Watertown Police Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese had some house guests in his Westside home this week – a whole crew of them, in fact – including an Oscar winning actor.
One of the characters in the “Patriots Day” movie about the Boston Marathon Bombings is Pugliese, who was part of the shootout with the bombing suspects in Watertown. He will be portrayed by J.K. Simmons, who won an Academy Award for his role in “Whiplash,” and also appeared in the many other movie and television roles, including “Law & Order” and “The Closer.”
Wednesday, the Pugliese household was taken over by film crews from CBS Films, to shot scenes for the film that will hit theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 21, 2016.
Earlier this year, Simmons came out to study Pugliese for the role in the film. The actor attended a Watertown Police roll call, and rode around with Pugliese, said a production spokesman with Patriots Day.
To get his look down, Simmons grew a mustache like the one sported by Pugliese. A member of the Watertown Police said the the film company had a jacket made to match the “1980s” leather jacket that Pugliese often wears.
Pugliese’s wife Connie said he never imagined he would be part of a Hollywood film.
“Never in a million years,” Connie said. “Even after the incident he didn’t anticipate this. How can you even think this can happen?”
With the film equipment inside the home, the Pugliese moved into a hotel for a couple days, Connie said.
On Wednesday she watched from across the street as crew members scurried in and out of her house. Pugliese was not around in the early part of the shoot because he had accepted an award from the Department of Justice in Boston that afternoon.
Between shots, Simmons came out to chat with Connie, and joked that they had rearranged her spice cabinet.
Preparing for one of the scenes where he would be wearing bathrobe and slipper, Simmons said he had an important question for Connie.
“Boxers or briefs?” Simmons said.
She whispered in Simmon’s ear, so readers will have to see the film to find out the answer.
Connie said the film production company and crew have been great.
“The director is fabulous. He is a very nice guy – Peter Berg,” she said. “And the actor, J.K. Simmons, is so down to earth.”
Other scenes in Patriots Day have been filmed around town, including at Main Street Mobile (where Mark Wahlberg appeared), the old Police Station, Greg’s Restaurant and Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street.
Connie said it was a treat to have them film on her block.
“It’s so great the neighbors could come out and watch,” she said.
Wednesday’s filming will be the last in Watertown, but production will continue in the Boston area through next week.
See more coverage of the filming of Patriots Day in Watertown here: