A prop Ann Arbor, Mich., police car was parked behind a real Vancouver Police Department command unit on Wednesday, as a Hollywood film shoot met the continuing real-life drama outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Robert Redford, on site directing a scene for his film The Company You Keep, barely noticed the cheek-by-jowl Occupy Vancouver tent city just a few metres away.
“I haven’t been plugged into what they’re doing,” said Redford, dressed in a puffy ski jacket while directing a scene set outside a courthouse.
“I’ve got so much on my plate here. We’re moving so fast. We’re always fighting the weather.”
Over at the tent city, Mathew Kagis, with Occupy Vancouver’s medical committee, approached the film’s production staff with an invitation for Redford to drop by.
“Hey, people like that give a real boost to the people here,” said Kagis. “It’s cold, we’re plodding on and people are getting tired and they get dejected and somebody like him showing up gives a real morale boost.”
Fellow protester Gerry Bloomer pointed out that Redford has made a number of socially-conscious films.
“He is part of the 1 per cent in a sense, on an income level,” said Bloomer. “But so is Michael Moore.” Moore has been supporting the Occupy protests.
Redford, whose film stars Shia LaBeouf, said he had no plans to drop by the tent city, which has occupied the north lawn of the gallery since Oct. 15. But he did offer his support for the movement overall, while refraining from commenting on the local protest.
“My position would be I don’t think it’s right for me [to comment] Although I support it in my country, we’re a guest here, in Canada. I want to respect that.”