WELLINGTON, Ohio — You could say the people of Wellington are quite “taken” with Liam Neeson.
Movie fans crowded the streets of the quaint village to catch a glimpse of their favorite star in action, as a production crew filmed scenes for Neeson’s latest film, “The Minuteman.”
“I love his movies, ‘Taken’ was my very favorite so yeah I’m into it, it’s pretty thrilling,” said Wellington resident, Pete Strawderman.
The premise of the new movie is about a Vietnam Veteran, played by Neeson, who is fighting to protect a young boy being pursued by drug cartel assassins. It’s a familiar formula that has made Neeson a box office star around the world.
“I most definitely love his action movies, like those are the best,” said Oberlin resident, Wesley Schramm.
Fans who watched each take quickly learned that before you see movie magic in the theater, there is a great deal of tedious work during the production of a film. For one scene, Liam Neeson walked in and out of a gun shop more times than the freight trains pass through Wellington each day.
Police had to block off traffic as Neeson and the production team shot various scenes in the village.
Chief Tim Barfield told Fox 8, “the town’s a buzz, right? Pretty neat thing for any place to happen, certainly here in Wellington. It’s been a little crazy but for us, it’s just about directing traffic, to keep the pedestrian traffic under control.”
The village and business owners had to make some changes to suit Hollywood. For instance, the gun shop that was the backdrop for the production on Thursday is actually the Wellington Music Store, and the owner agreed to the transformation requested by the producers of The Minuteman.
Wellington was recently honored for having the best main street in the country, but it was selected as a backdrop for scenes in the film based on the recommendation of a location scout with roots in greater Cleveland.
Movie fans who watched the production up close are looking forward to seeing the final product and their hometown on the big screen.
“It was awesome, it definitely was and I want to come back, but I have other things to do unfortunately,” said Schramm.
Liam Neeson and the production crew for The Minuteman have also been shooting scenes in Cleveland and Hudson.