It's what everyone's talking about: super-star Ben Affleck is shooting a movie here in Green Country.
Rumors about the A-lister have been circulating for months now, while officials in the film industry are keeping quiet. News Channel 8's Kristin Dickerson went snooping around to find out all she could about Ben Affleck and the movie being filmed in your backyard.
Ben Affleck: actor, director, Academy Award winning writer, and now an Oklahoman?
His production crew has been seen filming all over Green Country, including the Tulsa International Airport.
He's working on a movie that is yet to be named, but locals report sightings of some big name actors.
Inside the Washington County Courthouse, Javier Bardem was seen dressed as a priest. Outside a Bartlesville hotel earlier in the year, someone saw actress Rachel McAdams. Also, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is reportedly Affleck's love interest in this apparent romantic drama.
Ben Affleck's wife, actress and Neutrogena spokesperson Jennifer Garner, has also been seen shopping at places like Wal-Mart, and eating at local restaurants like Weeze's Cafe in Bartlesville.
Many people in Bartlesville got to meet Affleck and some of his fellow cast members at the Bartlesville Fall Kick Off Party in September. Lori Esser-Florence said "it was the combination of perfect place, perfect time, with a camera!" Her picture with him made the front page of the local paper.
Also in that front page picture, is 7-year-old Jade Marshall. Her mom, Marilyn, said the best part of meeting the cast members that day was "to get to say hi, and hear their voice, and see them without the stage makeup and movie look."
So far everyone we've talked to has said Ben Affleck is nice and down-to-earth.
So we set out to find him. A post on my facebook page led to a tip that Affleck was filming at the Tulsa International Airport. I bought a ticket, went through security, and there he was. Sounds simple, if you stay hidden in the corner with your camera like I did; however, our photojournalist was blocked by crew members when he showed up on set.
So our celebrities are approachable to the public, but still very protected from the media.
We also spoke with Kiera Johnson, she has a non-speaking role in the movie. She went to a casting call months ago, but it wasn't until the night before the shoot that she got the job offer. The next day she showed up at a Bartlesville hotel, got her wardrobe, and was taken in a van to a mystery neighborhood. Johnson said "it was almost like they darkened everything and drove around in a bunch of circles and then you're there."
Her role: the other woman. "He was having some turmoil in his marriage, so a little bit of a wondering eye" Johnson said. "I had to get up and walk across . . . walk by the pool, turn over and look at him and give him a smirk and he smiled at me and that was my two seconds of fame."
After her part, Johnson stuck around on set for a couple more hours and got to talk to the director's wife. "I asked her 'why Bartlesville?' and she said 'well I grew up here.' I'm like, lucky Bartlesville!"
Exactly, lucky Bartlesville! An A-list movie rolls into town, bringing with it a crew who spends money locally, opportunity for those dreaming of breaking into the industry, and for the rest of us - something to talk about!
Local film representatives say that if being in Oklahoma is a good experience for the crew, they'll tell their friends and more movies could be made here.
In the meantime, everyone (including me) is asked to give them their space, and let them work.