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Triangle extras get moment in Firth, Heche limelight

Posted November 9, 2011

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— Filming for a movie starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt and Emmy nominee Anne Heche brought crowds, cameras and commotion to downtown Raleigh Wednesday.

Dewey Bennett and Devon Semler were there for all the action. Unlike other Triangle residents who peeked onto Fayetteville Street in front of the First Citizens Bank, hoping to catch a little glimpse of Hollywood, these Durham residents weren't merely star-gazing.

They're extras.

"I got here at 7 in the morning and I don't know when we're leaving," Semler said.

Movie set attracts crowds to downtown Raleigh Movie set attracts crowds to downtown Raleigh

The work is repetitive – they walked back and forth in the background while movie couple Firth and Heche got into a fight by a hot dog stand. The scene, which will take up about three minutes of "Arthur Newman, Golf Pro," will take most of the day to shoot.

But Semler, who is out of work and responded to the casting call on a whim, said it's worth it.

The filming then headed to Morgan Street near the Capitol and Nash Square across from City Hall. It continues Thursday in Durham before taking off for the North Carolina coast.

Filmmakers paid the City of Raleigh $774 for 86 parking spaces and hired eight police officers for traffic control.

Several roads were closed to accommodate the movie making.

Ten cities in the state are being used in the film: Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wallace, Fairmont, Lumberton and Graham. Films that spend over $250,000 to shoot in North Carolina get a 25 percent tax credit, but the North Carolina Film Commission said it's worth it to bring revenue to the area.

The commission estimates that hotel and food costs will bring about $7 million to state, plus the crew spending about $50,000 in each city.

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  • common tater Nov 10, 2011

    Good one NoWayyyyy... don't know how that basket-case still gets movie roles.

  • dwntwnboy Nov 10, 2011

    Glad Hollywood brought some of their money to our city!! Bring some more!!!

  • tasorr Nov 9, 2011

    That is my Aunt, Cricket Ellis in 2nd photo with Colin Firth! She not only acts she has written a couple of GREAT shorts Curvature and Southern Visitation! I am so proud of her!! She truly is a great person and She is a local!!! She has shown me it takes true Dedication so don't give up! Go after your dreams ya'll!

  • duwanna50 Nov 9, 2011

    Still filming in Nash Square now, Emily Blunt is there. It took over 4 hrs. to shoot one scene this am, but fun to be able to see a bit of it.

  • Big Daddy Cain Nov 9, 2011

    I hate I missed the casting call for extras. Where do you find it? I was an extra in a dale earnhardt movie a few years ago and it was fun.

    They only looked for extras at the Democratic school board meetings and preppy places on Glenwood South.

  • NoWayyyyy Nov 9, 2011

    oh gosh - i thought that was a photo of anne heche.....i knew she looked a lot different in the movies!!! geez.....scary....

  • CherryDarling Nov 9, 2011

    The earlier story said it was Emily Blunt. I'd make an effort to see her and/or Colin Firth... Anne Heche? Uhm, no.

    http://www.wral.com/entertainment/blogpost/10349274/

  • yo eleven Nov 9, 2011

    I hate I missed the casting call for extras. Where do you find it? I was an extra in a dale earnhardt movie a few years ago and it was fun.

  • lauraleigh Nov 9, 2011

    I wish Firth were filming near Pinehurst. :(

  • americaneel Nov 9, 2011

    how exciting...wake me up when it's over

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