I just about ran the car off the road when the guy on the radio casually mentioned that they'd be closing part of down town early Sunday morning for the filming of some movie starring Josh Lucas.
THE Josh Lucas?! The one from Sweet Home Alabama?
"Josh Lucas has starred in numerous other films including Sweet Home Alabama and Glory Road..." the radio announcer continued in a dull monotone voice.
Or at least it sounded pretty monotonous to me when the voice in my head was about two octaves higher than normal.
Yes, that's right, the voice in my head. No, not THAT kind of voice, just... you know, the normal voice in your head that carries on the conversation with your best friend that you started the other day on the phone but didn't get to finish because your phone battery went dead, or the one that keeps a running dialogue of things you want to write in your blog or things that come to your mind 12 hours later after your kid randomly asks about where babies come from and your mind goes blank so you tell him "..from the cabbage patch, now hurry up and get your shoes on so we can go, we'll talk later.". You know, normal voices.
Speaking of the phone...
I needed to find my phone so I could call my best friend and TRY to squeak out in somewhat intelligible sentences this new bit of information.
Okay, at that point I realize how completely juvenile all that Eeeking makes me sound, but I couldn't help it. And seriously, when was the last time I used "like" and "totally" in the same sentence?
I took a deep breath, fully expecting to hear a "HUH?" on the other end, but of course, I underestimated my best friend entirely. Not only did she understand the words that came tumbling out two octaves higher, sounding like they were on a sped-up record player of the Chipmunks and interspersed with Eeeks to boot, she did the good friend thing and took up Eeeking right along with me. And she didn't even know who it was yet!
The radio announcer said they'd be closing the streets for a couple of hours starting at 6 am on Sunday (or so I thought). If I had really stopped to think about it, I would have realized it takes a whole lot longer to film a scene than that, but I wasn't thinking straight right then.
All I heard was, "Be there at 6 am with your coffee in hand and you might get to see Josh Lucas." Or better yet, maybe they'd see me and ask me to be an extra! And pay me! And I'd get my picture taken with Josh Lucas!
Saturday night when we put the kids to bed I told them all to be ready for an adventure in the morning! They went to bed remarkably well and with the cutest little grins on their faces.
I was wide awake at 4 am. It was like waiting for Christmas morning when I was a kid!
I went out to the kitchen and turned on a pot of water, then decided to go check google out and see if I could come up with any more pertinent information about the shoot. Had my "duh" moment of the day when I realized they'd be filming all day and not just a few hours in the early morning.
We went anyway. Just a little later. I actually let the kids sit down at the table and eat breakfast first instead of packing a picnic of rolled up thawed pancakes from the freezer and oranges peeled on the way.
And then - we ran our errands first.
"Are we going on a Dinosaur Adventure?!", Emmy asked for the umpteenth time. No matter how many times I tried to explain to her that the "adventure" was really more for Mommy than for the kids, it still failed to sink in.
Finally, at about 10 o'clock, we managed to get around to parking near the down town district. Good grief, I thought, this is not nearly as exciting as it would have been if I were here at 6 am with a Starbucks, my best friend, wearing our Silver jeans, tall boots, big hair and lots of eyeliner. You know, pretending for a few minutes that we're not country girls to the core.
Instead, there I was having on yesterday's makeup and yesterdays curls done up in a messy bun, with jeans, tennis shoes, and blue hoodie on. Colby wore his standard uniform: wranglers, boots, and t-shirt, with his black carrhart coat with the big family business emblem blazing across the back for good measure. "In case we get filmed!" he said. He also wanted to drive the truck and park it somewhere nearby.
"Yes, dear, it would definitely stand out and be recognizable in a movie, but I'm just not sure that's the look they're going for here... you know, smoke stacks and all..."
As we stepped out into the chilly morning air, strapping the two girls into the stroller, we saw that we were parked near the costume trailer and another little camper trailer.
"I'll bet that's where Josh Lucas is", I said knowingly to Colby as we walked past and up the block.
We walked down the row of closed storefronts and window shopped the toy shops and furniture stores as we watched the camera crews setting up for a scene. Soon we passed this sign:
I blocked out the name of the movie because I really have NO idea what the film is about and what all kinda stuff it might have in it - so until I have some clue I'm not going to be giving it any plugs. I know Josh Lucas is in some other films right now you couldn't pay me to see, so.... there you have it.
I was surprised at how few people had turned out on a Sunday morning to watch a major hollywood production going on. I'd expected there to be hardly any room to stand, let alone enough room to mosey around the streets. But then, I guess around here we kind of have a reputation for being "chill" for those famous types. Eminem and Kid Rock both have houses up here. Kid Rock filmed his video for "All Summer Long" on a lake up here near his house. Lots of rumors float around about several movie stars and big houses on the lake with boat slips built into secret coves.
And let's not forget our real claim to fame: Michael Moore. Although I have to admit some of the ideas he had for this area and its particular economy aren't bad, in general I'm not his biggest fan, so forgive me if I don't dwell on that one.
We continued on our way to where the great majority of the "crowd of spectators" was - about 2 dozen people gathered around the only business in the district that was open: the coffee shop! "Mmmm... coffee! Warm, comforting, coffee!", I murmured aloud to no one in particular.
Colby stayed outside with the kids to watch the cameramen scurrying around while I stepped inside the coffee shop. Everyone smiled as I walked in.
Wow, were they expecting Josh Lucas to walk in? Or is everyone just this perky after several cups of coffee while watching a film crew?, I wondered.
We stood outside and watched the whole process for one very small scene:
The collective group of people standing around held their breath for 30 seconds, then...
"Move OUT to re-frame for the wide shot!" ... or something like that.
I didn't recognize the actress they were filming in the car scene, but we did have some suspicions about a tall, lanky man in dark glasses and a hoodie standing just behind the cameras. Was that Josh Lucas? Same walk, same build... hard to tell with the glasses, though.
The wind was biting and after we'd been out there about an hour the kids began to really get fidgety. Joshua wanted to know if we were going to watch the car crash. I repeatedly tried to reassure him that it would be a CONTROLLED car crash, not an accidental car crash, and that everyone would be fine, but there was no convincing him that any good could come from a car being wrecked in any way. He's like that. He doesn't like his toy cars to get smashed up and wrecked. Even when he's playing with them and jumping them with his toy monster trucks, none of them actually touch each other in the process. You only know that he's playing "Crashing Cars" because of the sound effects he makes!
We made our way back to the parking lot. I snapped a photo of the costume trailer and camper parked there in front of our car, then sighed and put the camera away in my pocket. Oh, well, I thought, it was fascinating to see the movie being shot, even if I didn't see Josh Lucas.
"Hey Hon! There he IS!" I heard Colby call to me from the side of the car. I turned just in time to see Josh Lucas step out of the camper and into the passenger seat of the black Suburban parked in front of it.
My jaw dropped open and I stared as they drove away, just a few measly feet away from me.
Yay!!! Good timing! Well, except for the fact I'd just put my camera away 5 seconds before. I did my little happy dance and squealed my squeal before hopping into the warm car.
*sigh* Yes, I have to admit, it was fun to feel like I was 16 and about to see one of the Jonas brothers or something. Hey! At least I'm not one of these 30-something moms drooling over some twinkling vampire! Really!
"I'm trying to tone down the excitement here, honey." I said to my hubby as we drove away.
"That's okay," he said, "you know I have too much self confidence to be bothered by THAT!"
Yep, ain't that the truth. Gotta love that man!