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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hollywood loves 'em and leaves 'em

It is not everyday that a local receives a phone call from the New York Times.

But Natchitoches resident Tommy Whitehead did and he is quoted in today’s Times about location movie making in "A Premiere Far From Hollywood."

"I got a one line quote about ‘Steel Magnolias’ way down in it," he wrote.

Whitehead was an extra in the movie shot 20 years ago and got to know a lot of the players in that long hot summer when Hollywood came calling and shot the movie in Natchitoches.

The story deals with movie making outside of California and New York.

"Hollywood loves the heartland, but only to a point. Movie crews perennially drop in, dazzle the locals, then pack up their stars and head back to Los Angeles or New York when they’ve soaked up enough color," said the story.

"But the local folks can find it hard to end the affair," the story continues.

However, the story continues: "Sometimes, of course, a movie comes to town and never really goes away."

"We had a re-enactment of the cemetery scene last year," said Tom Whitehead, a retired journalism professor in Natchitoches.

He spoke of the town’s enduring attachment to the movie.

"Visitors to a local bed-and-breakfast can still sleep in Shelby Eatenton Latcherie’s room, just as pink as when Julia Roberts, as Shelby, inhabited it in the film," said the story.

What do you think about this view?

Does Hollywood come in and dazzle us, return to dazzle us again and then leave when they’ve soaked up enough color?


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