Hollywood hit the streets of Ipswich with George Clooney and Ben Affleck while filming Amazon’s The Tender Bar. Outside Marcorelle’s Liquor Shop, Central Street was transported back to the ‘70s, complete with authentic cars—at the wrap shoot, Ben Affleck cruised by in a classic sky-blue Cadillac convertible.
George Clooney, the director of the film, took the floor to acknowledge and give heartfelt thanks to the cast and crew, as well as greet the crowd watching from the sidelines. Clooney gave special recognition to newcomer Daniel Ranieri, a young boy from Brooklyn who was an overnight YouTube sensation when his mother filmed him talking about the COVID-19 lockdown last year.
Clooney leaned into the convertible and, with a pat on the back, encouraged the young Ranieri to stand up. Ranieri enthusiastically waved to the crowd and was applauded by cast, crew, and spectators—his contagious smile lit up the street.
Next, Clooney gave a heartwarming and humorous shout-out: “And also an honor to Boston home boy, Mr. Ben Affleck!” Affleck then exited the convertible and the two embraced as life-long friends. Raneiri also hopped out of the convertible and gave Clooney a low-down high five and was embraced by Affleck.
Affleck also took the time to speak quietly with Daniel’s mother who was on set and always close by. Affleck clearly grew fond of this young newcomer, and we look forward to seeing this cast in action with the release of the film later this year.
Nearby store owners all shared the same sentiments—that Clooney is a down-to-earth guy, very welcoming and friendly. Julie and Bud Siciliano, owners of Heart & Soul Café, were surprised to see firsthand how many people it takes to get one simple shot.
Leah Smith, owner of Marcorelle’s, said they got to meet Clooney inside their shop, and that he was an incredibly nice guy. Smith recalled when Clooney had been scouting Ipswich along with his crew, who all loved the ‘70s vibe of Marcorelle’s. Their sign is even more iconic now—it’s an Ipswich Hollywood landmark.
The Tender Bar, based on the 2005 memoir by J.R. Moehringer, tells the story of a young boy growing up on Long Island. He seeks out father figures at his uncle’s (Affleck) bar after his own father, a New York disc jockey, vanished when he was a baby. The regulars at his uncle’s bar ultimately welcome the boy, played primarily by Tye Sheridan, into their circle.
In real life, Moehringer grew up to be a newspaper reporter, winning a Pulitzer Prize for best feature writing in 2002. His memoir was adapted for the screen by William Monahan, who won an Oscar in 2007 for the adapted screenplay of The Departed.