ASTON — If you happen to be in a neighborhood Wawa in the coming months and see someone who looks an awful lot like Kate Winslet buying a shorti hoagie, you may not be imagining the celebrity sighting.

The stars have descended upon Delaware County and parts of neighboring Chester County again, with the filming of “Mare of Easttown,” an HBO Limited Series, at Sun Center Studios and other area locations. The series will star Kate Winslet, who will also serve as executive producer. Other stars who joined the cast are Jean Smart, John Douglas Thompson, Angourie Rice, Cailee Spaeny, Sosie Bacon, David Denman, Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters, Ben Miles, Patrick Murney, James McArdle, Joe Tippett and Neal Huff.

HBO describes the series as this: “As her life crumbles around her, a small-town Pennsylvania detective investigates a local murder.” Winslet plays the detective, Mare Sheehan. Broadway’s John Douglas Thompson fills the role of the police chief of Easttown. Nicholson, of "Boardwalk Empire" fame, plays Mare’s best friend. Smart, best known for her roles in "Watchmen" and "Designing Women," is cast as Mare’s mother. "American Horror Story’s" Peters plays a county detective and "Black Mirror’s" Rice fills the role of Mare’s daughter. Denman of Cinemax’s "Outcast," has been cast as Frank Sheehan, Mare’s ex-husband. Sosie Bacon, daughter of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, plays a recovering addict.

The dramatic series, much of it expected to be filmed at Aston’s Sun Center Studios, has already entered production, and according to a local source, will take about seven months to complete. Filming is expected to wrap up by Memorial Day 2020 and get released by late next year. "Mare of Easttown" is an HBO co-production with wii (word.idea.imagination.production).

According to a post on the “Heery Loftus Casting” Facebook page in October, the casting agency was looking for SAG-AFTRA and non-union background players for the HBO’s series. The Facebook post states, “This project will be shooting in the Delaware County, Pennsylvania area through April 2020. The post lists specific instructions to take advantage of the opportunities to be an “extra” in the series.

Philadelphia paparazzi reported that Winslet arrived in the area to begin filming in mid-October. The series has lots of local connections. Gavin O’Connor, the director, studied at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he began his career writing short films and plays. O’Connor made his screenwriting debut with the award- winning short film “The Bet.” O’Connor first garnered national attention when he co-wrote, produced and directed the break-out indie hit “Tumbleweeds.” He then went on to write, produce and direct dozens of films.

Brad Ingelsby, the series' creator and writer, is a Chester County native, a graduate of Villanova University and the son of Villanova basketball great Tom Inglesby. According to HBO, the former Berwyn resident will write all episodes. His credits include "The Dynamiter," "Out of The Furnace,"  "Run All Night,"  "American Woman" and the upcoming "Torrance."

In addition to Winslet, other executive producers include Gordon Gray through Mayhem Pictures, Paul Lee through wiip and Mark Roybal through wiip.

Winslet, an Academy Award-winning actress, has brought to life some of cinema’s most captivating and memorable roles. Her resumé consists of critically and commercially acclaimed work as well as a span of awards and honors that illustrate Winslet’s talent and solidify her a permanent place in cinema history. After a stunning five nominations, Winslet won her first Academy Award for her role as Hannah Schmitz in Stephen Daldry’s 2008 "The Reader." Winslet has starred in dozens of films, including "Titanic," "Hideous Kinky," "Holy Smoke," "Quills," "Heavenly Creatures," "Sense and Sensibility," "Jude," "Hamlet," "Iris," "Enigma," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Finding Neverland," "All the King’s Men," "Flushed Away," "The Holiday," "Little Children," the mini-series "Mildred Pierce," "Contagion," "Carnage," "Labor Day," "Insurgent," "A Little Chaos," "The Dressmaker," "Steve Jobs," "Triple Nine," "Collateral Beauty," "The Mountain Between Us," "Wonder Wheel," and others, gathering a host of nominations and prestigious awards along the way.

In 2013, Winslet was awarded the CBE, which she received from HM Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. She was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2014, cementing her status amongst the stars of Hollywood.

Sun Center Studios is also the current home base site for the filming of “Dispatches from Elsewhere,” an upcoming American anthology television series created by and starring Jason Segel of "How I Met Your Mother" fame. The anthology is set to premiere on AMC in 2020. The series also stars Richard Grant, Sally Field, Eve Lindley, Andre Benjamin and Amanda Schoonover.  

"Dispatches from Elsewhere" is described as a series that “ follows a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined.”

"Dispatches from Elsewhere" began filming in the Philadelphia area this past summer. The 10-episode, hour long, series is reported to be wrapping up production later this month.

Owners/spokesmen at Sun Center Studios were unable to elaborate or comment on both series being filmed there, due to confidentiality contracts.

comments powered by Disqus