When Hollywood films in Massachusetts (and they have been doing ALOT of it), the first place the set designers come to for antiques and accessaries is Alexander Westerhoff Antiques in Essex Massachusetts. The latest movies that Westerhoff pieces have had starring roles in include, Golden Globe nominated “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Matthew McConaughey, and “The Company Men” with Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner.
But Alexander Westerhoff pieces were not just used as background props, but were part of the actual story line and were selected as such. Working with Alex, the set designers wrote the pieces history and importance into the scripts. One of our customers who now is the proud owner of a Regency Egyptian Revival Secretary (or Breakfront as it was described in “The Proposal”) quips that his piece actually had “a speaking role” as it played the focal point of a scene in which Sandra Bullock orders it to be removed from her rival’s office and brought to hers after she managed to get him fired.In “The Company Men” when directors needed an “important table” for an actor playing a decorator to carry into Tommy Lee Jones’ house, they came to Alexander Westerhoff and chose a Period English Satinwood Games Table with original neoclassical painting, circa 1795. The laugh here in the gallery was that this table’s requirement was that is could reasonably be priced (according to the script) at $ 14,000. Of course it “could be” priced at $ 14,000 and probably would be in many shops but at Westerhoff’s this beautiful piece, now with Hollywood stardust is available for $ 8900.
And finally, not that the directors of “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” needed to actually hire anyone to stare at Matthew McConaughey in his private quarters, but they selected this little group of voyeurs from Alexander Westerhoff to do just that. We had great fun seeing our kennel of Antique Victorian Boston Terrier Doorstops (which were purchased from an 85 year old Beacon Hill Brahmin’s life long collection) peering at Matthew from his bedside tables and even from a very inappropriate place in the star’s bathroom which was filmed at the Crane Estate in Ipswich. But why these dogs? Rent the movie and you will see that they were the metaphor used for McConaughey and his lovelife.
You may be asking youself…“So, do these Hollywood celebrities (and others) visit Alexander Westerhoff Antiques and do they buy anything?” I have been known to “kiss and tell” but you’ll have to wait for my next post to get all the juicy details…
until then…Alexander Westerhoff