War Streets become Hollywood set for day


Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, in the light blue shirt, rehearses a scene in front of the former Beleza Community Coffeehouse on Buena Vista Street in the Mexican War Streets. (Photo/Webster)


Many Mexican War Streets residents were excited to surrender a neighborhood intersection to Hollywood yesterday.

Director Edward Zwick and his team of video and sound engineers occupied the intersection of Jacksonia and Buena Vista Streets during the afternoon where they shot a scene for the upcoming movie “Love & Other Drugs” on the site of the former Beleza Community Coffeehouse.

Set designers redecorated the premises and renamed the coffeehouse Lulu’s for the shoot.

Even security guards were smiling when lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal jumped out of a black Porsche and pounded his fist on the coffeehouse’s door.

Anne Hathaway, Gyllenhaal’s costar, played the role of a waitress at Lulu’s, but it was hard to spot her through the coffeehouse windows.

The film’s publicist, Scott Levine, said the War Streets location was chosen for its “bohemian” feel. Levine marveled at the neighborhood’s architecture and the relative cheapness of housing.

“Where I’m from in Providence, Rhode Island, these houses would go for half a million,” he said.

He said the producers were looking for a mid-size city and Pittsburgh’s tax incentives, local film crew and streetscapes offered the right combination of what they were looking for.

The film crew has already been in Pittsburgh for over a month and will finish filming in early December. “Love & Other Drugs” will be released sometime in 2010, according to Levine.

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