Star power at Schenectady "Pines" premiere

Posted at: 04/12/2013 12:35 AM
Updated at: 04/12/2013 5:31 PM
By: Dan Levy

SCHENECTADY - With dozens of movie fans, stargazers, and autograph hunters huddled behind police barricades outside on State Street, several hundred invited guests were gathered inside the Bow-Tie Theater for the local premier of The Place Beyond the Pines, which was filmed in and around Schenectady two summers ago.

Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper made the trip to Schenectady from Boston, where he is currently shooting another movie. He thanked movie-goers, many of whom appeared as extras in the police drama.

Also on hand were Director Derek Cianfrance, whose wife Shannon is from Schenectady, and Ben Coccio, a 1993 graduate of Niskayuna High School, who was one of three screenwriters for the critically acclaimed 140 minute long film.

"There were opportunities to take it (shooting of the film) to other places but I really wanted to keep it here in Schenectady," Cianfrance told reporters on a red carpet reception line in the theater's lobby. "Schenectady is the place that really inspired the story and once we shot it here, it couldn't have been shot anywhere else."

"My wife and I, we recently moved to Los Angeles and we were really homesick,"  said Coccio, "Coming back here for this, it's just incredible. It's not just coming home, it's coming home to celebrate something I worked really hard on for many, many years."

"(Director) Derek demanded that Schenectady be a real character in the move and everything has to be authentic and if it's not going to be, Schenectady's going to tell you it's not authentic," said Cooper.