“Hangman,” a detective thriller starring Al Pacino, is about done filming in Atlanta. It was shooting in Castleberry Hill, just around the corner from the Georgia Dome, on Saturday.
We watched Pacino – who’s been spotted at the Buckhead Diner during his time here – rehearse a scene for a while. Everyone on the set was enraptured as he barreled onto the set, bantered with his costars for a minute and checked in with director Johnny Martin, then got to work.
Pacino, embodying a streetwise New York detective in a black leather jacket and jeans, wasn’t available for interviews but three of his costars were – Brittany Snow, Karl Urban and Sarah Shahi. They all talked about what a kick it’s been to work with the legendary actor.
“It’s been such an honor to get to work with Al Pacino,” Snow said. “He’s not only an icon but a really amazing guy. He reminds me so much of my dad.”
You might know Snow for her role as Chloe in the “Pitch Perfect” movies, the third of which will start filming in Atlanta in early January.
“I’ve been working so much I haven’t really seen much of Atlanta yet,” Snow said. “I go back (home) for Christmas and come back here for ‘Pitch Perfect’ right after the holidays. By the time ‘Pitch Perfect’ is done I’ll be immersed!”
For now she’s playing a reporter profiling detectives, played by Urban and Pacino, who are working to solve a string of grisly murders. Shahi is the police chief running the show.
“What drew me to the project was two words: Al Pacino,” Shahi said. “I’m trying not to fangirl out and say ‘Oh my God I loved you in this, I loved you in that!'”
In a scene they filmed Saturday, the police chief she plays yells as the two detectives, demanding answers as the case heats up. What is it like to literally yell at Al Pacino?
“It’s surreal,” Shahi said. “Al Pacino comes from this old school field of acting. It’s effortless. You can’t see it. Not a lot of actors have that today. He makes it look really simple which it’s not.”
Urban, who played Bones in the 2009 version of “Star Trek” and again in 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” has enjoyed being Pacino’s on-screen partner.
“Every day working with him you cannot but learn by process of osmosis,” he said. Urban plays Skurge in the upcoming Marvel project “Thor: Ragnarok,” but has enjoyed the challenge of working on the smaller-scale “Hangman.”
“It’s gone very smoothly,” he said of the Atlanta filming. “We are a small budget film trying to achieve a big budget scale of storytelling. We’ve certainly been stretched at times. That’s forced us to use our ingenuity. Thankfully we’ve got a really amazing Atlanta-based crew.”
“Hangman’s” director, Martin, was in Atlanta earlier this year for “Vengeance: A Love Story,” starring Nicolas Cage. We visited the set of that movie when it was filming at the Fulton County courthouse. Both “Vengeance” and “Hangman” are due out next year.