FAIRMONT — Downtown Fairmont will soon be on the big screen.
Portions of “Arthur Newman, Golf Pro,” which stars Academy Award winner Colin Firth and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt, will be filmed in various parts of downtown Fairmont on Nov. 8.
Shots will include the outside of the Hector McLean Public Library, which will be made to look like a hotel, as well as an empty building across the street, formerly the Fairmont Youth Opportunity Center, which will be a reception hall.
“The movie company thought enough of Fairmont, … of what we have here that they thought it would be appropriate for their movie,” said Charles Kemp, the mayor of Fairmont. “I think that’s a compliment.”
Set up, which will include changing signs in front of the two buildngs, will be on Nov. 7, and the crew will replace signs and leave on Nov. 9.
Vertebra Films began filming the movie — a comedy-drama — in Wilmington on Oct. 10, and will continue there and in other locations throughout North Carolina through mid-November. The movie is scheduled to be released nationally in 2012.
In the movie, Wallace Avery (Firth) hates his job. His ex-wife and son hate him and he’s blown his best chance at living his dream. Not wanting to face all this, he stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman.
After meeting beautiful but fragile Mike (Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind, they connect and begin breaking into empty homes and taking on identities of the absent owners: elderly newlyweds; a high-roller and his Russian lady, among others. Through this process, the two discover that what they really love most about each other are the identities they left at home and their real journey — of healing — begins.
Firth has starred in “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Love Actually,” “Mamma Mia!,” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Blunt has been in “The Adjustment Bureau” with Matt Damon and “The Devil Wears Prada.”
Kemp said the cast and crew will use the Heritage Center for catering and other needs during the filming.
“I hope the citizens will use some discretion in visiting the downtown on the day of the filming and not interfere with the process fo the film company, but certainly enjoy the action and the processes going on,” Kemp said.
Police will be on duty to re-route traffic and control the crowd.
“I’m just excited because I know that when people find out about this … they are going to come downtown,” Kemp said. “There’s going to be a lot of heightened interest in the area where the movie is going to be. They may bring a guest, eat a burger, have a hot dog … there might be roll-over effect on our economy.”
— Staff Writer Amanda Munger can be reached at (910) 272-6144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.