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Denzel Washington brings Hollywood to Haverhill

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Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini is delighted that actor Denzel Washington will be shooting a movie in the city. But his wife, Martha, is over the moon. The Oscar winner is coming to town this summer to film “The Equalizer” with Marton Csokas and Chloe Moretz. (It will be shooting inside the building on Route 97 that formerly housed big-box retailer Lowe’s.) “This movie has already accomplished my wife’s greatest goal, which is to get me to watch more movies,” Fiorentini told us, laughing. “Martha said, ‘You want to be sure you really know who he is and have seen a couple of his movies.’ ” So to prepare for Washington’s arrival, the mayor just watched “The Great Debaters” and “Flight.” The first, starring Washington as Wiley College debate coach Melvin B. Tolson, he loved. The second, in which the actor plays a cocaine-addled airline captain, he didn’t. (Next up is “Cry Freedom,” which stars Washington as South African activist Steven Biko.) In “The Equalizer,” directed by Antoine Fuqua, Washington will play a retired intelligence officer whose act of kindness toward a prostitute land him in trouble with the Russian mob. But it’s not just for personal reasons that Fiorentini is looking forward to the filming. “This puts us on the map,” he said. “We have 22 restaurants in the downtown area and I hope some of these movie folks get a glimpse of the city and enjoy some of the restaurants.”

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