PORTSMOUTH — Where’s Woody?
Is the famous film director at Glen Manor House today?
Perhaps Portsmouth Abbey?
Melville marina complex?
It’s anybody’s guess.
While he wouldn’t reveal the exact location, the executive director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office confirmed that Woody Allen is filming scenes for his latest film in Portsmouth Tuesday.
“They’re very secretive about where they’re going to be filming because there are intrusions that happen. But the reality is yes, without going to into details, they’re going to be in Portsmouth today,” said Steven Feinberg Tuesday morning.
Mr. Allen, who’s filming his next movie entirely in Rhode Island through August, began his latest project in Newport on Monday, shooting scenes at The Fastnet Pub and at Jane Pickens Theater in Washington Square. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone.
“We’re in Newport quite a bit, we’re in Portsmouth for a little bit today and we’re in Providence for quite a bit, but then we move to another area,” said Mr. Feinberg, who said the Portsmouth shoot will be a quick one.
“We’ll be out of there by the end of today,” he said this morning.
Mr. Feinberg was careful not to reveal specific locations or the movie’s plot.
“This company in particular is very secretive,” he said. “Especially with this production, I’ve been asked to keep things close to my vest.”
Patti Cofield, deputy town clerk, said that office hasn’t received any official word about filming taking place in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth has been the site of numerous movie shoots in the past, most recently Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” from 2012. Scenes were shot on Prudence Island as well as at Glen Manor House. (The “Island Police” headquarters of the police captain played by Bruce Willis was built on the Sakonnet River dock behind the mansion.)
Good for Rhode Island
While he couldn’t say too much about the production, Mr. Feinberg said he was ecstatic to see it all happen in Rhode Island.
“It was a lot of work to be frank,” he said. “They were looking at many other states to film the move. I went like a pit bull to try to bring it here. I’m very proud of our film office that we’re really hands-on.”
The film crew looked at three main locations before Mr. Allen selected one that suited his creative needs, he said.
“We found anchor locations that were visually interesting and supported the story. Rhode Island’s a very rare gem, but we don’t always realize that,” said Mr. Feinberg.
There was “a lot of excitement” over yesterday’s shoot in Newport, he said.
“Yesterday they were filming in Newport outside of Jane Pickens Theater. There were 100 people on the street — just onlookers. There was a buzz. I mean, he’s an award-winning filmmaker and that cast is very talented.”
The news of Mr. Allen’s appearance here went global, he said.
“I got a lot of congratulations from around the world — ‘Woody Allen is in Rhode Island!’” he said. “Rhode Islanders are great ambassadors to our state — whether they’re vendors or work for government. Everyone’s been a wonderful ambassador to these folks.”