Last year, Jake Berv ’10 dedicated several days to searching for Uma Thurman when the star visited the Elm City to shoot “The Life Before Her Eyes .” And he wasn’t the only one: for a few days last September, Uma-mania swept the campus.
In stark contrast to the hype surrounding Thurman’s visit, the arrival of Robert DeNiro and Kate Beckinsale at Union Station this week has generated little word-of-mouth publicity among students.
The stars were at the station this week to shoot scenes for “Everybody’s Fine,” the newest film by director Kirk Jones, who also directed “Nanny McPhee” and “Waking Ned.”
“It was easy to find Uma,” said Cole Sickler ’10, who also went searching for the actress during her visit last year. “People just told me that Uma was coming, and that she was out on Chapel Street outside of Vanderbilt, so I went out to see her. But until now, I hadn’t even heard that DeNiro was coming here.”
This is, in fact, DeNiro’s second shooting in New Haven in less than a year. Last September, he visited the East Rock neighborhood to film scenes for “Righteous Kill,” to be released in September, in which the actor plays a New York City cop on the hunt for a serial killer who may be connected to a case that he thought he had closed years earlier.
This time, DeNiro plays a softer role: a father trying to reconnect with his children, according to a press release from Miramzax Films. A widower, DeNiro decides to embark on a journey to grow closer to each of his adult children, played by Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell. Along the way, he discovers that none of his children lives the life of perfection he had imagined. The film is a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore’s “STANNO TUTTI BENE.”
It has been a big year for movie-filming Connecticut, which has recently been dubbed “Hollywood East” by several major newspapers, including The New York Times. George Norfleet, film division director of the Connecticut Commission of Culture and Commission, said revenues from films have vastly increased ever since the Connecticut legislature passed a bill allowing a 30 percent tax credit to films costing over $50,000 produced in the state.
“We have already given back around $26 million in tax credits,” Norfleet said. The bill was enacted in July 2006, and since then, “The Life Before Her Eyes,” “Righteous Kill” and the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones saga have all been fully or partially shot in Connecticut.
Those concerned about traveling during the filming need lay their worries to rest: according to Jacey Taub, a publicist for the film, the trains will continue running as usual.
“No one will be inconvenienced,” Taub said, explaining that the set is closed. She declined to comment further on the shooting.