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Silver Lake serves as backdrop for new indie L.A. film

November 24, 2009 |  9:30 am

BeginnersObi-Wan Kenobi dropped in on Silver Lake this week.

Traveling far from his starring role in "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," Scottish actor Ewan McGregor has joined Christopher Plummer and "ER" actor Goran Visnjic in a low-budget independent movie called "Beginners" that has begun filming on the streets of L.A.

In the movie, which is set in the Silver Lake area, McGregor portrays a young man whose world is shaken when his father, played by Plummer, reveals a double whammy -- that he has terminal cancer and is gay. In a far cry from his role as the heartthrob doctor in "ER," Visnjic is cast as Plummer's partner.

The $3-million film, directed and written by Mike Mills, is among about 50 projects that received approval for tax credits under the state's new film incentive program.

The city figures prominently in the film. So far, the production has shot at Griffith Park, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and on Monday will move to Highland Park to film a Halloween party scene. The crew will also spend several days downtown filming at the Biltmore Hotel.

Even the city's Silver Lake dog park will have a bit part in the movie, location manager Chris Miller said.

Despite the movie's small budget, Miller is especially grateful for the local storyline. His last job, working on the remake of the musical "Fame," ended seven months ago.

"There's so little work out there, I'm just fortunate to be working right now," he said.

-- Richard Verrier