Film production begins in Munsey Park cul-de-sac

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Once again, Hollywood has set up shop in Munsey Park.

The Manhasset village was used as a filming location in the early 2000s on “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “The Good Shepherd,” and has even been used for episodes of the CBS series “The Good Wife.”

On May 20, filming began again in Munsey Park at a house on the corner of Burnham Place and Park Avenue, for the upcoming Warner Bros. dramedy “This is Where I Leave You,” starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.

“Manhasset is the quintessential suburbia,” said Joanna Cappi, who lives across the street from filming on Park Avenue. “The house is a gorgeous white colonial in a cul-de-sac, and for shooting purposes, you can get the house from many different angles.”

Filming is scheduled to take place through June 11, village officials said, with production taking place Saturday-Wednesday to allow actors to film other projects.

“This is Where I Leave You” is based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel of the same name, which was a New York Times bestseller. 

In the story, Judd Foxman (played by Bateman) and his family are brought together to fulfill the dying wish of their father to sit shiva for seven days, and in the process face their problems with each other. 

Neighbor Marjorie Quinn, who lives in the same cul-de-sac, said the house perfectly complements the one from the book.

“I think if you read the book, the house is exactly as it’s described in the story,” Quinn said.

Quinn said she has seen most of the cast wandering about the outside the house, including Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver and Timothy Olyphant, in addition to Bateman, and rumors had swirled that Zac Efron, star of Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise, had been spotted as part of the production as well, though he is currently working on another project.

Despite so many Hollywood stars coming to Long Island, Quinn and Cappi each said security on set, ranging from county police to the film’s producers and publicists, has helped prevent onlookers from snapping set photos or disrupt filming in any way.

“The police have done a great job of keeping it private and the woman who does publicity for the film really keeps the block clear from people trying to linger or take photos,” Quinn said. “It could be something of a circus, but it really hasn’t been.”

Quinn said those working on the project have made an effort to normalize the experience for residents as well.

Early in production, Quinn said Bateman hired a food truck to serve up dinner for the crew and residents, and has often chatted with neighbors in between scenes.

“He’s a dad himself and he’s really made an effort to make things as comfortable as can be around the block,” she said.

Cappi said kids living in the cul-de-sac were invited to be in the movie as extras, and security hasn’t turned them away from watching the filming the way they have others.

“It’s a nice town that has a lot of character and the people have been very responsive to it,” Cappi said. “We’ve all just tried to let them do their job so they can get in and get out.“

The increased traffic on Burnham Place has not come without complications, as Cappi said she and her family often need police escort to exit their home, despite living on a street adjacent to the filming, and that parked cars carrying equipment line the street nearly all day.

Quinn said once filming begins in the morning, which continues until about 8 p.m., it often becomes difficult even to get out the front door of her home, complicating things like carrying groceries from her car.

“The producers are so attentive, they really let us go our own way,” Quinn said. “I think they know it’s a bit of an inconvenience for the block and it is a bit trying some days. Everybody’s trying to make it as normal an experience as possible.”

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