Sir Anthony Hopkins

Movie star delights North Okanagan-Shuswap fans

On set: Sir Anthony Hopkins filming in Enderby, Vernon

Sir Anthony Hopkins knows what he likes.

Best known as cannibal Hannibal Lecter, the Academy Award winner has discovered a sweet treat at Silver Star.

“I really like the cinnamon buns in Frank’s shop,” he said of Frank Berkers, owner of Bugaboos Bakery Cafe.

Hopkins has been exploring the North Okanagan as he films Go With Me in Enderby, Vernon and Lumby. And whether it’s at the Village Green Centre or the  D&E Drive-In, he’s meeting residents one-on-one.

“They are lovely people, wonderful,” said Hopkins, who insists that requests for photos or autographs are not an inconvenience.

“It’s my job. They pay my salary.”

Hopkins is also taken with the movie, which stars Ray Liotta and Julia Stiles.

“It’s an excellent script. There’s not too much dialogue. It’s a brutal and harsh look at life,” he said.

While Hopkins has been in some major blockbusters, he has been intimately involved in the development of independent Go With Me for three years.

“I like scripts that are simple. Sometimes you do a movie and it’s so hacked (edited) to pieces because everyone has good ideas. Danny (director Daniel Alfredson) is flexible but he doesn’t want people messing about.”

A major reason Hopkins is in the North Okanagan is because of Rick Dugdale, an Enderby native and partner in Los Angeles-based Enderby Entertainment.

“It’s incredible to see the locations you already know,” said Dugdale, the film’s producer.

“We shot interiors of Enderby city hall as the sheriff’s office.”

Dugdale is largely familiar with city hall because his mom, Louise Dugdale, works there.

“His main thing has been to bring something back to Enderby,” said Louise.

“I am very proud of Rick and what he has accomplished.”

And Dugdale is looking beyond Go With Me. He wants to see this region become a destination for motion pictures.

“The North Okanagan is very versatile. There are many different looks. You can look like mid-California to northern California or Oregon,” he said.

“The airport and hotels that are quality also work for the area, and there is crew here.”

The North Okanagan is also more geographically condensed than other communities, and that’s important in a business where time is money.

“The logistics here are manageable. You can shoot in Vernon and go to Enderby in 30 minutes but it can take two hours to go from the North Shore to Tsawwassen (in the Lower Mainland),” said Dugdale.

However, Wednesday’s snowfall created some challenges for a script that didn’t call for white stuff.

“It wasn’t a huge rewrite but there was some tweaking. We moved inside to control the conditions,” said Dugdale.

But even with that, crew members had to sweep snow off a tree in a Regent Avenue yard.

“We will be seeing the tree out of the window so we don’t want to show too much snow,” said Dugdale.

Residents keep walking past the set, often stopping to speak to the actors and crew.

“We want people living here to enjoy the experience. We don’t want, ‘Damn, Hollywood was here and left,’” said Dugdale.

“I love people taking it in and educating themselves about the industry. If we can inspire one kid to go to Vancouver and learn (the trade), we have done our job.”

 

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