‘Barely Lethal’ wraps up filming in Perry

chwright@macon.comNovember 20, 2013 

PERRY -- Filming of “Barely Lethal” wrapped up at the Guardian Centers in Perry on Wednesday.

Shooting there has been “like a kid in a candy shop” for filmmakers, publicist David Linck said, and it’s likely the disaster training center will see more of Hollywood in the future.

“I encourage movie makers to come here because it’s a jewel,” Linck said.

“Barely Lethal,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba, is an action comedy about a 16-year-old assassin who fakes her death and enrolls in high school. Hailee Steinfeld, of “Ender’s Game,” plays the main character, Megan. Jackson is Megan’s mentor, and Alba is Megan’s enemy. The movie is set to be released in 2014, according to a news release.

Linck said the filmmakers used existing structures at the center, saving millions of dollars, and the staff was more than helpful with all of the arrangements.

On the other hand, though, Linck said the city of Perry needs more hotels near the location for movie cast and crew. The crew included about 150 people.

“If they had two or three hotels here, we wouldn’t have had to stay in Macon,” Linck said. “We would have stayed here.”

Linck declined to comment on exactly where the stars and crew stayed.

Mary Beth Bass, economic development coordinator, said last week city officials are aware more hotel space is needed, and it’s a priority in the development plan City Council is working on.

Timothy Maloney, vice president of operations at the Guardian Centers, said center officials had not expected to host movies at the training center, but it’s been a happy happenstance.

“You can come here, you can do all your stuff, and we can still deliver realistic streetscapes and realistic pictures without having to worry about all the extra stuff when it comes to needing law enforcement to block off a downtown or shutting off a road, or do all that downtown with all ... the bureaucracy behind it,” Maloney previously said.

Linck agreed that those features are exactly what made filming at the location one of the best filming experiences he has ever witnessed.

“Guardian Centers has been a dream for us to shoot at,” he said. “When Hollywood finds out about this place, you’re going to have a lot of people coming out here.”

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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