I worked on this movie this week. I can't say too much about it but Wednesday I was in every scene except for one. I played a NASA employee. In a few of the scenes I was right in the action. I had to wear really bad 1970's clothes and shoes and they glued big sideburns on me...
Published: November 29, 2007
Star-struck in North Andover;
Town hosts makers of Cameron Diaz movie
A worker from a film crew breaks for lunch. The film crew has transformed a building in the former Lucent Technologies facility in North Andover into a 1970"s era Richmond, Va., police station and a NASA office. TIM JEAN/Staff Photo
By Drake Lucas, Staff writer
NORTH ANDOVER - "Are you in the movie?"
That was the question of the day at Osgood Landing yesterday, where filming started for Cameron Diaz's latest film, "The Box."
Vast, vacant space once used by Lucent Technologies has been transformed into movie sets depicting a NASA research laboratory and a Richmond, Va., police station during the 1970s.
Curious workers at Osgood Landing offices walked through to peek at the sets and try to catch a glimpse of the stars, including "Enchanted" actor James Marsden.
"Is she here?" they asked, meaning Diaz. No one would say for sure.
This is the second film to come to North Andover in a little more than a year. "The Game Plan" starring Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, filmed at Lawrence Municipal
Airport last year.
"It sounds like we are starting to be a little nexus," said Town Manager Mark Rees. He said both the wide open space at Osgood Landing and the quaint Old Center would be good spots for filming, something he said goes through the state. "Certainly we want to work with them to keep North Andover on the map for Hollywood-type stuff," he said.
Ellen Keller, vice president of commercial real estate for Osgood Landing, said a couple of commercials have also been filmed at the sprawling 1.5 million-square-foot complex. "Why not?" she said. "The space can be used for so many things."
The site is listed on Web sites where location scouts search for places to film.
"I always thought this place would be perfect for that. We should get more movies to come here," said Selectman Rosemary Smedile as she toured the set yesterday with Rees, police Chief Richard Stanley, Lt. John Carney and Community Development Director Curt Bellavance. Stanley stood on the set of the 1970s Richmond police station and nodded. "Looks like home," he said, referring to the Main Street police station that he has been trying to upgrade for decades. He said his police station could have been used for the set instead.
"The Box" is a mystery, described on the IMDB Web site as a movie about a troubled married couple who find a small wooden box on their doorstep. They open it and become instantly wealthy. What they don't know is the box also kills someone they don't know.
Silence was enforced on the set as the film crew and spectators yesterday watched Marsden rehearse a scene at the NASA office where his character works. His character is married to Diaz's character.
Bellavance said many workers at the town office spent their lunch breaks watching filming, or at least have taken a quick walk through the sets.
Actors and extras were easily recognizable in their '70s-era plaid pants and Burt Reynolds-style mustaches as compared with observers tiptoeing around the set. Filming is scheduled to continue through Friday.
"It's amazing to see this happening," said Bernadette Curran, Community Development administrative assistant who was headed in to look at the sets with her 12-year-old daughter, Melissa. "Nothing like this happens in North Andover usually," she said.
Other workers in the building said they didn't even realize the sets were being put up until today because the building is so big. Sherri Foy, who works at Access, which does business to business telemarketing, said she saw a sign last week that said "Extras," but she didn't realize what it was about. When she saw a sign today that said "Crew," she knew something was going on. "I'm star-struck," said Foy of Andover after walking through the sets. "This is so exciting."
Rose Aiello of Hampstead, N.H., and Shirley Coutu of Windham, N.H., just happened to pick yesterday to stop by and see the building, once Western Electric, where
they used to work. "Are you in the movie?" they asked as people came into the lobby to take breaks. They said they were surprised they could just walk in - something they couldn't do when they worked there. They were sad to see the building had so much empty space, but were still interested in the movie.
"It's going to be some sci-fi film," Aiello said. "We're going to look out for it," Coutu said.