Editor's note: This article originally was published by Norwalk Patch on Oct. 15, 2011, when the movie "Hope Springs" was tentatively titled "Great Hope Springs." The movie has just been released.
Meryl Streep, and the crew of G.H.S. Productions recently concluded eight weeks of filming "Great Hope Springs," mostly in Norwalk, with a wrap party Wednesday at .
Streep was at the party. The film's other stars, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carrell were not. On the other hand, Mayor Richard A. Moccia, attended, as did City Clerk Erin Halsey, and they're a lot easier to get ahold of than the three actors.
"The party was wonderful," Halsey reported. She met Streep, who was "very cordial and just a very classy woman. The party was really fun."
Moccia and Police Chief Harry W. Rilling visited the indoor movie set toward the end of the production, and they both recently had a late "lunch" at 4 p.m. with Streep, Halsey said.
In part of the old building, crews had built a set meant to resemble the inside of an airliner.
"Chief Rilling was there when they were filming [...], and he said it looked just like a plane," Halsey said.
Moccia had once worked in the Nash Engineering factory as an employee, he said, and he also visited it while the crew was there.
"He walked in there, and they must've recognized him because he was so well-dressed," Halsey said. "'You must be the mayor,' people said. Streep said that, too."
Although much of the movie was filmed in the old Nash building, which is expected to be torn down in order to create an ice skating rink, some shooting was done elsewhere in town. One scene was filmed at , Halsey said.
For about 10-days of the eight-week shooting period, the film company was , filming outdoor scenes, Halsey said.
Here are some photo galleries about the filming in Stonington, from Stonington Patch:
Norwalk benefited from the filming in part because the film crews and actors sometimes ate at restaurants in nearby South Norwalk, Halsey said, and sometimes bought items or services at local businesses.
She said her experience with the production company was positive: "They filled out all their paperwork. They did everything down to the letter," she said. "It's a pleasure to work with film companies like this."
"I think it's going to be a real good movie, and I think we should be really proud that our city's in a movie of this caliber," Halsey said.
Moccia said Streep got a chance to visit Wilson Point, Rowayton and other spots, and she told him, "'Norwalk's a wonderful town.'"
Editor's note: Patch.com and the producers of "Hope Springs" have a marketing agreement which has included sponsored tweets, sponsored Facebook posts and advertising on Patch. This article (and the republishing of this article) is not part of that marketing agreement.