Harrison Ford is on location in Annapolis, but nobody seems to care

December 04, 1991|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Evening Sun Staff

IN MOST cases, the name of a famous movie star can generate a frenzy of activity from the buzzing of gossip to the swarming of adoring fans.

Harrison Ford, star of the "Indiana Jones" action-adventure trilogy, has the name recognition that would generate that type of frenzy.

But appearances can be deceiving, especially in Annapolis.

Ford has been in Annapolis since last Friday, filming scenes for the movie "Patriot Games," yet there has been little talk, little interest in the star.

Based on the Tom Clancy novel, the movie is about a former Marine who foils an attempt by the Irish Republican Army to kidnap Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince William. Then, the IRA seeks out the Marine, played by Ford, for revenge.

Interesting plot. Big-name movie star in the lead. So why haven't there been hordes of fans storming the academy gates?

The problem is a combination of events. First, Paramount Pictures has requested a closed set. No one, and they mean no one, gets in. Gates have been blocked, parking has been restricted and streets have been cordoned off in and around the academy, said academy spokesman Noel Millan.

Secondly, the rain has caused the filming to be moved from outside the academy to inside a classroom.

"They requested the use of one of the faculty offices and a classroom," Millan said. "To be honest, there's just no room for voyeurs."

Millan said the midshipmen have not been concerned with Ford or the movie crew. After all, they have more important things on their minds -- like this weekend's annual Army-Navy game.

Still, no one is quite sure why the general public has virtually ignored the filming. A notice was issued last week informing residents of the closed set and the potential inconveniences filming might cause in terms of parking and driving in the academy area. Maybe the strongly worded note was a bigger deterrent than anyone thought, Millan said.

However, Thomas W. Roskelly, of the Mayor's Office of Information and Tourism, said he believes residents are just being on their "best behavior."

But more than likely, it seems that residents have been on their best behavior because many don't know Ford is in town. And others, while fans of Ford, find the movie-making a major inconvenience.

Store owners along Maryland Avenue were less than happy last Saturday when their street was blocked off for not one but two film crews. The crew of "Patriot Games" was joined by the documentary crew of "Seeds of Hope" and its narrator/star Edward Woodward, formerly of the television series "The Equalizer."

"Filming on the street on Saturday was just bad timing," said Joyce Kaminkow, owner of the Annapolis Country Store. "It was profoundly stupid of the city to allow it. This was one of the biggest retail days of the year. I had people tell me they couldn't get through because of all the spectators and the crews."

Kaminkow said both Ford and Woodward had been spotted in some of the shops on Saturday but there just hasn't been a lot of interest about either.

"I think the weather is a large part of it," she said. "But I really haven't heard any buzzing around about catching a glimpse."

Filming for the documentary ended Saturday. Filming for "Patriot Games" was to conclude today, when Ford and the rest of the movie crew were to pack up their gear and take their show back to Los Angeles.

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