There are very few times in life when you can say " Oh my ...... I can't believe I just did that! This was the best time of my life!" I had the oppurtunity to say that several times over the past few weeks.
I have gotten a few emails asking me to post some pictures, and my account of what happened to me in Columbus this past week. So here it is:
Public Enemies was set to film in Columbus a few weeks ago. It was to happen on a Tuesday, and that day just happened to be my husbands birthday. I got the day off from work to spend with my hubbie is Columbus, but to my dissapointment the shoot was cancelled. We decided to go up anyway, and get a tattoo at the local shop, and take a look around. I was immidiatley in love with the town. It has such a lot of history, and you just can't appreciate it until you've seen it. I snapped a couple photographs, and had some of the city hall framed for my house. Sadly we left Columbus and headed back home.
A few weeks later, I was told that the filming would be a "go" for this past week in Columbus. I couldn't make it up for the Monday shoot, but I did get up there for Tuesday. I left work at 6pm, and arrived in Columbus around 7:30pm. The streets were closed, the cobblestone was down, and there were lots of people walking around the movie set. My friends and I headed back to the tattoo shop where we looked at pictures of a meet and greet with Stephan Dorf the previous day. He had stopped in at the shop to look around, and sign some autographs. I went about the town taking some black and white photos, and then went down to base camp. All was quite there (except for all the onlookers) until about 10pm. The trucks started to arrive, people were asked to leave the set, and the security got tighter.
My camera wasn't working well in the dark, so I was getting frustrated at not being able to get good photos, but I soon got over it as I saw the famous SUV everyone had been talking about. I am not sure if Johnny Depp was inside at the time, but it pulled into base camp right behind a trailer, and someone got out. JD??? I don't know. I couldn't see. Another hour went by with golf carts driving in and out.....trucks coming and going...but no sign of Michael Mann or Johnny. I decided to head back up to the tattoo shop to rejoin my friends. As I arrived at the top of the hill, I noticed some extras pulling chairs out of the back of a truck, and having a seat not 5 feet from me. They were well inside the baracades, so I let it be for the moment.
An hour or so later, I was getting bored so I headed back down to base camp. I made it just in time to see Johnny Depp come out of his trailer, and get into the SUV and drive to the set. My camera and I missed the whole thing. Knowing that Johnny had already left for the set...up I went once more to tell my friends (who had been dying to see JD) that they had missed their chance for the time being. Boy were they mad! At 12:30am I was sitting on the side of the road at the top of the hill, and I heard "Quiet on the set....rolling......" and off they went. Scene after scene. I decided to get brave, and went past the baracade and up to the extras. (No one stopped me) We chatted for a little bit, and I took some photos. Turns out they had been asked to go to Chicago over the weekend for filming. The drivers of the cars were very nice, and posed for a photo. I was a little puzzeled at the time since they only seemed to be in costume from the waist up. But I quickly realized it was because they were in the cars, and no one needed to see what kind of pants they were wearing hee hee. I hung around the set near the top of the hill until my friends decided to go back to base camp. We were just about to leave when a girl came in with photographs and videos of JD. She was a friend of one of the girls I was with. She had taken a photograph/video of Johnny between scenes from somewhere (dont know where), and Jerry (JD's manager) had saw her.
Down at base camp, 2am, all was still quiet. They were just finishing the last scene, and people had started to regather in hopes of a meet and greet with Johnny. Johnny drove by in his SUV at 2:30am, and dissapeared into his trailer. Jerry came by and made sure that the railings were secure. Nancy, the major, and Julie from the local coffee house came by with hot chocolate and danish for everyone a few minutes later. We all really needed something....so that was nice. Thank you! It started to rain as we all stood outside for the next 1 1/2 hours waiting for a sign that he would be coming out. Finally at 4am, he emerged from his trailer, and everyone started taking photographs. Johnny spent a little bit of time taking pictures with a few people in base camp before coming out to the crowd. He was not able to give any autographs though. I managed to get a few photos with my small camera before he got to me. He had a somewhat british accent, and I was not expecting that. He got to my friends, hugged them, and came over to me. All I could say was " Can I have a hug too?" He smiled, and said " Of course you can darling!", then leaned forward and gave me a big hug. Afterwards, he stepped back and waited for a moment before winking, and going on to the next person (which happened to be the friend that took the earlier photograph).
"I was the one you caught taking the picture" she fessed up. "Ohhh so that was you. Very sneaky! We had a good laugh!" Laughed Jerry. "Hey, I don't have a problem with it at all. But Jerry....hes' a stickler! Was all in good fun! " Laughed Johnny.
Then he moved on. I was kicking myself in the head about not posing for a photograph, or even saying thank you to the man. After all, it was incredibly nice of him to come out at 4am to say hello. Everything kinda happened so fast. I wasn't sure what I could do....and what I couldn't do. All I knew at that moment was I had finally met the man who I admire so much. I didn't get home until 6:30am, much the anger of my hubbie, but it was all worth it.
A BIG THANKS to Columbus for being such a great town full of wonderful and friendly people. Another big thanks for all the folks over at PECB for being so generous, and friendly. One day we will have to meet.