Ewan McGregor among 'August: Osage County' stars shooting in Barnsdall
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
10/09/12 at 5:18 PM
BARNSDALL — One of Barnsdall’s claims to fame is that it’s home to the only Main Street oil well in America, which until sometime recently pumped oil on an everyday basis. A second well appeared on Main Street on Tuesday, but only as a prop that was pumping for the cameras.
As if that wasn’t confounding enough for the locals, there was the large, red-lettered “LIQUOR” sign hanging above an empty storefront on Main Street that had been installed recently.
“We don’t have a liquor store in town, so I knew something was up,” said Barnsdall resident Becky Seals, watching a flurry of activity that on Tuesday closed down several blocks leading to the center of town. “We have two bars. I think we have 15 churches. But no liquor stores.”
Something was up in Barnsdall: The filming of “August: Osage County” had come to town.
The major motion picture — based on Tulsa native Tracy Letts’ play, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, produced by George Clooney — has been filming in Osage and Washington counties since mid-September.
Onlookers from Barnsdall and several other cities descended on downtown Tuesday and watched a scene repeat multiple times: Three people are wedged into a red Ferrari that wheels onto Main Street, parking across the street from the liquor store. A man in a dark suit emerges and crosses to the store, while another man and a girl remain with the Ferrari, in a conversation that onlookers beyond a perimeter cannot make out.
The man crossing the street was actor Ewan McGregor, star of films like “Moulin Rouge!” and best-known to mass audiences as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the later “Star Wars” trilogy. Standing beside the flashy car was Dermot Mulroney, a veteran of films including “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” and Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine” herself who’s now moved into teen roles.
“Apparently this is supposed to be the Pawhuska liquor store, and they are stopping off for some wine for the family dinner,” said Don Miller, a longtime Tulsa community theater veteran. He now lives in Pawhuska and on this day was hired as an extra — as was his purple 1995 Hyundai Accent, which he was to drive through the scene as a background vehicle.
“It’s been an interesting morning,” Miller said, waiting in the morning chill along with 30-something crew members and director John Wells (the longtime “ER” producer) while joking with his fellow extras.
“They fed us breakfast over at a local church. They removed our car tags and put on other plates,” he said. “And I followed the only instruction they gave me for today: Don’t wash it. I assumed they meant the car.”
Read more of this story in Wednesday's Scene or online at tulsaworld.com/scene