Most days, the borough of Connoquenessing is a quiet, suburban community in Butler County—except for when there are movie trailers in the area.
Oh yeah, and hordes of eager young girls trying to catch a glimpse of People Magazine’s newly minted “Sexiest Man Alive,” Channing Tatum.
That’s right. After filming in Sewickley Heights in early October, Tatum has been in the Connoquenessing area all week filming Foxcatcher, a Hollywood movie starring Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo.
Based on a true story, the film is about John du Pont (Carell), a chemical fortune heir who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and went to prison for killing David Schultz (Ruffalo), a 1984 gold medal winning wrestler. Tatum Channing plays Mark, Schultz's younger brother.
On Wednesday, there was security posted around Connoquenessing (including near VicNor Farms on Harmony Road) to prevent fans from intruding on the closed set—and try they have.
A crewmember at the Connoquenessing United Methodist Church on Main Street, which is being used for parking and as a lunch venue for the 200-plus extras and movie crew members, said there have been carloads of dads with their teenage daughters in the area trying to find Tatum.
“They’re all trying to get a picture,” he said.
Tatum sitings around Sewickley included the Starbucks on Beaver Street and Safrans on Walnut Street while the crew was in town for a few days filming at a Sewickley Heights property off Blackburn Road.
Max Wieland, who works at East Coast Sandwiches, couldn't say for sure if Tatum stopped by, not that he would have noticed.
"I wouldn't know him if I saw him," Wieland said.
Mallory Sarver, a barista at Crazy Mocha didn't spot Tatum either, but if she did, her reaction would have been much different. Exactly how she would react though, Sarver said: "I don't even know."
"I would say 'Oh my God,'" she said.
At TJ’s Hideaway off Route 68 in Evans City, owner Joanie Baker said she had to take the phone off the hook Tuesday night because of a rumor that Tatum was eating dinner there.
He wasn’t—but that didn’t stop a gaggle of about 40 young girls from showing up at the restaurant in the hopes of finding their favorite movie star.
“We had so many calls,” Baker said. “The film crew comes in for lunch and dinner but he has not been in.”
In a matter of coincidence, The Strand Theater in Zelienople on Wednesday showed Magic Mike, the film in which Tatum and a cast of equally buff co-stars play male strippers, for the theater’s monthly Chick Flick.
Eye Kandy boutique owner Kandy Barkley, who sponsored the Chick Flick and fashion show, said she spent most of Wednesday trying to find Tatum and convince him to attend the event. At one point, there even was a rumor Tatum was coming to the theater.
She’s not the only one trying to track down the actor.
Cranberry Patch reader Jolene Loncaric said she event managed to get on the set in Connoquenessing and speak to Tatum outside his trailer before security chased her away.
She described the actor as “super nice.”
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of Tatum (married to actress Jenna Dewan since 2009… sigh) may still get a chance. Foxcatcher is slated to continue filming around Pittsburgh. In addition to Connoquenessing and Sewickley Heights, scenes have been filmed in White Oak and McKeesport.
Patch editor Larissa Dudkiewicz contributed to this report.
Have you had a Channing Tatum sighting? Tell us your experience in the comment section below.