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Kristen Wiig begins ‘Ghostbusters’ shoot in Everett

Kristen Wiig filming a scene for the new “Ghostbusters” movie at the former Everett High School on Wednesday.
Kristen Wiig filming a scene for the new “Ghostbusters” movie at the former Everett High School on Wednesday.Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe
Director Paul Feig on the set of “Ghostbusters.”
Director Paul Feig on the set of “Ghostbusters.” Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe

The actress, the one in the pleated skirt and copper-colored wig shooting a scene Thursday outside the old Everett High School, looked very familiar, but Barbara Messana couldn’t place her.

Leaning against a brick building across the street, Messana and her mother watched intently as someone hollered “Action!”

“This is very interesting, very exciting,” said Joan Messana. “We can actually see them doing something.”

What Kristen Wiig was doing, under the watchful eye of dapper director Paul Feig, was filming a scene for the new “Ghostbusters” movie. Over and over, the former “Saturday Night Live” star stepped out of a yellow New York City cab and walked past two guys engaged in a fistfight outside the former high school, which has been transformed for the movie into Higgins Science Institute.

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Thursday was the first day of filming, and Wiig was joined on the set by Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon, two of her three costars in the reboot. (Leslie Jones was not on set Thursday.) Bizarrely, the crew called for quiet on the street even as cars, trucks, and an Everett Fire Department truck — its siren blaring — rumbled past.

Some Everett residents paused to watch Hollywood do its thing for a few minutes, while others camped out in lawn chairs. Thalita Canto, who works across the street at C & N Beauty Supply & Salon, wandered outside to take a look.

“I heard it’s a scary movie,” she said. “Is it a scary movie?”

There are no actual ghosts, we replied.

“There better not be,” said Shane Eubanks. “Because who you gonna call?”

Elvis Dejesus, who lives nearby, said “Ghostbusters” isn’t the first film to shoot at the former high school. The building also shows up in Adam Sandler’s “That’s My Boy” and the Kevin James not-so-classic “Here Comes the Boom.”

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“And I was in Lynn when that Whitey Bulger one was shot,” he said. “But this is cool because I really like paranormal films.”

Actresses Melissa McCarthy (left) and Kate McKinnon while filming a scene on the set of “Ghostbusters” at the old Everett High School on June 18.
Actresses Melissa McCarthy (left) and Kate McKinnon while filming a scene on the set of “Ghostbusters” at the old Everett High School on June 18.Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe
The front of old Everett High School, which has been renamed Bronx Kuyper Middle School during the filming of “Ghostbusters.”
The front of old Everett High School, which has been renamed Bronx Kuyper Middle School during the filming of “Ghostbusters.”Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance
Wiig while filming a scene.
Wiig while filming a scene.Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe

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