Friday, December 02, 2005

That's a Wrap

Estevez on the "Bobby" set. (Photo via New York Times)

Today's New York Times has more details on the final film shot at the Ambassador Hotel, Emilio Estevez's "Bobby."

A snapshot of Bobby Kennedy's final moments before being assassinated at the Ambassador, Estevez managed to shoot several scenes just days before the building's destruction began. Making it all the more odd, Estevez's papa, Martin Sheen, had thrown his support to the Kennedy family's campaign to stop preservation efforts:

Officials were planning to replace the long-shuttered grande dame of Wilshire Boulevard with a school big enough for 4,000 students, many of them immigrants and minorities, who would otherwise have to keep riding buses across town. One of the project's backers was Ethel Kennedy, the senator's widow, who saw it as a fitting tribute to her husband. So she asked her friend Mr. Sheen - who has played Robert Kennedy in a mini-series, narrated a collection of his speeches, and done voice-overs for a number of Kennedy-family productions - to make some calls on her behalf.

Mr. Sheen had been only too happy to oblige, he told his family over dinner.

To which they all but choked on their food. As Mr. Estevez reeled, he recalled in an interview, his mother snapped at his father: "Are you insane?"

Mr. Estevez, as Mr. Sheen knew, had been plotting for several years to make an independent film he had written about the day Robert Kennedy was shot. It was to take place over 16 hours on June 4 and 5, 1968, entirely within the Ambassador. And he was desperate to film his movie there before the hotel was razed.


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