Tuesday, October 27, 2015

People who live near the Abu Dhabi street near where Brad Pitt’s upcoming Netflix film War Machine is currently being filmed have been enjoying sneak peeks at the moviemaking action – including a sighting of actor Brad Pitt. 
The set is hidden away in a quiet residential one-way street off 15th street and parallel to Sultan bin Zayed the First Street, where an old building has been being transformed into the “American embassy in Kabul”. 
Last week, Abu Dhabi resident Nina, who works nearby, summed up the feeling many residents and nearby office workers had been having, when she wrote on Twitter: “I want a selfie with #bradpitt, he is filming next door and It’s hard to c him! Brad Pitt, help!”
Two hours later, says Nina, she spotted the superstar leaving the set, but didn’t manage to click a snap. 
“I just saw #bradpitt He was in this white SUV !!!!! He just left location now #abudhabi”.
She later told The National that Pitt had been “sitting in the back, drinking water”: “I’m sure it’s him. Even one of the guys told me ‘he is that guy in the car’, and when I looked, it was him.”
Nina also took pictures of the view from the road just outside the film set. Her images reveal glimpses of what could be extras in US military garb, and an unmarked military lorry parked in front of giant blue screens, the kind used when CGI is needed to alter the background. 
Nina says she was surprised at first to find out that the set was a mock-up of an American Embassy: “To be honest, I was wondering – ‘how could this look like an embassy?’ But they have a lot of screens around so I’m sure they’re going to use high tech stuff to make it look more like an embassy.”
A Pakistani resident who lives nearby told The National last week that he had heard there would be “shooting and a bomb going off in the embassy”, but residents have not reported any rumblings or gunshots from the set. 
“Maybe they do that at night, when I’ve left the office,” says Nina. “I just see military lorries and those big vehicles that they use. And cameras and lighting kits. Of course, it’s very exciting to see – You feel like you’re in a war zone or something with all these vehicles.”
Sources within the War Machine crew have claimed that Pitt’s role in Abu Dhabi will be a limited one, with his General McMahon character only “visiting troops in Afghanistan”, so the timing of Nina’s sighting might be one of his only appearances on set.
“Although I’m not a big fan of his, I’ll definitely be watching this film when it comes out”, says the Abu Dhabi resident.
Pitt’s wife, the actress Angelina Jolie, was rumoured to have arrived in the capital last Wednesday, but was photographed in Cambodia this week with Shiloh and Zahara, two of their six children. 
The US$60 million (Dh220 million) War Machine also features Will Poulter and Topher Grace and is directed by Australian filmmaker David Michôd. The script is based on the late American journalist Michael Hasting’s best-selling book The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. War Machine is the biggest film to be produced by video-streaming platform Netflix, and will be screened in 2016.

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