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Just months after BU’s star turn in the opening scenes of this summer’s Ghostbusters reboot, the University is once again the location of another Hollywood film, Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy.
Released in September, the film tells the story of the friendship between a girl and her family cook (Murphy), who is charged with taking care of her as her mother is dying from cancer. She eventually goes off to college at BU, which Mr. Church helps to pay for. The film includes scenes of Bay State Road and Marsh Chapel.
Colin Riley, the University’s executive director of media relations, says the request to shoot at BU came from the film’s producers in August 2015. University administrators asked to review the script before giving the go-ahead to film on campus.
BU is no novice when it comes to hosting movie crews. Besides being featured prominently in the opening scenes of Ghostbusters, the historic Tudor mansion known as the BU Castle has appeared in films such as 21 and The Company Men.
Mr. Church is a departure for Murphy, who is best known for his decades of comedic films and his work on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s. The film debuted at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, and a review in the Hollywood Reporter describes Murphy as a revelation: “He doesn’t seem quite right for the role at first, his blazing charisma ostensibly at odds with his character’s unassuming, dignified demeanor. But he tamps it down just enough to be fully plausible, and he adds quiet grace notes, both comic and dramatic, that make his Mr. Church just as captivating for us as he is for the people around him.”