By HELENA OLIVIERO
The movie, “Instant Family,” is being filmed around town in Avondale Estates including scenes at a historic home and the city’s large park. Camera crews, equipment and actors are dotting tree-lined streets and park area. Word also spread about actor Mark Wahlberg starring in the film.
So Avondale residents Jen Newman, daughter Lilly, along with neighbors Jenny Puestow Norris and her daughter Grace, jumped in a golf cart (golf carts are a popular mode of transportation in this town) and headed to Willis Park to see if they could get close to filming, and hey, maybe meet Wahlberg.
Upon arriving, they saw bright balloons festooning the gazebo, suggesting the park was the set for a birthday party scene. Meanwhile, actors and crew started wrapping up filming.
Wahlberg started to leave the park and was getting into a car. But when he spotted a smiling and waving Lilly heading his way, Wahlberg stepped out of his car for a photo.
“It was very cute,” said Jen Newman. “He literally got out of the car and took a picture with Lilly. He was very gracious.”
Last week, Paramount Pictures location managers passed out fliers informing residents about traffic controlling measures and the closing of the park for a couple days for the filming of the movie.
“I love the fact the film industry picks our sweet neighborhood to film,” said Newman. “We have a beautiful place to film. Why not?”
Puestow Norris and her daughter, Grace, also enjoyed seeing all of the filming activity at the park.
“It was so exciting . . .everyone was incredibly nice. The security crew was approachable and let us get close. Mark was gracious,” said Puestow Norris.
Also on Thursday, from noon until 8 p.m. or until supplies last, Paramount Worldwide Productions will be at Willis Park giving out free popsicles from The King of Pops as a “thank you” to Avondale residents.
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