North Country - Press Archive - The Mustang

 
Source: The Mustang

Issue: 2/10/05
Students have chance to work with famous faces, in Grant County
By Cassandra Bluett
 
Lights, camera, action! These words will ring across the Cobre and Chino
mines as camera crews will soon be moving in to begin the filming of an
untitled production, inspired by the book Class Action by Clara Bingham
and Laura Leedy Gansler. Charlize Theron, Sissy Spacek, Frances
McDormand, three past Academy Award winners, as well as Woody
Harrelson and Sean Bean are starring in the picture.
 
The film is a drama based on the true story of the first successful
sexual harassment case in the United States, Jenson vs. Eveleth
Mines. In 1975, Eveleth Mines hired the first four females in company
history to work the Mesabi Iron Range of Minnesota. These women
were subjected to sexual harassment, which included rude remarks and
physical abuse. In 1984, Lois Jenson and other female miners rallied
together and filed a suit against the mine. The suit was finally settled
in their favor in 1999, when a judge ruled that Eveleth Mines maintained
a hostile work environment.
 
Warner Brothers Pictures will film a portion of the movie in Grant County
with the cooperation of the Phelps Dodge Mining Company. Principal
photography is scheduled to begin at the end of January in Minnesota
for exterior work. It will move to New Mexico on March 7 and will continue
shooting until around March 22. Director Niki Caro, noted for her work on
Whale Rider, said that Grant County was chosen because of the mine
sites and the people.
 
The untitled work will be the 24th movie to be filmed in New Mexico
since Governor Bill Richardson took office in 2003. Richardson, along
with the film's producer and director announced Silver City's involvement
in the shoot at the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center on campus in
mid-December of last year. The production will bring in hundreds of
high-wage jobs, and millions of dollars for the Silver City and Grant
County economies.
 
Sunday, January 23, cast and crew arrived in Silver City for a read
through and to begin MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration)
training as well as haul truck driving lessons at the Chino mine. Theron,
McDormand, and Harrelson were among the entourage. That Tuesday,
a number of the stars and crew dined at Diane's Restaurant before
leaving for Minnesota to begin filming.
 
Warner Brothers held a casting call for male mine workers and female
stand-ins at Light Hall this past Friday and Saturday. Approximately
400 people came with hope of being on the big screen. Those that are
chosen as extras will be paid $100 a day and are well fed by the
production team. However, they are asked to work a minimum of
twelve-hour days without leaving the set. Students that are selected
will be forced to choose between attending class and the production
because extras are asked to be available at all times.
 
The film is still unnamed. Suggestions can be e-mailed to assistant
casting director Elizabeth Gabel at egabel@msn.com.

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