THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION
About The Production
Principal photography began in June, 1997, on a rainy day in New
York City. The Manhattan Day and Night School was the site chosen
for the staging of "The Little Mermaid," a play presented
by George's firstgrade class. It was an apt beginning for
Hytner, who has spent most of his professional life staging theatrical
productions (including "Miss Saigon," and "Carousel,"
which earned him a Tony Award as Best Director).
Next, a townhouse in Gramercy Park was the site of Sydney Miller's
(Alda) tasteful home, a direct contrast to the next location
Closing down the amusement park for two days, the cast and crew
got its first taste of Jennifer Aniston's celebrity among New
York City paparazzi, as she was swarmed each day by a dozen different
Among the subsequent locations were a reservoir in New Canaan,
Connecticut (where a local rowing team provided an interesting
river background), Manhattan College, and a beautiful waterfront
home on Huntington Bay, Long Island.
The wedding of George's brother Frank (Steve Zahn) was filmed
at the Chart House in Weehauken, New Jersey, with views across
the Hudson River to the dazzling Manhattan skyline.
The Grove Restaurant and St. Luke's Church were two Greenwich
Village landmarks used for filming, followed by a perfect summer
day at the Central Park Zoo.
The Ethical Culture School on Central Park West became the rooftop
site of the Brinkley School's Science Fair, supervised by George
and his coteacher Melissa (Kali Rocha). Coincidentally,
Wendy Wasserstein had attended the Ethical Culture School branch
as a young girl in Brooklyn.
Later, the production moved next door to a beautiful auditorium
used by the Ethical Culture Society. It was a memorable day on
two accounts. First, Wasserstein "cast" a stellar group
of movie extras from among her play-writing colleagues. The scene,
which featured Tim Daly and Nigel Hawthorne in a putdown
of contemporary theatre, was highlighted by the presence of Alfred
Uhry ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Christopher Durang ("Sister
Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You"), Tina Howe ("Painting
Churches"), Peter Parnell ("Hyde In Hollywood")
and Michael Weller ("Cancer: A Comedy").
An avantgarde production of "Romeo & Juliet"
was Hytner and Wasserstein's humorous homage to offoffBroadway
theatre, and was staged at the CSV Cultural Center off Delancey
Nina's brownstone apartment exteriors were found in Brooklyn,
but all of the interiors of the apartment were built at the Fourteenth
Street Armory, where the cast and crew moved for the last two
weeks of filming.
One of production designer Jane Musky's tasks was to create Nina's
twobedroom Brooklyn apartment. The large kitchen was its
centerpiece and the setting for many of the key sequences including
an impromptu visit from Nina's relatives on one of the hottest
days of the summer. With hot lights beating down on the cast and
no air conditioning in the armory, it wasn't hard for the actors
to experience the sweltering day described in the script.
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