Tom Cruise/Cameron Dias Film Shoots Chase Scene on Route 18

Hollywood Comes to New Bedford
By Jennifer Lade

NEW BEDFORD — There was an unusual sight on Route 18 Thursday night: a dozen cars, in perfect unison, moving in reverse.
On cue, the cars stopped, waited, then drove forward, choreography they repeated again and again as the night wore on.
The vehicles were part of a chase scene being filmed for the movie “Knight and Day” — formerly “Wichita” — starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
Neither star was in the city, but a Diaz stunt double and other members of the stunt unit were there, filming a scene in which Diaz’s character is being chased.
She cuts off a van and takes the South Second Street ramp, evading her pursuer.
“This is really big. This is Hollywood that is coming to New Bedford,” said Ann Marie Lopes, the city’s liaison with the film industry.
Lopes said she was first contacted by a location scout in June about using the highway to film a chase scene. Then she didn’t hear from anyone until two weeks ago, when another location scout negotiated the details for the shoot.
“They also wanted to blow up a building,” Lopes said. The crew was told no, “but thanks for asking.”
Besides the excitement of having a movie being filmed in the city, Lopes said there are other benefits to the shoot, as well. The film crew rents areas, such as the parking lot at the Royal II restaurant, and pays for extra police details. In addition, New Bedford is getting a reputation for being accommodating to film crews, which could attract more to the area.
Spectators watched from the Royal II restaurant parking lot and tried to get a glimpse of Diaz’s stunt double, who was driving a gold Pontiac GTO and being pursued by the “villain” in a black BMW.
Many were excited to see a movie being filmed in the city.
“It’s a good idea,” said Nelson Torres, who took his daughter Nadia, 4, to watch the shoot. “It gives the city a high profile.”
Caitlyn Fontes, who lives near the set, said she thought there had been an accident on Route 18. She was relieved and intrigued to learn that it was the scene of a movie instead.
“I think it’s very cool,” she said. “It’s not the most popular place in the world and it’s just nice to have this opportunity.”
Claire Severance of Marion worked security for the shoot. She said several local people were employed working on the film, and she said she hopes more movies will be shot in the area.
“I’m excited for New Bedford to have something going on economically,” she said.
Both sides of Route 18 from Potomska Street to the South Second Street on-ramp were shut down for 12 hours, beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

October 30, 2009
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