Photo Credit: WestIsle.News staff

Awarding Winning Stars Filming in Ucluelet

It's not often that Oscar winners come to town

Award winning stars Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett and Matt Craven are in Ucuelet to film Netflix’s film Lou

Oscar and Emmy winner Allison Janney, Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett, and Matt Craven may be wandering around downtown. Why? Because the cast and crew of Netflix‘s film Lou are filming around Ucluelet.

Lou takes place in 1986. As a massive storm rages, a young girl is kidnapped. Her desperate mother (Jurnee Smollett) teams up with her mysterious, older, antisocial neighbour (Allison Janney) to track down the kidnapper — the ex-husband — who has escaped into the woods. Their search takes them into the wilderness, tests their limits, and exposes dark and shocking secrets from their pasts.

The cast and crew are stellar.

Janney won four Emmys as President Bartlett’s press secretary C.J. on the acclaimed TV series, The West Wing. Janney has also won numerous awards for playing difficult mothers. She won five Emmys as Bonnie Plunkett, the alcoholic mother on the long-running comedy Mom and an Oscar playing Tanya Harding’s Tiger-mom in I, Tonya.

Jurnee Smollett is an award-winning actress famous for HBO’s Lovecraft Country, HBO’s cult classic horror drama True Blood, and NBC’s hit family drama Friday Night Lights.

Although you may not know his name, you’d recognize Ontario-born Matt Craven’s face. Craven is a sought-after character actor with roles in blockbusters and critically acclaimed films such as the Academy-Award-nominated Crimson Tide, A Few Good Men, and X-Men: First Class. Craven has also starred in TV shows such as Sharp ObjectsNCIS, Resurrection and Justified.

J.J. Abrams, the famous director and producer of Lost, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Mission Impossible, is Lou’s Executive Producer.

Ucluelet was the perfect location. Lou’s publicist Lorraine Jamison told Victoria News, “The filmmakers selected Ucluelet as a location because of the location’s unique beauty and magnificent coastline.”

Filming will take place the second week of August. Normally that’s a busy time of year.

Ucluelet’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Abby Fortune, admits that closing down Main Street in August is disruptive. But, she says the disruption is “negligible in comparison to the economic benefit a production such as this brings to our community.”

“The result of a large-scale Netflix production will not only support many local businesses during the filming and into the future, but it will place Ucluelet as a desirable and experienced filming location on the West Coast,” Fortune said.

About 40 Tofino and Ucluelet locals were hired as background actors for August 9 and August 10.

The actors and crew will be filming at Pioneer Boatworks and The Crow’s Nest.

Pioneer Boatworks, closed for business on August 9 to film, will be done up to look like a hardware store. Likewise, the Crow’s Nest, Ucluelet’s longest-running store, will be revamped to look like a bank.

Lou has been filming in Vancouver for months.

Netflix has not yet announced Lou’s release date.