Hollywood coming to Fairhope

Feature film to be shot in city in Feb., March


The streets of Fairhope may soon contain Hollywood stars, as a new feature film looks to film in the city during February and March.

The new feature film, “The Friend,” is based on an essay by executive producer and Fairhope resident Matthew Teague about the death of his wife Nicole from ovarian cancer in Sept. 2014. A friend of the couple, New Orleans resident Dane Faucheux, came to stay with the couple in Fairhope and helped Matthew take care of both Nicole and his daughters.

The movie will star Academy Award winner Casey Affleck as Matthew, Dakota Johnson as Nicole and Jason Segel as Dane.

Economic and Community Development Director Sherry-Lea Botop said she had met with the production team several times and that the city was excited to see the project moving forward.

She said the production schedule is something the city would work with the production company on.

“Because the whole film is being shot here, some of it we have to be a little flexible with,” Botop said. “We’re not able to say which day they’ll be at which location.”

Botop said she was unaware of another feature film that had been shot in Fairhope to the degree that this one would.

Council President Jack Burrell asked the production team, who was present for the council’s Jan. 14 work session, to make sure to give local business owners notice of when and where shooting would occur if they would be impacted.

“Citizens are certainly excited to see these things,” Burrell said. “It’s the businesses we get complaints from. Just give them as much notice as possible whenever.”

Mayor Karin Wilson said she was pleased to have the movie being filmed in Fairhope.

“I just welcome the industry in general,” Wilson said.

Other movies have previously been filmed at least in part in Fairhope, including the Academy Award-winning horror movie “Get Out” and the film “Arkansas,” which is due to be released in 2020.