By Beth Treffeisen
The starts and glitz of Hollywood made its way to the historic South End this past week when Amy Schumer along with her production crew spent the day filming for her newest film, “I Feel Pretty” set to debut in June 2018.
The plot, according IMDb, follows the life of Renee Bennett (Schumer) as an average gal. After falling off an exercise bike and banging her head, she feels suddenly gorgeous – except she looks the same.
After climbing the ranks at her cosmetic company and receives the respect of her co-workers and boss, she realizes the spell as been ‘lifted’ but through the journey realizes true beauty is not skin deep.
This film joins the one of many productions that has graced the South End over the years such as The Women, The Company Men, Spotlight and more.
“The South End is very, very trendy,” said Patti Quinn from the city’s office of arts, tourism and special events. “There are a lot of movie locations down there.”
Stephen Hartman the locations manager for “I Feel Pretty” said that that so far they have been shooting one day in the South End and that overall it went really well.
“The location is very awesome and the South End has a beautiful look,” said Hartman. “The district has an old world kind of feel and way.”
Hartman said that although it is being filmed in Boston, it is meant to appear that it is in New York City. Although there have been a few shots outside of the brick exterior architecture, a number of the shots have been indoors.
“We may be filming in Boston but we are very in line in keeping reminisce of Manhattan,” said Hartman. “The restaurants and stores we filmed all offer that – high end but also approachable.”
Although he hates comparing Boston to New York, there are a lot of things he was looking for the film here.
The crew will be filming in and around Boston for about 30 days. Other locations include Chinatown, Financial District, downtown and even Christopher Columbus Park in the North End.
“People are really excited to see us, especially in the South End,” said Hartman. “There have been a lot filmed in Massachusetts recently and some are of the scenes of the neighborhoods.”
Hartman said that overall he has received good feedback from the neighborhood and the fact that the movie stars Amy Schumer, an edgy comedian he said definitely helps make his job easier.
“I am happy to be working in this community and I hope that we’ll be making a great movie.”
James Fox from the Union Park Neighborhood Association said that although the South End has hosted a lot of productions he hasn’t received any complaints.
“It makes us feel great pride in our neighborhood when it is featured in a movie,” said Fox. “There is some obstruction and a substantial number of parking spots and closed streets and they take up multiple parking spaces but they are generally really good at giving vouchers to park in nearby garages.”
In addition Fox said the productions donate money to the neighborhood association, which is good revenue that goes towards maintaining Union Park.
Overall, Fox said, most neighbors just enjoy watching the filming and the chance to meet a movie star. Fox said, “We haven’t had any problems here.”
Hadley Douglas of Urban Grape said that she understands the frustrating side of it but enjoys that it brings people to the South End – especially in the summer when the extra traffic is needed when many residents leave town.
“The potential economic benefits outweigh some of the nuisances,” said Douglas. “Since we’ve had our store there’s been multiple films, probably five since we’ve opened.”
Often times they stage right outside on Columbus Ave., and when they are done filming come inside. Douglas noted that one time actor Jake Gyllenhaal came in to shop.
This time around, Douglas hopes that Schumer might make an appearance at the Urban Grape.
“We know she loves her wine and maybe Amy will pop in and get a bottle or two of rose,” said Douglas.
For restaurants and stored visited, Douglas said, it often times put national press on it. Douglas said that one time during filming the Urban Grape was featured in People’s Magazine.
“It’s wonderful coverage of our wonderful little neighborhood,” said Douglas. “It’s fun for the South End and it puts the neighborhood on the map even more.”