Calls were pouring in this morning at the Montclair Art Museum to find out what the demonstration was all about. We spotted film crews, vans, and a conservatively dressed crowd huddled around a podium framed by a tall cross.
No demonstration, there was an arrest and a press conference. That’s the buzz from the Montclair set of Law & Order:SVU. The set-up was for an episode to be shown in April. But that’s about all we learned from the tight lipped set. On the museum set of “All Souls Church” were L&O SVU stars Mariska Hargitay (Benson) and Chris Meloni (Stabler).
The charming Assistant Location Manager Tom Scutro told us zip – due to the “highly secretive plot.” We hear Mariska was seen shopping in Whole Foods with her baby in tow. Meanwhile, down Bloomfield Ave, a gaggle of WASP-ish extras were slouched at tables in the vacant former Halloween Store, rented out for the cast catering hall.
We chatted with two guys from Manhattan about the life of an extra. First off, we learned they are called “background talent”.


Ralph M. and Richard D. told us about 120 TV actors were bussed from Times Square this morning to Montclair. Ralph, who’s filmed commercials in Montclair, and is seen in Spiderman, is cast as a NY cop. Rich, a stage and film actor, plays the role of a cameraman, then a wardrobe change turns him into a church-goer. After an hour’s worth of filming with Stabler and Benson on the set, they’re waiting to shoot a crime scene in the museum parking lot. Ralph, dressed in his own NYPD uniform, always plays the cop on L&O. “But I can’t go out on the street like this. I need to cover up – and have to get a permit.” Rich, suited in a black linen jacket, smoky linen shirt and black satin tie looks more like a dreamy soap star than a guy in church. But no amount of coaxing can get them to divulge secrets from the set. We’ll just have to watch.

9 replies on “Meanwhile, At The Museum…”

  1. I know nothing about the shoot. But I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t find church in Montclair.

  2. A lot of churches are iffy about letting in film and TV crews — what MAM has over a lot of the Montclair Churches is space — there’s a lot of set up room inside and out and its a fairly versitile location that can be “dressed up” as pretty much anything

  3. The glam life of an extra — that second picture says it all: hurry up and wait.

  4. Oooh ME-OW Mariska. Law & Order used my grandpa’s house years ago. They were really sweet, they invited him to a cast party at the end of the season and sent him fruit baskets. Also, he made money from it, so that’s always a plus.

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