Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Day in the Small World of an Expat

So in my small piece of the world, we often have film crews around. The summer in particular, sees many Chiacgo streets blocked and local residents fuming at not being able to park outside their own houses or get into their garages. Last winter, apparently, we had Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman at the end of my street filming the new Fockers movie, but since it was done around midnight, I wasn't inconvenienced. (It all sounds very glam, but in reality, you never see the big stars.)

Last Thursday we got a note through the door from a Twentieth Century Fox location manager saying they would be closing off the street for the whole day.They were filming a pliot of "Pleading Guilty" so my kids and I googled it. Jason Issacs. "Who's he?" they said. "Actually", I replied, "not only is he Malfoy's dad in Harry Potter (gasp) but I was at university with him". They were singularly unimpressed. I mean, he looked at least as old as me in the photos.

I called the location manager, who had left his number on the flyer - very unusual, I may have to stalk him for future shooting information. "Yes", he said", Jason will be here and you absolutely must come and see him". So I did.

It was bizarre. I hadn't seen the man for 25 years. He looked like Jason Isaacs but older. My age, in fact. (Bear in mind, he's not as well known in the States so I haven't seen photos of him over the years.) However, we soon got back into who we kept up with and what we had been doing. We studied Law but neither actually went into the field so had lost touch with a lot of our fellow lawyers.

I have to say he was a gentleman to the people who stayed till the end of the miserably cold shoot to talk to him and get his autograph. One women in particular, seemed to be one short of a six-pack (but very pleasant) and he didn't even make goofy faces at me about her. There were four little girls who had clearly been hanging around all day, and he greeted them like friends, sought out paper for them and signed personal autographs to all of them.

Another day in the small world of an expat!



  1. I get sheep. Whole flocks of them. with donkeys that carry the tiny babies in bags on their backs.

    It's just not the same.

    I want big stars too.

    The sheep can't even hold a pen let alone sign an autograph.

  2. That's so cool. I love Jason Issacs.

    I don't think anyone that mega was in my year at university - few novelists, lots of journalists and media people, couple of MPs, but that's it. Pierce Brosnan went to my school but that was obviously some years before I went there *cough*.

  3. So are you saying you got smashed in the union with pre-fame Jason? Excellent!

  4. a lovely piece of light relief with an old friend in the middle of a cold day in chicago lovely!

    saz x

  5. How cute is that story? Love it. And love Jason Isaacs Mmmm, mmm


  6. Sarah - too funny!

    We had quite a few celebs at Bristol. A few of my flatmates were drama students so let's see. Perhaps the most famous that I knew was the lovely Caron Keating. She really was very beautiful but absolutely crackers too. My friend Robim McCallum used to act but now does the weather on Meridian I think.
    A lot of them went into producing and directing like Keith Boak (Doctor Who) and John Comerford.
    Blimey, my memory's useless.

  7. Gosh, I was excited just reading there's a new Fockers movie being made. It's funny, I saw more famous people when I lived in England than I ever have in the five times I visited NYC.

  8. Oh I wonder if you and I know some of the same people. I didn't go to Bristol Uni but I'm from there and used to hang out with a load of actors. Get me! Then I worked in BBC drama. If you see him again, ask him if he remembers filming Loved Up with Lena Heady and Ian Hart. My husband was an extra in it and had to be in a scene with him.

    That's so cool that you went down there and saw him.

  9. That's Lucius Malfoy?? He looks so different! I'd never have realised it was the same person. He looks nice in real life!

  10. Just need to say that I absolutely love Jason Issacs. He is one of my favourite Brit actors.
    So I think you're very lucky to have been at University with him. However did you manage to concentrate? It's the ice blue eyes that do it for me.

  11. Mmm. He was very sexy in something, but I can't remember what. Not Harry Potter.

  12. always good to see old friends. Must say I have never heard of him though.

    You must live in a very "swish" neighbourhood if they often do film shoots in it!!

    Gill in Canada

  13. Hey! Oh my, Jason Isaacs?! I'm quite jealous! He's a favorite of mine. I also find it interesting that you & Jason both attended Bristol University! My boyfriend lives in Bristol (I'll also soon be moving there), and he will be attending Bristol University in the Autumn.

  14. So true; I never saw any stars when I was living in Chicago; I guess I just lived in the wrong parts of town.

    By the way; I had no idea who Jason Isaacs was, until you mentioned that he played Malfoy's dad in Harry Potter- I sort of see the resemblance now.

  15. I love Jason Isaacs - how lovely that you were able to catch up.

    And I went to Bristol too! Though of the drama luvvies I knew are very famous yet (although quite a few people I knew are on TV).

  16. NVG - Have you seen the hilarious You Tube video that's out now of yer "typical" Bristol student? Hilarious. I should find it and link to it.
    Duncan - I never actually see anyone else, although I must be looking down all the time as everyone else seems to. Mind you, even when I was in London, I never saw celebs.
    Lis - Bristol is a fab place to be!
    Gill - don't forget that they often film under the grotty old EL train tracks too!
    Mwa - Lucius Malfoy, the horrible kid's dad. He looked rather like Gandalph tho'.

  17. No fair! How fab! I've bumped in to famous local Tampa celebs in the mall like Hulk Hogan which really doesn't compare at all does it?


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