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Hollywood Takes Over BenU, Hilary Swank on campus


Michelle Reilly

News Editor

Over the past month, Benedictine has opened its doors to filming crews for both a TV series and a film. In the end of March, during spring break, the TV show was shot and for those students and faculty that were still on campus, they saw some changes throughout the school. For one, the school mascot was changed from the eagles to the pirates, with logos spread over campus with the “pirates” name. The Candor reached out to Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Mercy Robb, to comment on the filming crew.

“BenU was contacted by a production company, on behalf of 20th Century Fox, in mid-February while scouting locations to film a TV pilot called ‘Controversy.’ Filming took place in two campus locations—Goodwin Hall and the Rice Center,” stated Robb in an email.

Following the footsteps of “Controversy” was another film crew just this week. Students came back Tuesday from Easter break to trailers and trucks parked all over campus for production. The Vice-President of Student Life, Marco Masini,  prepared students for what to expect when returning to campus this week via email.

“The Office of Auxiliary Enterprises will be facilitating a Hollywood Film Project on campus for the following dates, Monday April 17- Tuesday April 18 with operating hours from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. They will be prepping areas on Monday April 17th and film Tuesday April 18th,” stated Masini. As for what the production included exactly, such as what buildings would be in use, Masini continued to explain further.

“Total production includes 50 crew members, 5 to 6 trailers, and 4 cube trucks. The use of the following facilities are Scholl Hall (1st Floor), Jaeger Hall residence hall room and the Parking Garage,” explained Masini.

The large production team was shooting a drama film, “What They Had” that stars two-time Oscar-winning actress, Hilary Swank. The film is set to be released sometime next year. Swank was on campus on Tuesday and one student had the opportunity to meet her and take a picture with her.

Photo credit goes to Jillian Hoffman

“They were filming on the third floor so I went up there with my roommate and acted like we needed to go into our dorm room. So we walked up there and the whole floor was filled with equipment and Hilary Swank was walking around up there so we waited up there while Officer Sawyer was guarding her door. We made small talk with her makeup artist who was standing outside her door and finally after a while, Hilary came out and took pictures with us and everyone else who had been waiting hours to meet her,” Freshman, Jillian Hoffman described her experience.

While talking with Swank’s makeup artist, Hoffman found out why they chose Benedictine for filming and also how they like it here.

“I talked to her makeup artist briefly and she told us that they loved filming at BenU because of the low key campus we have. They felt like it was comforting being here and it wasn’t hectic. They felt like we really welcomed them and showed them a lot of hospitality,” Hoffman continued.

While filming officially ended Tuesday of this week, make sure to keep a look for our campus in “Controversy” as well as “What They Had” sometime next year.