Maine in the Movies: Empire Falls
17 Railroad Square, Waterville, ME 04901
"Hollywood does not always hunt for grim reality, but that's what it found here. Waterville [was] the perfect backdrop for the filming of Empire Falls, based on Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel with the same title about a rundown, blue-collar Maine community where the economy never recovered after its shirt factory shut down. So Paul Newman moved to town, as did his wife, actress Joanne Woodward. And Ed Harris. And Helen Hunt, Robin Wright Penn and Aidan Quinn. Lynn Kippax, the location manager and a Maine resident, spent months driving around the state. When he started zeroing in on Waterville, he found that his habit of wearing Hathaway shirts endeared him to its residents and smoothed the way for filming. 'In the end, the town and its characters have a real redemption, and the book's ending is one of hope,' he said. 'I hope Waterville has that.'"
Screened as part of Maine in the Movies, a statewide festival of films set in Maine.