The River? The Bottom? The Fan?
Richmonders are dying to know where director Steven Spielberg and actor Daniel Day-Lewis plan to live this fall while they’re in town filming the much-anticipated Abraham Lincoln biopic. But no one’s talking — least of all their real estate agent.
“I’m sworn to secrecy,” Andrea Levine says. “We can never divulge where they are.” Levine does say it’s “really cool” the stars are working with someone who has years of film industry experience as a prop master. Levine knows her frock coat from her morning coat; she was a dresser for 2003’s “Gods and Generals” and the 1998 TV drama “The Day Lincoln Was Shot.”
But anyway. Where are Spielberg and Day-Lewis — not to mention Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field — going to stay?
Some speculate that one might rent the Adam Craig House on East Grace Street, one of the oldest buildings in Richmond and a secluded oasis just blocks from the buzz of Shockoe Bottom. Hilary Swank reportedly loved staying there while she was filming the HBO suffragette drama, “Iron Jawed Angels,” in 2002.
What about a water view? Fan real estate developer Charlie Diradour says he heard three months ago that Spielberg was looking for a rental on the river. And Bill Martin, head of the Valentine Richmond History Center, says a rumor’s going around that someone — Spielberg? — has rented one of the luxe top-floor condos at Rocketts Landing on the James River, east of downtown.
A local bartender reports that one of the film’s associates stopped by Europa recently, checking out potential hangouts.
One thing’s certain: Richmonders are good at looking the other way when famous faces come to town, whether that’s Swank, Spielberg or Charlie Sheen (who was here in 1995 to film “Shadow Conspiracy”).
Even in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to worship at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, not one member of the congregation, which included Diradour’s mother, even turned to stare at him, Diradour says.
“It was very proper,” he says. “It was very Richmond. If someone’s here and they’re visiting, you treat them as a guest.”