Appreciative, extraordinary, gratitude, incredible, spirit, surprising.
These are just some of the words the director and actors used during a get together Friday afternoon to discuss their experience in Buffalo while shooting the movie “Marshall”.
Mayor Byron Brown, in a funny gesture, led an oath to make the cast honorary citizens of Buffalo with a duty to come back and film other projects in the Queen City. He introduced Reginald Hudlin, the director, who exclaimed, “The thing that we discovered that we are so appreciative of is the incredible friendly open arm spirit of EVERY single person we’ve met here in Buffalo; what an amazing place filled with wonderful people!” He also gave a shout-out to Ashker’s and had no idea that Sterling K. Brown, sitting completely opposite from him six seats to his right was enjoying what looked like either the Upbeat or Ruby Bliss – two of my faves.
Hudlin introduced Josh Gad, one of the lead actors, who echoed Reginald’s sentiments stating, ”Every day we keep saying to each other, who knew Buffalo is like, so incredible, the food has been amazing, the people have been amazing, the sightseeing. Rich Wall (Director of Operations BNFC- Buffalo Niagara Film Commission) has taken us pretty much everywhere, I feel like I know your tourist attractions better than you do!”
In the back of my mind, I know all of these people are actors, but it really felt as if they were communicating genuine affection for the city of Buffalo. Josh Gad said that his character gained 25lbs in 5 days (the length of time the movie takes place) due to the chicken wings. Kate Hudson dug the fried chicken at Toutant. She also loved Canalside and felt the spirit of “Buffalove”. Chadwick Boseman appreciated the talent base which he believes made the film possible and felt the excitement of all the artists involved. Sterling K. Brown appreciated the 4 am last call and James Cromwell congratulated us for banning fracking. The collective group also gave props to: Black Sheep, 31 Club, Mothers, Ted’s and La Nova wings.
On a more serious note, this project is truly a milestone achievement for the region primarily due to the ongoing marketing, service and support of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission and the Governor’s enhanced film production credit for Western New York. The commission did an amazing job making all of this happen, and put forth a remarkable effort to provide the cast and crew with a top-notch and hopefully long-lasting memorable experience of a place that we are proud to call “home”. Thank you, BNFC, for doing your part in the rising of Buffalo, I can’t wait to see what is up next.