“Spotlight,” the movie about The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2003 series on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, started shooting this week, beginning with a scene filmed at Thursday’s Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
No, Grady Little, the Sox skipper in ’03, didn’t have a hand in the paper’s Pulitzer coverage. (It might never have been written if he did.) Thursday’s scene, shot in the stands during the Sox-Rays game, involved a conversation between Mark Ruffalo, who’s playing Globe reporter Michael Rezendes, Newton’s own John Slattery, who’s playing Ben Bradlee Jr., a former Globe editor, and the actors playing Globies Steve Kurkjian and Matt Carroll.
“Spotlight,” co-written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, who’s also directing the movie, tells the story of how a team of intrepid Boston Globe reporters and editors reported and then wrote about the Archdiocese of Boston’s longstanding practice of covering up the crimes of problem priests.
We got a gander at the script, at least a draft of it, and it looks promising. So, too, is the cast, which includes Liev Schreiber as then-Globe editor Marty Baron, Michael Keaton as Globe reporter-editor Walter V. Robinson, Rachel McAdams as former Globe reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, and Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer who represented several of the victims.
The real-life reporters and editors are expected to have cameos in the film, and several were invited to sit in the stands during the scene at Fenway. (In the movie, Thursday’s game takes place in July so extras were asked to wear Red Sox T-shirts or “muted tones, casual summer and nothing that has a year later than 2001.”)
The actors, meanwhile, have been researching their roles in recent days. Ruffalo has been a familiar presence in the Globe newsroom, sometimes wearing a ballcap and glasses as he huddles with Rezendes. (The actor best known for his role in “The Kids Are All Right” has not avoided detection by the Globe staff, notably female admirers.)
Likewise, Schreiber has lately been seen at The Washington Post, where Baron is now editor. “The two chatted for more than an hour (as staffers casually found business to be done outside the glass wall of Baron’s office),” the Post reported the other day.
We reached Bradlee Jr. on his cell Thursday and asked if he’d chatted at all with Slattery. It turns out the two spent about three hours together last week, including a lunch at City Landing, the State Street restaurant near Bradlee’s office.
“He’s a terrific guy. It’s all very flattering,” Bradlee said. “He was just interested in knowing more about the story and how it came about. It impresses me that they’re taking the time to hang out with their subjects, not just showing up and reading their lines.”