HBO to commandeer West Maspeth streets for Leftovers filming

Justin Theroux will play a sheriff and father of two in the new HBO series The Leftovers. Photo courtesy of HBO and Warner Brothers.

Justin Theroux will play a sheriff and father of two in the new HBO series The Leftovers. Photo courtesy of HBO and Warner Brothers.

HBO film crews will be swooping down on West Maspeth Fri. and Sat., May 16-17, to shoot a few scenes for their upcoming series, The Leftovers, according to a release by City Council District 30 on Wednesday. During the filming, residents will be forced to accommodate parking and traffic interruptions, including intermittent traffic control measures as needed.

Here are some basic details about the show, the shoot, and some community reactions to the news that a bunch of Holly-wads are coming to West Maspeth:

The show:

Based on the novel of the same name released by Tom Perrotta in August 2011, The Leftovers is a story of rapture, or to be more accurate, a story of life after a rapture. Set in a small town called Mapleton, the plot of the television adaptation follows a small group of individuals who are left to pick up the pieces following the mysterious disappearance of more than 100 people. The show’s pilot episode is set to air on June 29, 2014.

Cast/Character Details:

The cast of The Leftovers is chalk-full of notables. Here are just a few of the lead actors on the show:

Liv Tyler – As Meg, who is about to get married when she becomes the target of a mysterious cult. | As seen in: Empire Records, That Thing You Do, Armaggedon, The Lord of the Rings

Justin Theroux – As Kevin Garvey, a police chief and father of two trying to maintain normalcy. | As seen in: American Psycho, Mulholland Drive, Wanderlust, Tropic Thunder

Amy Brenneman – As Laurie Garvey, Kevin’s wife who left it all behind to join a cult. | As seen in: Heat, Private Practice, Daylight, 88 Minutes

Christopher Eccleston – As Matt Jamison, former reverend and current editor of a self-published tabloid. | As seen in: Doctor Who, Thor, GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, Elizabeth

Charlie and Max Carver – As Scott and Adam Frost, respectively, twin brothers. | As seen in: Teen Wolf, Desperate Housewives.

Set and shot details:

On Friday, at 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., outdoor filming is set to take place on Maspeth Avenue between 58th Street and 57th Place. A prop mailbox will be set up onsite, and while one of the show’s actors sits in a car staking out the location, another character will arrive to remove a package taped to the bottom of the prop mailbox.

At 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, filming will also take place at the Clinton Diner, famous for its feature in Goodfellas, involving a quiet conversation between characters.

Affected parking:

Affected streets marked in red.

Affected streets marked in red.

  • Rust Street between 50th Street and 58th Road, east side, full street.
  • Maspeth Avenue between Rust and 58th streets, north and south sides, full street.
  • Maspeth Avenue between Maurice Avenue and 58th Place, north and south sides, full street.
  • Maurice Avenue between Maspeth Avenue and 56th Drive, east and west sides, half street.
  • 58th Street between Maspeth Avenue and 57th Road, east and west sides, full street.

Local reaction:

All hell broke loose on the Juniper Park Civic Association’s Facebook page when association executive member Lee Rottenberg posted the following comment at 10:42 a.m. on May 6 in regards to another shoot taking place nearby on May 19 and 20 in the Plateau area involving a SWAT Team breaking into a house as part of a commercial:

Lee Rottenburg's Facebook post.

Lee Rottenburg’s Facebook post.

Rottenberg took a lot of flack in the comments for his post. But as Facebook user Christina Wilkinson notes, he isn’t the first NYC resident to point out that behind the scenes, Hollywood’s high brow doesn’t often lower itself, and that short-term film shoots aren’t exactly teeming with people jumping at the chance to become civically minded member of the local community on top of their professional commitments.

Here are some comments from anti-filming residents:

Comment 5 Comment 21

Out of the more than 70 comments attached to Rottenberg’s post, here are a few excerpts from the pro-filming camp:

Comment 1 Comment 2 Comment 6

This last comment sparked a wildfire of comments and replies between the Fors and Againsts. Here is a highlight of exchange:

Comment 9 Comment 10Comment 25Comment 27 - Lee's final thoughts

There were several other volleys made and opinions submitted, but in the end, Facebook user Scott Johnston’s reactions probably best sum up the battle:

Comment 18 Comment 26

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