with a local focus