George Clooney filmed scenes for new movie ‘The Tender Bar’ in Lowell and Watertown

Ben Affleck wasn't there, but his co-star was.

George Clooney Ben Affleck The Tender Bar
Ben Affleck and George Clooney. Jean-Baptiste LaCroix/AFP via Getty Images; Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

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As one Hollywood production in Boston ends, another begins.

The day after Netflix’s star-studded movie “Don’t Look Up” wrapped production, George Clooney was spotted filming “The Tender Bar” in both Lowell and Watertown on Friday.

Filming for the movie will take place in the Boston area and in multiple towns on the North Shore, and will likely wrap up in mid-April, according to a source familiar with the production. Prior to the start of production, Clooney was spotted in Ipswich scouting locations.

Based on a 2005 memoir of the same name by Pulitzer-winning author J.R. Moehringer, “The Tender Bar” tells the story of Moehringer’s childhood living in Long Island without a father, a New York disc jockey who disappeared before J.R. could speak. Seeking a replacement father figure, Moehringer begins spending time at a bar owned by his uncle, where the regulars welcome him as one of their own.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Tender Bar” will star Tye Sheridan (“Ready Player One”), Ben Affleck, and Lily Rabe (“Vice”), with Sheridan playing Moehringer and Affleck playing his uncle.

Filming began Friday morning in Lowell, where Clooney and co. filmed a scene featuring Sheridan and several vintage vehicles, according to The Lowell Sun.

Lowell resident Peter Aucella told the Sun that Clooney approached him and his wife, Rosemary, while the couple and their dog watched filming taking place near their home. Aucella called Clooney “warm and personable,” saying that the actor pet the couple’s dog and shared cell phone photos of his own dog.


Later in the day, Clooney was spotted by WBZ-TV braving the elements to supervise shooting at Bemis Park in Watertown, keeping an eye on things amid snow flurries.

Clooney will direct and produce “The Tender Bar” through his production banner Smokehouse Pictures, with Amazon Studios handling distribution, according to Variety. No release date has been announced.

While Affleck was not on set during Friday’s filming, paparazzi in Los Angeles spotted him heading out of town over the weekend.

“The Tender Bar” would mark Affleck’s first time filming a movie in Boston since 2016’s crime drama “Live By Night.” The Dennis Lehane adaptation, which Affleck starred in, directed, and produced, was filmed primarily in Georgia, but also featured scenes shot in Boston, Lawrence, and North Andover.

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