YONKERS, N.Y. – The upscale Lawrence Park West neighborhood has become the latest Yonkers location to supply the backdrop for a Hollywood production.
Cast and crews from “Hostage” were on the quiet, mansion-lined Hampshire Road Wednesday filming a pilot episode for the CBS drama. Production trucks and lighting equipment lined the street between Wrexham and Warwick roads, near Sarah Lawrence University, as crews spent much of the day working in the neighborhood.
“Hostage,” a Warner Brothers production, will star Toni Collette, who has appeared in several television shows and movies, including “The Sixth Sense” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”
In the show Collette plays Ellen, a surgeon living in Washington D.C. After she is selected to operate on the president of the United States, Ellen’s family is taken hostage and she is thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy.
Starring opposite the Australian actress will be Dylan McDermott, known for his roles in “American Horror Story” and “The Practice.” In the show McDermott plays an FBI agent at the center of the conspiracy.
But “Hostage” wasn’t the city’s only Hollywood visitors on Wednesday.
“Black Nativity,” a gospel musical that re-tells the Bible’s nativity story was also filming at Yonkers Stage on Tuckahoe Road. Starring Forest Whittaker, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige, the movie is set to be released in November, according to IMDB .
Wednesday’s star-studded day of filming continues a recent run of attracting big-name productions to Yonkers, which officials say is once again becoming a destination for movie and television producers.
In 2012, crews spent more than 100 days filming in the city, including television shows like Kevin Bacon’s “ The Following ” and “Law & Order: SVU,” as well as blockbuster movies like “A Winters Tale” and “ Innocence ,” among others.
In January, city officials credited the re-launch of the Yonkers Film Office with playing a big part in drawing producers back to the city.
“We are actively trying to make this a filming friendly city and not to impose outrageous fees and obstacles for production companies,” Christina Gilmartin, spokesperson for Mayor Mike Spano, said at the time.
And Hollywood is apparently responding well to the effort. In a picture posted on Spano’s Twitter account last month, a letter from an “Law & Order: SVU” producer thanked the mayor for they city’s cooperation.
“All of us at Law and Order SVU want to express our deepest gratitude,” the letter read. “I have never had such a positive experience filming in a town in 23 years.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.