Troy hosts James Franco film production Tuesday

Russell Sage College campus site of newest movie production

Photo of Kenneth C. Crowe II


First Street will be transformed with a 1970s and 1980s look when it's shut to traffic Tuesday and Wednesday as the Collar City becomes the backdrop for a new movie.

Actor James Franco is expected to be part of "The Pretenders," bringing an allure to the production that rolled on to the Russell Sage College campus Monday.

While the city's 19th-century appearance was featured in 1992's "The Age of Innocence," "The Pretenders" will capture a late-20th-century flavor on the street that cuts through the middle of the college campus.

Franco has been spotted in Albany and elsewhere in the Capital Region during the past month as locations were scouted.


City crews were busy Monday posting signs to close off the street south of Congress Street. Workers said they were told the street was to be closed to ensure no 21st-century cars drove into the filming.

Signs were posted for no parking from 1-10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. City officials said they were advised that filming may take place at night.

It will be a closed set. The crew parking signs have already gone up.

While filming was speculated to spill across the Hudson River into Green Island Wednesday, village and state Department of Transportation officials said it isn't so. The bridge between Troy and Green Island will be closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for maintenance work, they said.

Elizabeth Shea of Legendary Locations said she was meeting with the producers Monday afternoon over lunch when contacted about the filming in the Capital Region. She did not immediately respond with additional information about the project.

Details about the movie have not been made public.

Union College said it's expected to be the scene of part of the film when the production moves to Schenectady after wrapping up in Troy.

"The Pretenders" has been the subject of discussion across various media platforms since Franco was sighted and casting calls for extras went out.

The extras casting was for "all types of people for background, all ethnicities, all types in the 1970's and 1980's," including "joggers, moviegoers, bar patrons, theatergoers, college students in the '70s, fancy restaurant patrons, gallery patrons, clubgoers," the Times Union reported Oct. 13.

The Capital District Film Community group on Facebook on Monday reported an open casting call for "The Pretenders."