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Talk of the town: Cruise and family sighted around Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By William Loeffler

There is no truth to the rumors that the Bigfoot Society has been enlisted to track Tom Cruise while he's in town shooting "One Shot."

A devoted legion of Tom Cruise-watchers has sprung up since the Pittsburgh Film Office announced that the A-lister would star in the action thriller. Also starring is British actress Rosamund Pike -- you know the beautiful Bond girl from "Pride & Prejudice" and "An Education." And famed German director Werner Herzog plays a very bad man known as the Zec.

Paramount reportedly has been more secretive than most film companies when it came to access to the star.

"One Shot" is being filmed entirely in the Pittsburgh region, according to Pittsburgh Film Office executive director Dawn Keezer.

That's led to numerous sightings of Tom, wife Katie Holmes and 5-year-old daughter Suri, around the region -- from Soergel Orchards and Farm Market in Franklin Park to the Starbucks in Shadyside. Katie and Suri visited Dad on the set and were seen strolling around town.

Thursday, the Daily Mail British tabloid ran photos of Katie exiting a local yoga studio. Tom was spotted taking Suri trick-or-treating in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Halloween.

Thursday, reporter Carly Noel at WPXI-TV revealed that Tom has been using their helipad for a week to chopper to and from a movie set in Saltsburg.

Tom would pull up in a black Chevy SUV, climb over a short brick wall and pose for photos and sign autographs for WPXI employees before boarding the helicopter, which is owned by Cherokee Helicopter Service in Ford City. A video on the WPXI website shows Tom disembarking from the helicopter on the grounds of the station in a gray hoodie and accepting a Terrible Towel from a fan.

Katie and Tom visited the Milk Shake Factory on the South Side, home of Edward Marc Chocolatier. Daughter Suri liked the chocolate turtles, or terrapins. They liked it so much, Katie brought Suri back for a return visit.

The couple also gave repeat business to Meat and Potatoes in the Cultural District. The dined at the gastropub Oct. 22. Hostess Sara DeShantz says they've since placed phone orders for food. The family is staying in a Downtown hotel.

"One Shot" filmed for two days last week at the former Sewickley Country Inn on Route 65. It became the Three Rivers Motel for the two-day shoot.

The shoot evoked varied reactions from the clientele at Sewickley Spa, director Jonelle Connelly says.

"We had a few customers coming in saying they thought they had seen Tom Cruise," she says. "Other customers complained about the traffic. But it did generate some nice buzz."

Sewickley spa massage therapist Christine Kohun says her husband, Frederick, got a glimpse of Tom while driving on Route 65.

"I kept on saying, 'I have two girls who live in New York City, and I've never seen a famous person anytime I've been there, and here my husband sees Tom Cruise where we live,' " she jokes.

"One Shot" director Christopher McQuarrie wrote the screenplay, which is based on the novel by Lee Childs. McQuarrie knows how to deploy suspense and plot twists. He wrote the script for "The Usual Suspects," the 1995 double-triple-quadruple cross caper film.

Tom is an executive producer on "One Shot," which is scheduled to open in February 2013.


If you spot Tom or Katie -- or any other Hollywood player -- out and about in Pittsburgh, shoot us an e-mail and photo to tribliving@tribweb.com.