Behind the Scenes: ‘Public Affairs’ Pays Tribute to Norfolk
The set of political thriller ‘Public Affairs’ is littered with Bras, body lotion, brown sugar stains and some major Hampton Roads love.
What happens when a Hollywood production invades your hometown? First off, they need locations to shoot the film. That’s where sisters Meaghan and Claire Campbell of Norfolk, Virginia come into the “big picture.” FilmFad catches up with Meaghan Campbell on location for an exclusive conversation on how her and her sister’s mild-mannered Norfolk apartment became the set of ‘Public Affairs,’ and all in under 10 minutes.
This whole thing has been weird and unique. – Meaghan Campbell
According to Meaghan, A few months ago the Campbell sisters stumbled upon an ad calling for temporary use of a Norfolk apartment. Curious about the process, the sisters picked up the phone and literally within minutes were swept up in the hustle and bustle of a Hollywood production.
So [my sister’s boss] sent Claire a screenshot of this Facebook ad posted by her friend from high school, Jeff Frizzell. The ad said they were looking for a 1st floor apartment, preferably two to three bedrooms and kind of dingy looking, so it could be potentially be a political aide’s [apartment] from Georgetown. As a joke, we were like “maybe we could fit that description,” so we gave him a call and he said he’d be over in 10 minutes. 4 minutes later he shows up. We had zero time to prepare, so we’re shoving all our stuff in our closets trying to make it look a little presentable. He walked around and thought it might be okay, so then he called the rest of his crew over. They came maybe two hours later, all 14 of them. They walked through the apartment and were all very excited, high-high-fiving me and Claire – We had no clue what was happening. They came back the next day with more people to look at it, and then a week later they came back with lighting people to make sure that our electricity would handle everything. They asked us to contact our landlord and neighbors just to make sure everything would be okay. Then we didn’t hear from them for maybe three weeks, until Tuesday when they texted us and said that they were going to come over and set up the apartment and stage it for the scenes. It was really quick, really easy.
Although the Campbell sisters were initially concerned about the cleanliness of their place, they quickly found out that it would be of the least concern to the production crew. Meaghan elaborates on the stark transformation that their home had undergone in such a short amount of time, turning the sisters real-life residence into the ill-kept apartment of a slovenly congressional aide.
What did they not change? It’s a little embarrassing that they did keep as much stuff as they did, because this place looks like a dump right now. They took all the paintings off the walls, splattered the walls with what they said was brown sugar and chocolate. I mean this [character] is a slob. Bottles of lotion on the ground, scattered. So many bottles of lotion.
Walking through the chaotic set, it’s hard to make some semblance of sense out of the mounds of random clothes, countless lotion bottles, chip crumbs, tubs of “Cheesy-O’s” and eerily themed art pieces. While the Campbell sisters have not been told much about the scope of the film beyond the IMBD bio, Meaghan has already started to speculate what she believes her bedroom will be used for.
I really think it’s gonna be used for a sex scene.
When asked if she is hoping for Adrian Grenier’s character to be the one who would “makes use” of her bedroom, Meaghan had the following to say:
100%! Yes! It would still be okay if it’s not him, but that would be definite bragging rights – saying Adrian Grenier had sex in my bed.
Although the Campbell sisters have yet to meet any of the talent, they are hoping to encounter their Hollywood house-guests and Meaghan already has an important question for Adrian Grenier.
I was gonna ask him if my bed was comfortable enough.
From breweries to barber shops, ‘Public Affairs’ pays a thankful tribute to Norfolk, Va and the greater Hampton Roads area with assorted knick-knacks and locally themed items scattered about the chaotic set. Amongst the local items we see multiple O’connor brewing bottles, Commonwealth Brewing stickers, Norfolk Mermaid patches, a longwood university bag, the Virginian Pilot newspaper, a Plush pig embroidered with “Smithfield, Virginia” and so much more. Meaghan had the following to say about as to why she thought Norfolk, Va was an ideal setting for the upcoming political thriller.
I think Norfolk has a lot of great characteristics that can imitate a place like DC, but for people on a budget.
Check out the FilmFad’s exclusive photo gallery showcasing all the Hampton Roads love, weird art pieces, bras and bottles of lotion found of the set of ‘Public Affairs.’
As the Hampton Roads portion of the ‘Public Affairs’ project nears its Friday completion, the production is far from over for the Campbell sisters with two full days of shooting left for their home. Displacement has been tedious for Claire, who works primarily from her home office, but less of a burden on Meaghan who works in Downtown Norfolk. In the end the sisters may be divided on how it feels to having their home invaded by a hollywood film crew, but the memories of celebrities and sugar stains left behind will likely be unforgettable for both the Campbells and their friends.