I had heard through the proverbial grapevine that Tom Hanks would be at our local K-Mart today, so I decided to go and check it out to see if the grapevine was right.
And right it was.
(Click on any image to embiggen):
See the man in the red shirt? As blurry as the image may be, I can assure you that that’s Tom Hanks right there, taking a sip of something between takes. (Note that security was tight and I had to sneak in this cropped-at-home shot with my phone—real spy stuff). Right after each take, Hanks ran immediately back to view what had just been shot. He is the director, according to IMDB, which also summarizes (working title) Larry Crowne as:
After losing his job, a middle-aged man reinvents himself by going back to college.
In the scene they were shooting, the crowd of U-Mart (as it is called in the movie) employees is engaged in a rousing cheer about their products and prices:
“[Fill in the blank with product name] for only [fill in the blank with price]!” and so on and so forth.
Kind of reminded me of the Wal-Mart Cheer that I was subjected to during my years working there only with real enthusiasm.
I guess the title also explains the name on the sign at the entrance (which means they can use my likeness forever and I can never ask for payment):
…and this one near the rear of the store:
And in this day and age, the movie is no real secret if you follow Twitpic or other forms of social media. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and follow a hunch that this would be happening right down the street.
I get the feeling, however, that the “commercial” (as I was told) they were filming in the toy department at that same store last week was just a preparation for what I saw today. Just a hunch but I could be wrong.
Either way, there you have my celebrity sighting for the day. Cool stuff, and the crew was a class act–even when we unknowingly almost walked into the background of the hot set! In fact, according to Anthony, this is the best day ever for the following reasons:
- His second round of golf lessons start today
- He got a cool Matchbox car while at U-Mart…um, K-Mart
- He got to see (and hear) Woody 🙂
He also told the cashier that they were filming in the store today.
“I bet you didn’t know that, did you,” I said.
“No, I didn’t,” she replied. She then asked Anthony, “Do you know who’s going to be in it?”
“WOODY!” he yelled.
All the cashiers laughed–and Tom Hanks himself probably heard him all the way at the back of the store.
Well, time to go play LEGOs with Anthony for a bit then golf lessons. It’s gonna be a busy summer!
UPDATE: I ended up working at that same Kmart later in the year and they had this prop hanging in the manager’s office:
To see all of my blog entries that are related to filming in my area, click this link.