Along with the drug dealers, prostitutes, homeless and other assorted street people, Hollywood Boulevard has recently hosted another group of street people--the cast of "Where the Day Takes You."
The movie is one of the more unlikely current projects in that its subject is about homeless teens and most of the cast is an ensemble of new Hollywood faces. It finishes shooting this weekend.
But as the cast has hung around the boulevard these last few weeks, dressed in their realistic street costumes, some have often been mistaken for real panhandlers.
Lara Flynn Boyle, who played Donna Haywood on TV's "Twin Peaks," has made a couple of bucks at a time, she says. "Most people just assume she's in need and give her money," says fellow actor, Dermot Mulroney, who has appeared in "Young Guns," "Bright Angel" and "Longtime Companion," and now has the central role in the movie about street kids.
Besides Mulroney and Boyle, the other cast members are: Balthazar Getty, Sean Astin, James LeGros, Will Smith (of TV's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"), Peter Dobson, Ricki Lake, Alyssa Milano and David Arquette. The cast also includes Rachel Ticotin, Kyle MacLachlan, Adam Baldwin, Nancy McKeon, Laura San Giacomo and Debbie James.
"It's like a family drama, except it just happens these kids don't have a home," Mulroney says of the film, which tackles subjects like abusive families, neglect, incest and drugs. "It will open people's eyes, but it doesn't offer any solutions," he added, noting the ringleader character he plays is a "stretch" since he grew up "in the 'burbs of D.C., with a nice family and soccer and sledding."
It was the movie's subject of homeless kids that drew most of the cast to the project. "The real young people who live on the streets have stories you wouldn't believe . . . but not all of them walk around gloomy all day. Not all are wanting to leave.
"But this movie says: It looks like fun, but look what can happen."
Boyle said the script "smacked her with reality . . . one day when I was thinking about doing the movie, I passed Hollywood and Highland Avenue, and looked over and saw 30 kids hanging out. I thought of the movie and that sight made me eager to do it."
The film, directed by Marc Rocco, is a Cinetel production for New Line Cinema, and may be released by the end of the year. Cinetel president Paul Hertzberg said the shooting has involved locations all over Hollywood, and meant the closing of the boulevard on some nights. "Hundreds of people from the streets were hired and paid $40 for extra work."