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A pleasure doing business

The social side of the film boom
By IAN DONNIS  |  August 2, 2006


ON THE TOWN: Brotherhood’s Isaacs and Clarke.
While Fred Durst has praised the Rhode Island locations used for his independent film The Education of Charlie Banks, he has a particular reason to appreciate the Ocean State. The Limp Bizkit singer met his fiancé, a striking 21-year-old blonde named Krista Salvatore, in Providence over the Memorial Day weekend. “She’s a Rhode Island girl and he is head over heels,” says Steven Feinberg, director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office. “I think he said that he met her at a club. They seem really happy.”

Although Durst may be the best example, other out-of-town stars have also savored their time working in Rhode Island.

“It’s been really neat, because I’ll go to a place, and they’ll say Joey Pants [Joe Pantoliano, who stars as Providence’s colorful mayor in the forthcoming CBS show Waterfront] has been in here, or Billy Baldwin came in with his wife,” says Feinberg. “The other day I was with the Disney folks, we were having lunch at Venda Ravioli, and one of the waitresses came over to us and she had seen Jim Belushi. I think there’s a certain excitement that comes with that.”

Pantoliano told the Washington Post that although the Waterfront team was attracted by Rhode Island’s tax incentives, it was won over by the state’s charm. “We were seduced by the city,” he said. “It’s a very accessible state to get around in. They’re very film-friendly.”

Actors in town for various productions have nested at locations including the downtown Peerless Lofts on Westminster Street and the 903 Residences, in the shadow of the Providence Place Mall.

The talent needs sustenance, of course, so local eateries have proven popular. “One of the beautiful things about Rhode Island, and this is what they’re all telling me, is that they love the restaurants,” says Feinberg.

Brotherhood stars Jason Clarke and Jason Isaacs were spotted at Café Nuovo, the Capital Grille, and Al Forno, while Pantoliano and Baldwin have visited some of the same spots, as well as Venda, Providence Prime, Costantino’s Ristorante & Caffe, and Raphael’s Bar-Risto. Wesley Snipes has made the scene at the Providence Black Repertory Company, and Mario Van Peebles, his director for the movie Hard Luck, has visited the Federal Reserve. Hungry actors have also made their way to the Blue Grotto, Mediterraneo Caffe Restaurant, and 10 Steak and Sushi.

“They’re so many different options for them,” says Feinberg. “Someone at Disney mentioned that they wanted to go to CAV, so they’re doing their research about the places and asking around.”
Related: Not so sentimental Education, Action!, Durst’s cinematic debut starts making the rounds, More more >
  Topics: Features , Entertainment, Culture and Lifestyle, Movies,  More more >
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