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George Clooney keeps ‘Tender Bar’ cameras rolling, greets fans, and even poses for a selfie in Ashby

Director George Clooney talks with actors Tye Sheridan and Briana Middleton while filming a scene for "The Tender Bar" at the South End Buttery in March.
Director George Clooney talks with actors Tye Sheridan and Briana Middleton while filming a scene for "The Tender Bar" at the South End Buttery in March.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Hollywood hotshot George Clooney is all over the area these days, directing “Tender Bar” and greeting fans.

On Tuesday, he was spotted in Ashby, where police officer Brian Vautour managed to snap a selfie with the Academy Award winner.

“Who is that masked man? That’s right, the one and only, Ashby PD’s own, Officer Brian Vautour,” the department wrote in a cheeky Facebook post above the photo. “Also pictured is some guy named George something or other................Only kidding Mr. Clooney.”

Stars from “Tender Bar,” a film about a young man who bonds with folks at his uncle’s Long Island bar before heading to New Haven, have been popping up in and around Boston for the past six weeks. Crew members crowded the South End Buttery in March. The movie shoot also made a splash in Watertown and Lowell. Funnily enough, certain Yale University scenes were shot at Lesley University in Cambridge, not far from Harvard. Ben Affleck — and his Dunkin’ coffee — made an appearance in the Back Bay. TMZ caught the crew playing softball on Wednesday.

George Clooney (left) with Ashby Police Officer Brian Vautour.
George Clooney (left) with Ashby Police Officer Brian Vautour.Ashby Police Department

Some actors on the movie shoot are avoiding fancy hotels in favor of something more private (and perhaps, safer): homes. Some have traded in minibars for chef’s kitchens. Hotel lobbies for living rooms. And shared gyms for private pools.

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We hear Clooney is staying at a swanky gated estate in Metro West with six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a rotunda, a grand piano, and — yes, you’re reading this right — a car wash. The 11,000-square-foot house also touts a gym, arcade, movie theater, billiards room, gunite pool, and separate au pair apartment. Other perks? Acres of woods nearby. And a strange, globe-esque sculpture in the yard.

It’s perfect for the entire family, who Clooney said are “all here” while talking to a gaggle of fans a few weeks back. That could include his wife of six years, Amal Clooney, and their three-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander.

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The “private paradise” would run a buyer $5.5 million, if it were for sale.

Sounds as if Affleck is also staying at a home, rather than a hotel. The Oscar-winner also showed up to the “Tender Bar” set from an undisclosed residence, according to a March call sheet. Keep in mind: Affleck grew up in Cambridge, not far from his buddy, Matt Damon. Several other “Tender Bar” stars — Lily Rabe, Briana Middleton, Rhenzy Feliz, and Ivan Leung — look to be bunking at hotels.

Ben Affleck arrived with Dunkin Donuts ice coffee in hand for "The Tender Bar"  filming Friday morning in the Back Bay at the Harvard Club of Boston.
Ben Affleck arrived with Dunkin Donuts ice coffee in hand for "The Tender Bar" filming Friday morning in the Back Bay at the Harvard Club of Boston. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

It’s possible that celebrities’ shift to private residents is rooted in the pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is well underway but case numbers in Massachusetts have ticked up in recent weeks. A private home could be an added precaution against the virus. Or maybe an Airbnb-style arrangement is just more comfortable and practical than a room at the the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, Boston?

“Tender Bar” is just one of three high-profile projects that have filmed in and around Boston in recent months.

Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Timothee Chalamet recently wrapped up a long shoot on the big-budget Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up.” When Joe Biden’s presidential win was announced, a Boston College student saw Lawrence pop out what appeared to be a private residence in Back Bay to dance through the streets — in her pajamas, no less.

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“Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy also shot a new series for AMC called “Kevin Can F*** Himself” in Brockton, Milton, Hingham, and Worcester. There are no details about where she stayed, though Murphy did drop by Cheers on Beacon Hill for lunch one day.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.