Fan Encounters and Sightings
- Dear Murph:
There is something very important that visitors to your web site should know: Contrary to the reports you have been receiving, some of the CM crew is not very friendly or professional.
In fact, the individuals that are closest to Russel Crowe are outright hostile and very rude and I had the displeasure of this experiencing this first hand.
When fans of your work make the effort to come and see you, when fans such as ourselves ask for permission and show the greatest amount of respect and courtesy for you and your work, you do not tell them to "GET OUT THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY" in a public venue, full of people both crew and non-crew alike, who are entering and exiting as if it were they were at a friend's place after the shoot for the day had wrapped.
These are the words of one of Russel's closest assistants, and I think it is wrong. If you believe in fairness of opinion, I hope you will let vistors and fans of your web site know about this, so they don't have to go through the same experience. Clearly, fans who love the work of this team, who love movies like CM and A Beautiful Mind are not welcome.
Thank you for listening. - J.D.
churchlady: Went by the set about 10pm. Stood on Yonge Street end of Richmond.
The whole street was blocked off and we arrived in time to see the last
of the period cars turn up. What an amazing collection of vehicles! It
looked like the Dearborn MI museum.
First of all, they had all the lights on the "Gardens" lit up and on the shopfronts. It looked magical. The extras who were being cameramen with the old flashbulb cameras were having lessons on how they worked. And the traffic was stopped as a line of cars pulled in. One of the yellow cabs stalled in the intersection much to amusement of the onlookers. They gave it a push and it got going again in a cloud of smoke. They had two very old Toronto streetcars from the TTC dressed up like the 3rd avenue trolley cars (hooray Toronto for keeping those!). And they had variety of older Model-T type cars and open sided trucks. Some very flash looking newer cars with correct license plates. The street was packed like a busy traffic filled New York street. There were lots of extras, mostly men, dressed in various suits and hats to look richer or poorer. I only saw one woman, in a very nice red dress with her hair done up very nicely.
It seemed to take them ages to get organised. And during the wait one of the extras came over and asked if anyone had questions. So I grilled him on the movie. He was young, his first extra job, he was from Thunder Bay and was playing a bookie and had been working on the film for months. He had been at ML Gardens and was mostly standing behind Russell in his corner during the fight scenes. He said Russell was lovely to work with, very dedicated and professional. They would do lots of rehearsal and then shoot a scene. He said it was going slowly because Ron Howard was just as much a perfectionist as Russell and they were making it really accurate in terms of the fight scenes. They have done most of the big fight scenes but kept moving from place to place from week to week. He didn't understand why they kept doing that but he figures Ron knows what he wants. It is very hot and unpleasant inside the ML Gardens because "it smells of pee and the air circulation equipment is old and doesn't work". The building has been abandoned really for years so not surprising.
He said he was freaked by the blow up dummies they are using in the crowd scenes. He'd never been in front of a crowd like that and when he walked out the first time, he had stage fright and then realised they weren't real people watching him. They will tart that up in CGI but they do look real from a distance. And they were mostly in the back of the crowd so not sure how much they would be in the scenes.
He loved the attention of the crowd and was very funny. He told us a story of making Russell laugh by cracking a joke. His sister had told him to tell Russell "he could package his farts and sell them and make a fortune". He actually told the joke to Russell who laughed hard and picked up his seat and said "here's my stool, mate, make some money!". Ha ha. That seemed to impress him that he was so cool about it. The extra said Renee was a lovely person and really nice, very concentrated on her work but happy to chat and hang out when not working. They are all talking Oscar among the extras, since the more experienced say they haven't been in something this big and expensive with such detail before.
The crowd were very interested in the film, and my Mum who was with me, told everyone who came and asked all about the movie and when it was coming out. I think she pre-sold about 20 tickets last night. And I didn't have to say anything! Have I been going on about it that much that even she knows the detail???
Finally, they came and dragged him away, and they got started. There seemed to be a bit of rehearsal and then about 11pm there was the yell of "Rolling!" and the background got moving in front of the building. They milled around and then flashbulbs went off with the sound of cheering and clapping. It looked like it was after the fight when Braddock comes out. I think I caught a glimpse of Russell in a suit and hat, taller than the rest, but it was brief. They did that a few times with different angles and there were long gaps in between where the very tired extras sat on the sidewalk.
They had a machine with a hose that made it look like steam coming out of the grates from the sidewalk in that New York way. I couldn't see much because the awning for the "Gardens" was half way down the street. I watched until about midnight and then we went home.
The extra said that the day had been very long so far, he'd been going since 8am and it was really hot at the Royal York/Park Plaza set earlier since they are all dressed in warm winter clothes. He said they'd be working until the end of August and maybe even early September. They would be back at the ML Gardens later and would be shooting again at the fake Gardens again.
The crew had t-shirts with the Maple Leafs symbol on them and "Shooting at the Shrine Cinderella Man 2004" on the back. The guy in charge of keeping the people from taking pictures was cool at the beginning but you knew when Russell had arrived because he got all stroppy about it. Though he laughed when someone remarked that well, we all had photos already.
And the Knitting
Story does not die!!! A woman in the crowd asked the extra if he knew
if Russell knitted.....I said no, he doesn't. She said she'd read it
in the paper and did the extra ever see him knit? He laughed and said
no he didn't think he did. Will that story ever go away??? I got a good
laugh out of it though. She seemed quite sure he did though.
Images for this account HERE [ed note: no Russell. Account edited with Helga's permission]
my third try to catch some TCM filming. I had been to the Distillery
District and came up empty. Another day I went to the Maple Leaf Gardens
location and was lucky in a way that Russ was there, but I didn't see
him, only heard him talking in his trailer and some soft music playing.
It was around lunch time and I guess Russ was having a break. But I
was happy just to be close and hear him:-) [Helga adds this note:
"I just want to clarify that anyone could have heard him within
earshot - I was just walking by and happen to hear him. He does have
a distinctive voice you know - and he wasn't exactly whispering. I don't
eavesdrop on anyone.]
I'm a fan of the site, great to see all this Cinderella Man and related info on there. As you no doubt know, they are filming an exterior scene recreation of Madison Square in TO.
Murph, are you Torontonian? If not, I'm sure readers of your site would love to hear the reaction of the public who were on location.
There was great excitement among the crowd, as the vintage 1930's Yellow Cabs and vehicles rolled onto location. Lot's of people in the crowd commented that it was like travelling back into the 1930's, the set and location looked so authentic.
The crowd was so
happy and excited, they had never seen anything like it.
I hope this is useful for the site, keep up the good work and keep us up to date on Cinderella Man!
|More to come|