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‘Manchester-by-the-Sea’ movie gets rolling

Michelle Williams at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014.Larry Busacca/Getty Images/File

The state’s controversial tax credit program — the one Governor Charlie Baker would like to eliminate — apparently isn’t the only reason Tinseltown types like making movies in Massachusetts. The shopping isn’t bad, either. We’re told Michelle Williams, who’s currently on the North Shore filming director Ken Lonergan’s indie film “Manchester-by-the-Sea,” spent some of her free time browsing the shops in Gloucester, including a stop at The Dress Code, the women’s clothing store on Main Street. “She was just poking around,” said someone who was in the store. “I knew it was her, but I didn’t say anything because I wanted her to feel normal.” The movie, being produced by Matt Damon, and starring Williams, Casey Affleck, and “Friday Night Lights” star Kyle Chandler, is about a ne’er-do-well plumber, played by Affleck, who has to raise his nephew after the death of his brother, played by Chandler. In recent days, the cast and crew have been shooting in Manchester, Beverly, and Beacon Marine Basin in Gloucester. Lonergan is perhaps best known for his excellent 2000 film “You Can Count on Me,” which earned two Oscar nominations, one for best original screenplay, written by Lonergan, and one for best actress for Laura Linney’s performance. . . . Meanwhile, we’re told that location scouts looking for sites to film “Ghostbusters 3” toured Lesley University’s Brattle Campus. The film’s female leads include Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Leslie Jones.

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