Movie Crew Does Some Rearranging In Small Oklahoma Town

Wednesday, October 10th 2012, 10:22 pm
By: Tess Maune

Barnsdall, Oklahoma is your typical small town, a blip on the map along Highway 11, with one claim to fame.

"This town is well-known in Ripley's Believe It or Not for America's only Main Street oil well," said Mayor JD Cole.

But this week, a storm blew through the tiny town that no one will soon forget.

"Like sharks feeding, everybody converged on the town and turned a small town into a big city," Cole said.

On Tuesday, a few big screen A-listers collided smack dab in the middle of Main Street.

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But if you ask the Mayor, he may not be able to tell you which ones.

"Really, I probably wouldn't know one if they walked up to me, because I'm a western, fan from the old days," Cole said.

It wasn't a western, but instead the star-studded movie, August: Osage County.

Actors Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, and Abigail Breslin filmed a scene from the film on Main Street Tuesday.

Like with any big Hollywood movie, there was a wish list, but in this case it was to move the town's historic oil rig from the west end of Main Street to the east.

"I said, ‘Nah, you've got to be kidding,'" Barnsdall resident Fred Williams said.

Williams learned quickly, they weren't kidding.

"I knew I was talking to somebody that wasn't really up on this part of the country very much," Williams said.

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Since it wasn't possible to move the original, movie crews did what anybody would do, brought in a duplicate.

"Now we've got a new title, we got two Main Street oil wells—I thought it was neat. I jokingly said, ‘Why don't you just leave it out there?'" Cole said.

The town's transformation doesn't end there, though. Despite the sign and the fully stocked shelves, Barnsdall has no liquor store.

"I've actually had people call and ask when the liquor store's gonna open. It looks real," Cole said.

The building is actually part of the church next door, Freedom Ministries, which meets in the old movie theater.

"I just hope it puts Barnsdall in a good light, you know, and not a negative light," Williams said.

In the next few days, the big, red letters and the booze will be gone, leaving only a memory of the day that Hollywood took over the town.

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