One of the most amazing things about this night is that it almost didn’t happen. After a trip to the wrong set on the wrong day, I was in my car, driving home in defeat, when my phone started buzzing and ringing, lighting up like a Christmas tree. It was good news. Very good news. My fellow set soldiers were given location information from a Cosmopolis crew member and told me which exit I should take. Well wouldn’t you know… that was the next exit. I like “signs” that things are meant to be. This was a good one, also it was literally a sign, so I didn’t get lost!
This set was gritty. No magnificent columns or upscale eatery here. It was car repair shops, a row of them, with the garage they would use for filming in the middle. The limo was there in all its graffiti’d glory and there were a lot of NYC cabs parked on the street. There was a park across the street and fans were allowed to observe from behind the tape line.
While we were waiting, we chatted quietly amongst ourselves and with the police officers assigned to the set. There were a lot more officers than at previous sets and I wondered about it; the crowd wasn’t much larger than usual. It was much later when I found out why there was a larger police presence. #cryptic
I was really happy to see Cait Cronenberg again because I had a gift for her and David Cronenberg. She loved the Nancy Babich shirt and we had a quick talk about filming and the blog before parting. A few minutes later, Cait came looking for me! She introduced me to line producer/production manager Joe Boccia and then blew my mind. The shirts were a hit! Mr Boccia asked if he could have one and I was SO happy I’d brought extras. It was very exciting to hear that he’s been following our blog. He was impressed with how often we posted and the enthusiasm surrounding the film. David Cronenberg’s assistant (I had a shirt for her too. I was like the Oprah Winfrey of NB shirts) waved me over to tell me that he was changing into the Nancy Babich shirt. WOW. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Many times during these set experiences I’ve wished Tink and M were with me. This was definitely one of those times. Moments later, Mr. Cronenberg made his way to set, wearing the shirt which he quickly flashed to a round of applause from the crowd.
We made our way back to the park so we could see the part of the set where filming would happen. This was the scene where Eric says goodbye to his chauffeur before the limo goes into the garage for the night.
Rob arrived and oh my, Eric had really fallen apart. His shirt was not only untucked but half unbuttoned. I couldn’t see his hair closely enough to see the haircut but I knew it had happened. He and the limo driver, Ibrahim, both sat in the front of the limo and they began filming the first take.
Close call on the set alert! The limo bumped into one of the set lights and it fell over… guess who swooped in, saving the day, er night, and the light? Dean.
Let’s talk about the scene. It involved the limo driving forward, toward the garage. Both men get out of the car. Eric is deep in thought and Ibrahim walks to him. They embrace and then Ibrahim leaves to take the limo into the garage. Filming was interrupted a few times by very loud trains passing right behind the set. One take was filmed as a train approached… it will be interesting to see if it makes the film and if you can tell.
There were many takes of this scene, maybe eight, which was unusual. You could see the difference in each one though; the pause before the embrace was different, the hug was altered each time. That was cool to see. (Note: Mr. Boccia, if you happen to read this we would love to know the name of the actor playing Ibrahim. )
They were done with this scene and the actors left for a break. Here is where we had an epic moment. David Cronenberg came over so I could take a picture of him in the Nancy Babich shirt. This was so awesome… he directed me. That’s how I’m telling it! He mentioned the low light and concern for my camera’s ability to get the image. So I used my flash and got a good “directed by Cronenberg” photo.
There was a loooooong wait at this point. I made some new friends *waves* and crotcheted a whole blanket #notreally. Earlier, I had seen Mr. Cronenberg with some crew testing out a gun prop, they fired it twice. It wasn’t very loud but it set off a lot of smoke. I had an aha moment: there were going to be gunshots and that’s why there were so many police. They radio’d “shot” warnings to the police each time, saying how many shots would be fired as a public safety precaution.
The shot was set up and Rob returned to set. He rehearsed the scene a few times and then, after a short break, was back to film. His demeanor was a bit different from other filming days, tense and really focused. While waiting for the cameras to roll he was jumping up and down like an athlete does before competing. The scene was quick. A shot is fired at Eric, shattering the window of the cab behind him. He drops but gets back up quickly. He hears someone yell his name and returns the fire with two shots. He then walks directly toward the danger. (Benno’s building, off screen)
This audio clip is from what I described above. One shot, a voice in the night (can you hear it? ;)), and two shots firing back.
Click HERE to view photos from that night now that you have a bit more context.
They shot this four times and this explained all the spare NYC cabs… they had to replace the cab with the shot out window after each take. The gunshots from Eric’s gun were really loud. I could hear the crew asking after the take if everyone’s ears were alright.
Filming wrapped up for the night and, as usual, the set came down quickly. A small group of fans waited for Rob, although at that late hour I was sure he would be too tired. I was amazed to see him smiling, crossing from his trailer in his street clothes to sign autographs. He is so kind and generous with fans. It’s a really incredible thing to see.
The Rob/birthday encounter plus a gallery of fan pictures after the cut!
Now, I’d already had an autograph from Rob so I stayed back and just took some photos. Earlier, some friends had told me I should ask anyway, because it was my birthday. So after everyone else had their turn I asked Rob for a Happy Birthday autograph. My new best friend, Steve, really set the next few moments in motion when he told Rob it was literally my birthday and asked if I could have a photo with him. Rob wished me a happy birthday and said, sure we could do a photo as my “gift”.
Best birthday ever.
There is video of the whole encounter from leaf_chick HERE. The next night, Rob was once again amazing with his fans, signing for approximately 60 people at 5:00 am after another night shoot. He makes it so easy to love him, doesn’t he? Even Steve is a little smitten.
Since the exterior shooting is over we’re going to have a little “Rob with fans” love-in. If you have a photo of Rob you’d like to share, send it in and we’ll add it. Like a little Cosmopolis Fans scrapbook! These photos are from June 6-8th via Robsessed, Steve_s2001, mrwillw, and the fuzzy Rob ones are from me.
This was my last set visit and I can’t believe how the stars aligned and made all these amazing things happen. I’m really grateful and I’ll never forget it. Thank you to all the set soldiers who have shared stories, videos and photos. You can find all the set reports in The Limo Trunk under the Set Analysts tab. I feel very lucky to have met so many of you!
Finally, thank you to the cast and crew of Cosmopolis for your graciousness and generosity with fans at the set. It was an amazing ride.
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