It’s been a busy few days for the cast and crew of Netflix’s “Don’t Look Up.”
On Thursday evening, crews filmed a scene outside of the Museum of Fine Arts with Jonah Hill (“Superbad”) and Williamstown native Matthew Perry (“Friends”) that offers audiences tantalizing new details about the upcoming comedy from Adam McKay (“Anchorman”).
Then on Saturday, stars Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Departed”) visited Fall River to film scenes on the deck of the USS Massachusetts in Battleship Cove, which included evening fireworks.
“Don’t Look Up” is a political satire about two astronomers (Lawrence and DiCaprio) who attempt to warn the world about a deadly comet headed straight for Earth, only to find that many people refuse to listen to their warnings.
Thanks to the scene filmed at the MFA, it appears that part of the public’s distrust of the scientists is driven by President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her chief of staff and son, Jason Orlean (Hill).
On Thursday, crews set up a green screen in the nearby Fens, while later that evening the museum was put to use as the backdrop for a political rally.
— Nick Aldwin (@NJAldwin) December 10, 2020
Footage captured by paparazzi shows Hill and Perry on stage as protesters chant “Don’t look up! Don’t look up!” and wave signs in support of Orlean. At one point, the crowd is silenced as everyone looks up, presumably at the comet, before the audience pelts Perry, Hill, and two other actors (one dressed to resemble conservative musician Kid Rock) with garbage.
Hill’s character tries to calm the crowd by saying that the comet is “a hologram paid for by the radical left” and that it was created “to scare you Jesus-fearing poor people.”
Thursday’s shoot at the MFA wasn’t the first political rally scene filmed for “Don’t Look Up.” In an interview with Stephen Colbert conducted from her home in the Berkshires, Streep revealed how “eerie” and “disconcerting” it was to film a scene on Dec. 4 at the DCU Center in Worcester, where she was supposed to enter an arena of 20,000 cheering fans in her role as the president.
Even during normal times, the movie wouldn’t have used 20,000 extras, but due to COVID protocols, there were far fewer than normal.
“There were extras all around the stadium,” Streep said. “Lonely people separated by 20 feet of air, wearing masks and visors that are clear.”
On Saturday, Lawrence and DiCaprio filmed scenes on the USS Massachusetts, which was bathed in patriotic red and blue light, decked out in American flags, and featured a fireworks display.
Exciting times at Battleship Cove tonight!
Posted by HNNow on Friday, December 11, 2020
Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan told the Herald News that after testing negative for COVID-19 earlier that day, he was able to board the ship and watch an hour of filming, which featured dozens of extras playing sailors.
Also aboard was Christopher Nardi, chief operating officer of the Battleship Cove Museum, who said that in a year when museum revenue was down due to the pandemic, Netflix paying to use the ship was helpful.
“It’s good publicity for the ship,” Nardi told the Herald News. “And they were so cordial and appreciative of us.”
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