New Robin Williams Movie Filming in Square

Hollywood is once again visiting Harvard, as a new movie featuring Robin Williams began filming in and around the Square Friday.

Last week, filmmakers constructed a facade of a Newbury Comics store on Bow Street. Friday night, they shot a scene outside the temporary Newbury Comics and at the Bow and Arrow pub next door.

The movie, Good Will Hunting, tells the story of a street-smart South Boston kid with a gift for mathematics.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote and star in the movie. Minnie Driver and Robin Williams also appear in the film.

Affleck is best known for his roles as Shannon Hamilton in Mallrats and as Holden McNeil in Chasing Amy, both written and directed by Kevin Smith. Damon played Ilario in Courage Under Fire.


Although the crew will not film on campus, the producers had to obtain permission to film from Harvard's Public Affairs Office as well as its Real Estate Office because the University owns much of the surrounding property.

"We make sure that there is no conflict with Harvard, that all parties agree and that there is no disruption of the educational mission of the University," said Alex Huppe, director of Harvard's office of public affairs.

Although Harvard frequently rejects similar requests, Huppe said that this project "seemed qualified."

"We will accommodate when we can and when it is in our interest," he said.

The movie is set in South Boston, but most was already filmed in Toronto.

A film technician from New England special effects said locations in Cambridge were chosen for their variety and appeal.

"Cambridge is a wonderful, cultured town," he said. "There are a lot of interesting backdrops to film."

The filmmakers will also shoot a scene this coming Friday at The Tasty.

"They are shooting a scene in here on Friday evening, but I heard that Robin Williams is not going to be in it," said Don K. Valcovic, manager of The Tasty. "I gather he doesn't have a large part in the movie."

Past movies to film scenes at Harvard include Love Story, With Honors and The Firm.

--Matthew W. Granade contributed to the reporting of this story.CrimsonMelissa K. CrockerA technician arranges lights for the new movie Good Will Hunting. The film is currently being shot in Harvard Square.