Gotham Tributes share their favorite N.Y. filmmaking memories


Natalie Portman
"Shooting (1994's) 'The Professional' at the Chelsea Hotel in New York in 1993 -- my first week ever on a film set -- and (Charlie) Chaplin's granddaughter sauntering onto set next to my Eastern European grandparents, while I stepped stickily across the tiles with blood-bottomed shoes."

Stanley Tucci
"One of my most memorable moments was directing a scene from 'Joe Gould's Secret' (2000) in a Greenwich Village apartment with Susan Sarandon and Ian Holm. Just as we were about to begin shooting, the landlord came by and tried to shut us down because the people who were renting the apartment we were using as a location were -- according to him -- subletting it illegally. We had a big day ahead of us, a small budget and a very tight schedule, and we spent the better part of the morning trying to negotiate with this irate and humorless man. Finally the cops came by and, after listening to his rant, ousted him from his own property and told him in essence to 'tell it to the judge.' The landlord stormed off, we began shooting and finished our day on time. It made me love shooting in New York more than ever."

Kathryn Bigelow
"(In the) mid-1970s, I lived in New York City as part of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Being a broke student in those days, I spent my rent money on art supplies and lived in my studio, which was an old abandoned bank vault, located in the basement of an Off-Track Betting facility at the corner of Reade and Chambers. When winter came, the vault's steel walls and 2-foot-thick door acted like a meat locker, trapping the cold and steadily freezing me in my San Francisco clothes and thin sleeping bag. I survived on a miserable diet of egg creams and tuna fish. But for creative advisers I was treated to the likes of David Diao, Brice Marden and Susan Sontag, and I'd never been happier in my life."