Uma Thurman flick shoots at Round Hill
(Greenwich Time, Dec 13, 2006, by Andrew Shaw)
The long, white train of Uma Thurman's bridal gown was the last thing to hit the ground as she raced out of the First Church of Round Hill sanctuary yesterday morning behind a crowd of wedding attendees. Her jilted lover, a fireman, arrived in front of the church on the ladder truck as the crew responded to a fire alarm Thurman had pulled inside.
The two met on the front lawn and kissed, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings—policemen directing traffic, paparazzi snapping photos of Thurman from the other side of Round Hill Road and the hundred or so members of the production crew working around them.
Thurman was filming a scene for "The Accidental Husband," scheduled to be released next year. Griffin Dunne is the director and Graham King is the executive producer for the movie that also stars Colin Firth, Isabella Rossellini, Sam Shepard and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
The interdenominational church was chosen as the setting for a wedding scene, and filming there will continue through tomorrow. A private home on Meadowcroft Lane was also used in the movie, according to movie officials, with most of that filming already completed.
For the Rev. Robert Walker, the church pastor, it was natural for producers to pair the movie with the church. "It's the quintessential New England-type church. We do a lot of weddings here, and that's what they wanted to film here," Walker said.
The romantic comedy focuses on Thurman's character, Emma, a radio talk show host who is preparing for her wedding. Emma's life is complicated by a man trying to get revenge because her relationship advice ruined his life. To block her planned nuptials, the man, played by Morgan, forges a wedding certificate so it appears she is already married—to him. As Emma confronts her fake husband, she becomes attracted to him and conflicted on who she should love—him or her fiance. The movie, by Yari Film Group, includes a scene in which Emma stops her wedding to the other man by pulling the fire alarm. But the crew was mum yesterday on how the film turns out.
Producers "originally wanted fire and water coming down on the actors in the church," but that wasn't acceptable to church trustees who want to protect the historical church founded in 1810, Walker said. "They'll have to do it by special effects."...
Church employees are enjoying the Hollywood atmosphere as well. Several were working at the nursery school down the hall from Thurman's dressing room and the sanctuary, giving them glimpses of the actors scurrying through the church on the way to a scene.
"It's tons of fun," said Mindy Dudley, director of the nursery school. She lent her soon-to-be-famous furniture to the production crew to use as set pieces. "That's the closest I'll come to show business."
Jeannine Williamson, a nursery school staff member, said her bid to get in front of the camera, just like her co-workers, was not to be—the only extras used are in an actors union. "We all offered to be extras," she said of herself, Dudley and Leigh Retzler, who were running the school in the rear section of the church. "I would have offered to let a fire truck run over my foot."
First Church of Round Hill was chosen for filming partly because it is located in Connecticut, where a tax credit that refunds 30 percent of production costs to entice movie crews to film in the state was approved this year, according to production designer Mark Ricker. That rebate also attracted the producers of Thurman's "In Bloom," shooting in Connecticut this year.
"The Accidental Husband" script has scenes in Manhattan and Queens, Ricker said, but they also needed a church to use for the wedding. With Connecticut's rebate in mind, location scouts searched Greenwich to find a church that fit the profile of Emma, who the storyline says grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. Some aspects of the Greenwich setting could be altered to fit the movie. The church's lawn sign is replaced with one that reads "First Church of Great Neck." The fire trucks that pulled up in front of the church were brought in from the real-life Great Neck Fire Department, movie officials said.
But what they couldn't easily replicate was a historic, intimate church that would reflect Emma's roots. Ricker said First Church of Round Hill only became a possibility near the end of the search. "We looked at a lot of churches. Some were too big, some were too busy. This one we didn't see until the very last minute," Ricker said. "A scout showed up one day and said, 'I've got one last church.'" It was exactly what they needed, Ricker went on. "It's the most perfect little church," he said. "It had a nice, contained size."
Walker thinks so, too, and he hopes the movie will get people talking about Round Hill. "We're off the beaten path in Greenwich, and a lot of people don't even know this church exists," he said. "It's a neat thing knowing that a lot of people, millions of people, will really see the beauty of this place."
Firth, Shepard hitched to 'Husband'
(The Hollywood Reporter, Nov 13, 2006, by Nicole Sperling)
Colin Firth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Sam Shepard have joined the cast of "The Accidental Husband," a romantic comedy starring Uma Thurman. The film, from Yari Film Group, Team Todd and Blum House, begins filming today in New York.
Isabella Rossellini, Lindsay Sloane ("The Stones") and Justina Machado ("Six Feet Under") also have been cast in the film to be directed by Griffin Dunne ("Practical Magic"). Bob Yari is producing along with Jennifer and Suzanne Todd and Jason Blum. Uma Thurman also is producing, and Brad Jenkel, Yari's head of production, will oversee the project.
The film revolves around Emma Lloyd (Thurman), a local talk radio host with a show about relationships. Firth will play her husband. When one of her listeners, Sofia (Machado) follows her advice and breaks up with her boyfriend (Morgan), a New York fireman, the boyfriend plans his revenge and sets Emma's life into crisis. Morgan is best known for his role as Denny Duquette on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy."
Firth recently wrapped production on two indie films, "Then She Found Me," directed by Helen Hunt, and "When Did You Last See Your Father" opposite Jim Broadbent and directed by Anand Tucker. Shepard has been cast as Emma's father.
Thesps wed to 'Husband'
Thurman joins Firth, Rossellini in Yari Film laffer
(Variety, Nov 12, 2006, by Michael Fleming)
Uma Thurman has company on "The Accidental Husband," the Yari Film Group-produced romantic comedy that begins shooting today in New York. Colin Firth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sam Shepard, Isabella Rossellini, Lindsay Sloane and Justina Machado have joined the cast.
Griffin Dunne directs from a script penned by Bonnie Sikowitz, Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor, along with Kristen Buckley and Brian Regan.
Thurman plays a love doctor who hosts a local radio show about relationships. When a listener (Machado) takes her advice and dumps her boyfriend, only to regret it, she decides to wreak havoc on the doc's personal life.
Yari will produce with Team Todd's Jennifer and Suzanne Todd, Blum House's Jason Blum and Thurman.