Visiting With 'The Visiting'
Forget "Entertainment Tonight" or "Access Hollywood." Apparently the place to see mega-movie stars is right here in Washington.
Earlier this week, George Clooney was in town to promote his upcoming film, "Good Night, And Good Luck." On Wednesday, Tom Hanks visited the Air and Space Museum for the premiere of "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D." And this afternoon, Nicole Kidman -- along with Daniel Craig ("Layer Cake") and Jeremy Northam -- participated in a press conference to announce the start of principal photography for "The Visiting."
You may have heard about this film, which has changed names at least once and, knowing Hollywood, probably will again. It's an updated version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Downfall"). Filming will take place in both Washington and Baltimore, with production officially beginning on Monday.
In an unconventional effort to generate early buzz, a few cast and crew members -- along with several sweaty members of the media -- assembled today on the roof of the Hay-Adams Hotel for what turned out to be a truly illuminating news conference.
To get the party started, the first celebrity to speak was ... D.C. Councilwoman Linda Cropp! With a view of the Washington Monument and the White House as her backdrop, she welcomed the group to the nation's capital. Then she encouraged them to adopt the mantra, "Vini, Vidi, Visa -- I came, I saw, I spent," while Nicole Kidman sat behind her microphone looking understandably perplexed.
The news conference really kicked into high gear when a reporter asked this hard-hitting question of Hirschbiegel -- "Tell us about the film." The German director then proceeded to read -- verbatim -- the plot summary that appears in the press kit, which members of the media had been holding in their grubby hands for the past two hours while waiting for the conference to begin. "Wait, Nicole Kidman's character must fight to protect her son, who may hold the key to the escalating invasion? I had no idea!"
Six other vital pieces of information learned at the news conference:
1. Hirschbiegel said filming will take place over the next four weeks in numerous D.C. locations, including George Washington University Hospital, Georgetown and Embassy Row, as well as spots in downtown Baltimore. Kidman may have plans to stay here longer; she mentioned that her parents are planning to visit her in Washington for Thanksgiving.
2. Craig, Northam and Kidman do not believe in extra-terrestrials (yet another possible reason why the Kidman/Cruise marriage crumbled).
3. When asked if she plans to spend her days off with country artist and alleged paramour Keith Urban, Kidman curtly responded, "No."
4. When asked if he could comment about possibly becoming the next James Bond, Craig also curtly responded, "No."
5. Kidman spent the first three years of her life in Washington. This is the first time she's been back since then. Imagine how excited she'll be to see what they've done with U Street!
6. Kidman's favorite children's author is Roald Dahl. Don't ask why this came up.
And you thought these news conferences were silly. Shame on you.
For those wondering what Kidman looks like in person, well, she looks the same as she does in the movies: very pretty, very slim and very tall. But perhaps you'll soon find out yourselves. Now that the news conference is over and filming is about to start, Kidman Watch can officially commence. If you see the "Moulin Rouge" star around town, post a comment to the blog and let us know.
And if you see her with Keith Urban or an extra-terrestrial, issue a breaking news alert.
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