About The Production
Principal photography commenced May, 2000 in Montreal, where the entire film was shot. Many American productions have filmed in Montreal, but only to use the city as a stand-in for New York or elsewhere. "The Score" is actually set where it was filmed: in the cosmopolitan city that reminds so many of Europe.
Nick is an American who steals in the U.S. and Europe, then returns to a safe haven: his beloved adopted home of Montreal. This, Oz says, is one reason "this heist is such a big deal for Nick; it's the first and only time he'll steal in his home town."
A happy accident led to the selection of the film's most important location, a selection that resulted in a major change in the film's plot line. Scouting locations in Montreal, Oz and his location manager drove past Place d'Youville near the port in Old Montreal and spotted the Customs House. Captivated by its massive, looming appearance, Oz decided then and there that the treasure sought by Nick, Jack and Max should be locked up inside the Customs House rather than a museum, as originally scripted.
Nick's jazz club, named NYC, was an intimate space designed by production designer Jackson De Govia and constructed on a Montreal soundstage. Scenes filmed there included actual performances by jazz greats Mose Allison and Cassandra Wilson. For producer Foster, the high point in the production occurred on the club set, when he became overwhelmed by the legendary stature of the actors and the electrifying energy of their performance together.
"Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton were doing a scene in the jazz club. They were excited about working together," Foster remembers. "I was watching them and thought 'Oh my God, look what we've done!' I mean, I don't think we'll ever see it again."
Mr. DeNiro is equally complimentary toward his co-stars and director. "After I took the role, Frank [Oz] told me he wanted Edward Norton and I was thrilled. Then Angela Bassett signed on. She's terrific and very professional. And then Marlon came in. You see his films, his work, it's great. The cast just got better and better. And Frank was very easy to work with; he's very open to new ideas or questions, and he includes everyone in the
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