In retrospect, it was inevitable that, along with the bystanders and the blinding set lights and the cameras on cranes and the movie star in the window, there would also be a drunk guy. Not a drunk guy who had heard that Jennifer Lopez was in town and thought it would be neat to bum-rush the Gray’s Papaya on Sixth Avenue and 8th Street where she was filming a nighttime scene for her new romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan. No, this would be a drunk guy who really, really wanted a hot dog. “Drunk guys, crazy guys, that’s everyday stuff,” says P.A. Joshua Williams. “This is New York.” And Back-Up Plan producer Todd Black wouldn’t shoot anywhere else. “There’s romance here. And you can’t fake these exteriors.” Or the humidity on this July night. Or the army of scene-disrupting paparazzi. As one explains, the frenzy is high because Lopez “doesn’t come here often.” Plus, she smiles for photos, unlike “sourpuss” Jennifer Aniston, also shooting in New York. (His best shot? Lopez spitting out chewed-up hot dog between takes.) Bronx girl Lopez has a home-field advantage with bystanders as well. Desmond Hill says his brother used to dance with her. “We [all] grew up in Castle Hill in the Bronx.” His wife, Reina, yells out, “Jennifer, the Bronx loves you!” Later, a woman walks by as Lopez, cameras rolling, throws back her head in laughter. “She’s overdoing it” is the brief critique.
Photographs by Edward Keating/Contact Press Images
A bodyguard keeps an eye on Lopez, shooting a scene with co-star Alex O’Loughlin at Gray’s Papaya.