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Galt Herald

Hollywood Production Films in Area

Mar 05, 2024 09:46AM ● By Matthew Malone, photos by Matthew Malone

Leonardo DiCaprio practices throwing a water bottle in preparation for a scene.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The stars came out in the daytime on Feb. 25, as a movie whose cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Regina Hall filmed in Galt. And many residents in Rio Linda and nearby cities, were among those hoping to catch a glimpse of the live movie shoot.

Although the production has been shrouded in secrecy — no title or synopsis has been officially announced — it has attracted intense interest as it films on-location around Northern California.

Leonardo DiCaprio is seen on Feb. 26 during rehearsals for a scene being filmed at a park in Galt. The secretive production is being directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Production vehicles lined the streets around Harvey Park in Galt and the sidewalks around the park were closed to the public.

Most of the afternoon filming took place in the space between the park and the Union Pacific railroad tracks that run through the city.

Groups of curious onlookers gathered on the far side of the streets around Harvey Park, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the celebrities or get some insight into the filmmaking process.

Extras rehearse running out of the Harvey Park baseball field into a semitruck.

“It’s been all over social media,” Christina Tapia said, explaining that one of her daughters wants to be an actress. “She was the one that was like, ‘Mom, they closed off all the streets. Can we please go try to find them?’”

Her daughter, Selah, described hearing rumors of the movie shoot.

“We heard it from a bunch of friends. It was going around,” Selah said. “Some people were like, ‘Oh yeah, Leonardo DiCaprio’s coming to Galt.’ And I love Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s one of my favorite celebrities.”

Selah and sister, Rikki, hoped to see DiCaprio delivering lines or recreating a shot from his 2013 movie, “The Great Gatsby,” in which he raises a glass of champagne.

Maria Fernandez and Michael Tam were waiting nearby. Fernandez, a Galt resident, remarked on the event rarity for the city.

“It’s kind of exciting because nothing really happens here in Galt that exciting, so I feel everyone’s excited for it,” Fernandez said.

Tam said, “I want to see what the process is, maybe catch a glimpse of whoever’s coming in … and hopefully see some action scenes.”

The production involved its fair share of action; at one point, Penn filmed several takes of a scene in which he was led into a chain-link cage with a rifle at his back. Meanwhile, dozens of extras ran out of the Harvey Park baseball field into a semitruck. DiCaprio was also present, at one point rehearsing a scene that involved throwing an object on top of the cage.

Other stars seen on set included Hall and singer-songwriter Teyana Taylor.

The city of Galt posted on social media that “a special event” would involve simulated gunfire between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Paul Slaviero, who lives in San Jose, was visiting in-laws in town when he heard about the event. He told the Elk Grove Citizen why he and his wife decided to watch DiCaprio filming.

“He’s one of the greatest actors. … You take a look at Ben Affleck and Leo DiCaprio and some of the others, they’re the legacy now of great actors, who carry on the torch of what Hollywood, and what great acting, is all about. And here he is today. And I’m thinking that’s exciting for me to take my time to stay here to watch this,” Slaviero said.

The film is written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who has also written and directed movies such as “Boogie Nights” and “There Will Be Blood.” Warner Bros. is the distributor.

Reached for comment before the Galt filming date, a representative told Messenger Publishing Group, “For the safety of our cast and crew, we would like to refrain from doing any media until after our scheduled filming. Thank you for understanding.”

The production popped up in Humboldt County from late January to early February and filming moved to the Sacramento area starting on Feb. 3, with shoots at the Sacramento County Administration Building and the Sacramento County Superior Court building, and, on Feb. 6, near the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton.

The city of Galt acknowledged the filming directly in a Feb. 26 social-media post.

“First off, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to Warner Bros. Pictures for choosing Galt as a filming location for their upcoming movie! It is such an honor to have our small town showcased as part of this project,” the post read. It thanked residents for their patience, as well as staff with the police, parks and recreation, and public works departments for their work during and before filming.

On the day of filming, some spectators crowding the sidewalks in the afternoon experienced the movie shoot close up when a production crew member approached and began recruiting individuals to be extras for the night scenes. Tapia, there to accompany her daughters, left to change clothes after the crew member picked her as an extra.

Actors Teyana Taylor and Sean Penn (both at center) wait between takes of a scene where Taylor leads Penn into a chain-link cage at gunpoint.