A specter and a spectacle

Matthew McConaughey rehearses a scene with Emma Stone Wednesday night on the Marlborough Street set of 'The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.' Matthew McConaughey rehearses a scene with Emma Stone Wednesday night on the Marlborough Street set of "The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past." (Patricia mcdonnell for the boston globe)
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
April 18, 2008

"The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" star Matthew McConaughey spent most of Wednesday night on Marlborough Street working on a scene with his costar Emma Stone, who happens to play the title ghost in the film. (Actress Noureen DeWulf is the Ghost of Girlfriends Present in the romantic comedy about a notorious bachelor who goes to his brother's wedding and is haunted by - you guessed it - his past girlfriends.) The Back Bay filming attracted a fair number of gawkers - and not just those trying to catch a glimpse of McConaughey. What was so interesting? Production crews set up a bed with a leather headboard in the middle of the street and attached fake fall leaves to several trees lining the sidewalks.

Revere riding to big screen

Director Brian Ide thinks the story of Paul Revere's midnight ride hasn't really been told on the big screen. So the LA-based filmmaker is turning his short flick, "The Ride," into a full-length feature he hopes to shoot in Boston this fall. "There's a lot more to the story than that poem we all learned as kids in school," Ide told us yesterday. "Paul Revere was just a regular guy, a very unlikely hero." Officials from the Old North Church and Revere's historic homestead met with art director John Goldsmith, whose recent credits include "No Country for Old Men" and HBO's "John Adams." Last night, Ide and former state film office chief Robin Dawson (one of the producers on the movie), hosted a party at Stix to introduce the project to the film community. Others expected at last night's gathering were actor Dustin Booth and production manager Elizabeth Flaherty, a Milton native whose credits include "He's Just Not That Into You."

Getting out there

For a filmmaker who tends to fly under the radar, Errol Morris (above) is really getting out there to promote "Standard Operating Procedure," his documentary about the Abu Ghraib scandal. Morris spent yesterday at his Cambridge office doing interviews before heading to Brandeis for the local premiere of the film. Morris has also been invited by Robert De Niro to host a special screening of the doc at the Tribeca Film Festival next week. "Standard Operating Procedure," which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, opens in theaters May 2.

Storied rivals

Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (above) and Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain have a lot in common - and not just the storied rivalry of their ball clubs. As GQ points out in its May issue, on newsstands next week, both are 20-something Native Americans who burst onto the scene late in the 2007 season - and they're fun to watch on the field. "For once we weren't talking about Manny's wandering attention span or A-Rod's roving eye," writes GQ's Nate Penn. "To watch the two rookies is to be witness to something fresh, thrilling, and especially in Boston and New York, rare: baseball without the baggage." Indeed.

Obama backers
Southie scribe Michael Patrick MacDonald is up to his activist ways again. The author of "All Souls" is one of the organizers of Irish American Writers and Artists for Obama. The new group placed a full-page ad in this week's Irish Echo newspaper and is also buying space in several Pennsylvania papers in advance of the Keystone State's primary. MacDonald started the group with a few friends and then got a slew of celebs signatories, including actor Ed Burns, writer Jimmy Breslin, Black 47 singer Larry Kirwan, Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly, mightiest Bosstone Dicky Barrett, Jill Cunniff of the late, great Luscious Jackson, "In the Name of the Father" assistant director Terry George, actresses Karen Duffy and Fionnula Flanagan, and author Thomas Cahill. MacDonald said his mother demanded that her name be added. Though not a bestselling writer like her boy, Helen MacDonald King does play the accordion.

This side of silly
How do writers and actors blow off steam on a movie set? If you're "This Side of the Truth" writer-director Ricky Gervais, the answer is bombard your cast and crew with Nerf balls and darts shot from colorful plastic guns. Crew members on the North Andover set of the comedy told us that during a break in the action yesterday Gervais was joined in the shenanigans by stars Tina Fey and Rob Lowe, as well as Matthew Robinson, the flick's codirector and writer.

An Epstein at the helm
Saskia Epstein was introduced yesterday as the new executive director of Room to Grow at friendly Fenway. The wife of Paul Epstein, brother of Sox GM Theo Epstein, Saskia previously directed programs at the Home for Little Wanderers and cofounded the Brookline Teen Center initiative. Room to Grow, founded in 1998 by Julie Burns, wife of filmmaker Ken Burns, helps support babies born into poverty. (Julie and Ken, as well as Theo and Paul, attended yesterday's reception.)

Sox play for laughs
On Sunday, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek and pitcher Tim Wakefield will host their annual "Pitching in for Kids" comedy show at the Comedy Connection in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Several members of the current Sox roster are expected to join former players Lou Merloni, Bob Montgomery, and Jim Lonborg, and former Sox skipper Joe Morgan. Also slated to be there are New England Revolution players Jeff Larentowicz and Matt Reis, former Bruins players Derek Sanderson and Ken Hodge, and former Patriots wide receiver Randy Vataha.

Krafting scholarships
Pats owners Robert and Myra Kraft doled out $93,000 in college scholarship dough to deserving high school students during a reception at Gillette Stadium the other night. Joined by fearsome former linebacker Andre Tippett and reps from Fidelity Investments, the Krafts awarded money to 35 students who wrote worthy essays. A whopping 17 winners came from Hull High School.

Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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