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'21,' an MIT Story, Shoots at Harvard

By Claire J. Saffitz, Crimson Staff Writer

Accustomed to the presence of intellectual superstars around campus, Harvard students barely batted an eyelid yesterday at the prospect of spotting Hollywood celebrities.

Film crews flooded the streets around Harvard Square yesterday morning to begin a three-day-long shoot for the upcoming movie “21.”

Rehearsals took place inside the J.Press store on Mt. Auburn and Dunster St., while the crew used the house of the Bee Club next door. Filming will start today.

Trucks arrived at 6:30 a.m. yesterday and lined Plympton and Dunster St. all the way from Mount Auburn St. to Memorial Drive.

Despite the closure of Dunster St. and a lane of Mt. Auburn, students said the filming hasn’t been much of a disruption for them.

“It hasn’t really hindered me from getting to class. It actually helped because it stopped traffic and I didn’t have to wait for cars to stop,” said Kirkland resident Caroleene Hardee ’09.

“I haven’t even heard about it,” said Bieta Andemariam ’08.

Ryan S. Nolan ’09 expressed a similar sentiment.

“I heard about the filming from a notice in my dorm, but that was it,” he said.

“It would have been pretty cool to meet Kevin Spacey, though,” he added.

But Spacey left town last week, said the Boston Herald, and the other actors spent most of the day rehearsing indoors.

A solitary paparazzo waited outside.

The film’s publicist did return calls and the president of the Bee, Bay A. Hudner ’08, declined to comment.

“21” is loosely based on Ben Mezrich’s 2003 bestseller “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students who took Vegas for Millions,” and stars Laurence Fishburne and Kate Bosworth, as well as Spacey.

Jim Sturgess stars as an MIT student with aspirations to Harvard Medical School.

Production began in Las Vegas before relocating to Boston in March, according to Jeff Rockwell, a technician for the film.

The MIT Board of Trustees declined to let crews on their campus, but filming has already taken place at Boston University, Kenmore Square, a stage in Chelsea, Mass., and around Harvard Medical School.

—Staff writer Claire J. Saffitz can be reached at csaffitz@fas.harvard.edu.

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