By CHRIS EBERHART
Actors Bobby Moynihan and Nick Kroll, who grew up in Eastchester and Rye respectively, were surrounded by cameras and films crews in Eastchester and New Rochelle as they acted out their scenes in the upcoming comedy “Brother’s Keeper.”
The film’s location manager, Mike Hartel, said, “about 90 percent of the filming” will take place in New Rochelle and Eastchester.
“The areas are picturesque; they’re beautiful and, for every movie, unless it’s a gritty movie, you want the scenes to look as beautiful as these towns do with their architecture and scenery,” Hartel said. “After searching for a while, you’d be surprised how hard it is to find towns that cinematically look great.”
Hartel said indie film “Brother’s Keeper” is a privately-funded, $1.5 million comedy about a guy down on his luck who moves back home. Hartel said Ross Katz, who was the producer of “Lost in Translation” and “In the Bedroom,” is directing the film, and Jared Goldman, who produced “Skeleton Twins,” is the producer.
Hartel said the film’s main character, played by Kroll, is an unlikeable guy that begins the movie on top of the world, but by scene three, loses everything, becomes broke and has to move back to his hometown of New Rochelle, where he lives with his sister—played by actress Rose Byrne—and her husband. The Kroll character becomes the caretaker for his nephews while learning more about himself.
Hartel said, the film is New York based, and the idea to film in Eastchester came after shooting “The Namesake” in 2006 at Lake Isle Country Club, which he remembers distinctly because “it was such a beautiful setting.”
In one of the scenes, Kroll visits Value Drugs on Tuckahoe Avenue in Eastchester to buy a pair of swim trunks for his nephew, which is where he meets an old, hometown friend played by Moynihan.
Value Drugs store manager Brian Sarfaty said the time spent filming in his store was “hectic.”
“There were so many people and cameras,” Sarfaty said. “It was a different experience. It was mostly positive, but it was a little much because we couldn’t do a lot of business while they were filming because there had to be silence.”
In Eastchester, scenes were also shot in Piper’s Kilt bar on White Plains Road and Teresa’s Bakery on Mill Road.
Hartel said Teresa’s Bakery was turned into more of a cafe setting, where Byrne and another actress were “having a chat.”
Giulio Darmetta, the owner of Teresa’s Bakery, said he enjoyed the time they were filming in his bakery and said he joked with the cast and crew.
“It was a lot of fun. I got a picture with Nick [Kroll] eating a canoli,” Darmetta said. “And then I was joking with the assistant director and saying, ‘Quiet on the set.’ It was a great time. And it was really amazing to see how a movie is made and how many takes it takes to get a scene right.”
Hartel said they used the exterior of Piper’s Kilt for a scene in which Kroll’s character rolls out of bed at 10 in the morning and gets frustrated because the bar is still locked.
Filming in Eastchester only lasted parts of two days; Jan. 13, which is when filming started, and Jan. 15, with the majority of the remaining film to be shot in New Rochelle, which is where Hartel said the film primarily takes place.Hartel said the crew’s time in New Rochelle will include 11 straight days of filming in a house on Paine Avenue and 15 days in either New Rochelle High School or the College of New Rochelle.
After filming is complete in February, Hartel said the next steps for “Brother’s Keeper” are trips to film festivals, which Hartel said, is where the film would be picked up by a distributor.