Normally you have to go to LA for star gazing, but this week, the stars will be in Gainesville.
Film crews should begin arriving in Gainesville today to prepare to shoot a scene at the local Days Inn for an upcoming film starring Owen Wilson.
While Wilson is not scheduled to make an appearance in the Poultry Capital of the World, his co-star, Christina Applegate, will.
The two actors are starring in “Hall Pass,” an upcoming film written by the Farrelly brothers about a man whose wife gives him the opportunity to have an extramarital affair after their relationship becomes boring.
Applegate will shoot a scene for the film Friday at the Days Inn, and a Gainesville tourism official said it may be the first time the city’s ever been this involved in the making of a Hollywood film.
Ron Hahne, manager of the Days Inn on Queen City Parkway, said film crews have rented all the rooms around the hotel’s pool on the upper and lower level.
They will shoot one scene, starring Christina Applegate and a college baseball team, Friday evening at the pool, said Tracy Whitmire of Gainesville’s communications and tourism office.
The scene may also include actress Alyssa Milano, but no one’s been able to confirm that detail.
“But we know Christina will literally be swimming in the pool — she’ll be part of this pool party (scene) at the hotel,” Whitmire said.
The local hotel was chosen from about 85 locations because it has a “New England look,” Hahne said. The film is set in Providence, Rhode Island.
“I guess that’s what we look like,” Hahne said. “We have a pool area that’s very open, and that’s what they were looking for — an open area for doing a pool scene and something in the room, I guess. They said ‘you guys are very movie friendly,’ and here we are.”
Whitmire has been working with executives with the film, helping them find security, catering and parking.
She said filming could affect traffic for brief periods on Queen City Parkway and that city officials may have to close a portion of Banks Street for the filming Friday. If the street is closed, only the section between Queen City Parkway and Jesse Jewell should be affected, Whitmire said.
Also, the scene will be shot in the evening, and any road closure likely will have little impact on traffic, Whitmire said.
“All of that is in the works right now,” she said. “Nothing is confirmed officially right now.”
The inconveniences could bring a payout, though, in terms of economic impact, Whitmire said.
As crews begin moving into the area today, they likely will spend their money.
“They don’t ask for anything for free, so when they want to use a facility or they want to use a parking lot, they are willing to pay for that or rent that,” Whitmire said. “... Anything that they do here is something that impacts the community.”
And while their spending may not make a long-term financial impact, the film crews’ actions will. Whitmire said the Farrelly brothers’ “Hall Pass” is likely the first movie to cast Gainesville in even a supporting role.
The film’s writers and directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, are known for comedies such as “There’s Something about Mary,” “Kingpin” and “Dumb and Dumber.” And with the synopsis for “Hall Pass,” it’s likely Gainesville’s first foray into film may not be an entirely wholesome one, either.
“We don’t want to show the entire risque side perhaps of this scene in our small town Gainesville, but we’re nonetheless proud that it’s taking place here,” Whitmire said. “...This will be a first for the city.”