When we walk into Old Sully's with Burke and Slaine, The Town's trailer — including a glimpse of this small, time-machine watering hole, containing perhaps the last wall-to-ceiling phone booth in Massachusetts — is playing on a TV behind the bar. This is where the stickup crew in the film hangs — and where, in real life, Burke couldn't legally drink until after filming wrapped. Now of age, Burke has made several trips back to this old Charlestown stand-by, which fit the filmmakers' bill right down to the JFK shrine on the wall. "It would have probably been easier for them to shoot in a bar up the street where there's more room," says Slaine, "but they loved the way this looked."
Slaine says the Old Sully's scenes were the toughest to act in. "You can't drink alcohol on set," he says, "but you have to act like you're shitfaced." Fortunately, some of the Townie extras playing bar rats injected a little method acting: the locals hit on Blake Lively every time she strutted past in her hula-hoop earrings. After the crew finished a scene where Renner's character asks for drugs, one confused extra came over to offer the star a fix.
100 Salem Street, North End
Before they could brandish lethal weapons at this laundromat that filmmakers had converted into a faux bank, select cast members were sent to a shooting range in Arlington for machine-gun training. After their lesson, the instructor, a retired cop looking to show off for his guests, popped in a surveillance video of himself, on duty more than 20 years ago, shooting a Townie who was attempting a North Shore bank robbery. The instructor was psyched that Affleck was making a movie about those "scumbag" thieves from Charlestown. But things got awkward after Burke recognized the perp in the video as his cousin.
Over the course of a week this past October, The Town's production crew riddled a number of Kenmore area landmarks with bullets, detonated the old McDonald's on Boylston Street, and transformed the blocks surrounding Fenway into a rapid-fire combat zone. And that was just outside the ballpark: the scenes shot inside are still closely-held secrets. "I used to work at Fenway selling soda," Slaine says. "I never thought I'd be in there shooting an AK-47."
Burke describes his character Dez as a hard-working kid "who just buys into the whole Townie mentality of doing scores." In real life, Burke celebrated several milestones on-set. He got to hang at Old Sully's before his younger friends. His first visit to a casino took place while shooting a celebration scene at Mohegan Sun. And he got his first lap dance at Centerfolds, where, in the film, Affleck's crew likes to blow their takings. As fans of his music know, Slaine is no stranger to such establishments. He was, however, relieved to discover that his strip-club shower scene got left on the cutting-room floor.
Chris Faraone can be reached at email@example.com.