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CELEBRITY

About The Production
Principal photography on "Celebrity" commenced on August 27, 1997

Principal photography on "Celebrity" commenced on August 27, 1997. "This was a very big picture in scope," states "Celebrity" co-producer Richard Brick. "The picture has 242 speaking roles which is almost the equivalent of the speaking roles of Woody's past four pictures combined." There were 5128 extra performers employed which was almost four-times the extras count on "Deconstructing Harry." The movie was largely a Manhattan based production utilizing locations throughout the borough including several in the trendy downtown districts. A fashion show was cleverly staged in an abandoned roof-top greenhouse on the East Side with a spectacular view of the 59th Street Bridge. The Stanhope Hotel was the site of the first chaotic scene with Leonardo DiCaprio where, as a young movie star, he trashes his hotel room. Other locations around the city included the famed Ziegfeld Theatre, the Serge Sorokko Gallery in Soho, the Flamingo Club and Jean-Georges Restaurant, one of New York's most elegant and critically acclaimed restaurants. The beautiful outdoor garden of Barbetta's Restaurant on West 46th Street became the perfect backdrop for a wedding reception; this family owned restaurant employs one person solely to tend to the garden's famous bougainvillea.

Beyond the various New York sites used in the film, notable out of town locations included the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. These facilities were donated by Donald Trump (who appears as himself later in the film in the scenes filmed at Jean-Georges). Since New Jersey Gaming Laws permit only licensed dealers on the gambling floor, an agreement was struck with the Screen Actors Guild to allow the use of the Trump Hotel's dealers and casino staff. The scene was shot in one section of the Casino, while regular gambling went on around the production. One of the biggest challenges facing set designer Santo Loquasto, who has been working with Woody Allen for many years, was the fact that the movie was being shot in black and white. "You have to rely on architecture rather than color to provide variety," comments Mr. Loquasto. "On a black and white film the location manager really is part of the art department."

In addition to its romantic storylines, "Celebrity" also examines the circus trappings of modern day fame, a theme that has become relevant in recent years. "Somehow it's something that Woody has always been a master of, " says Janssen. "Things in his movies become current topics when the movie comes out."

In the film, everything from plastic surgery to pop religion is used to bear out Andy Warhol's prediction that, in time, everyone would enjoy fifteen minutes of fame. But Mr. Allen challenges the veracity of Warhol's most widely quoted quip. "That's one of those things that sounds great, but has nothing to do with reality. Fame is a major goal for many people, but really only a fraction of one percent of the population enjoys any kind of notoriety or fame."

"Celebrity" also examines the many sides of fame as it impacts characters throughout the course of the film. "There's a ridiculousness and superficiality to so much of it, and a price to pay, but the perks are good," says Allen.

"It's a double edged sword," says Mantegna. "Our business strives to achieve the thing that sometimes causes the most pain." "I don't think of myself as a celebrity, however, there is a certain degree of celebrity that I have and can't deny,"<

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