Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg In ‘Big Stone Gap’

Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson

Shooting starting this week in Virginia

Altar Identity Studios has come on board to co-produce and finance small-town romance “Big Stone Gap,” starring Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg.

Donna Gigliotti (“Shakespeare in Love”) is producing with James Spies (“The Contender”) and J. E. Craig on the movie version based on the series of novels by Adriana Trigiani. Shooting starts Oct. 19 in Trigiani’s home town of Big Stone Gap in western Virginia with Trigiani making her directorial debut and helming from her own script.

The first novel was published in 2001 followed by sequels “Big Cherry Holler,” “Milk Glass Moon” and “Home to Big Stone Gap.” The story centers on middle-aged spinster Ave Marie Mulligan finding love and a sense of self amid the eccentrics in a small Virginia coal town.

Judd will portray Ave Marie Mulligan. She appeared earlier this year in “Olympus Has Fallen.”

Wilson will play Jack McChesney. He recently starred in “The Conjuring” and “Insidious Chapter 2.”

The deal for Big Stone Gap was negotiated by Graham Taylor at WME with Wade Bradley and Helen Rosenberg at Altar Identity Studios.

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  1. claire kelly says:

    Wow!!! I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing this movie. It will be good for everyone involved, including the authentic people of the town.

  2. Gloria says:

    Ashley Judd, Whoopi, Adriana Trigiani and the rest of the BSG movie team should learn that people see them for what they are not what they promote themselves to be. It’s clear that the Big Stone Gap are frauds when they call themselves advocates for the poor. This movie will not pay the locals for their work and this area is in huge financial trouble. They may try to lie their way out of the truth, but look at the History Channel’s Mini-series they are going to film in the same general area. The History Channel will be paying the people for their work.

  3. Jeanette Trauth says:

    Ashley Judd, Never mind the closed comment of the person that said people don’t like you. That is not true. He/she lives 30 miles out of town, They are outsiders around here! Big Stone Gap loves you and would like for you to enjoy filming here. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Opinions are like bitt holes, everybody has one. Forget that redneck and make yourself at home

  4. Jeanette Trauth says:

    So Ashley made a mistake making a certain comment. What she has forgotten is that stripping the coal off mountains is the lifeline to the area. It is a deprived area and so many people are out of work and starving. It’s okay Ashley. You can smile. The people love you. I was at the filming yesterday. She looked so depressed. That is not the Ashley Judd I know.

  5. Hillary says:

    Ashley Judd, Whoopi, Adriana Trigiani and the rest of the BSG movie team show themselves to be major hypocrites. Judd labels herself as a human rights advocate, but she is willing to make an obscene amount of money while the local people are being used as salve labor. I guess the unions only want to benefit those who make them lots of money too. Thankfully the Kentucky democrats stopped the phony Judd from harming people who actually live in Kentucky, unlike Judd who hasn’t lived there for over 20 years. Do you think that any of these b-list stars would make any effort for others to exploit them? Big Stone Gap Movie is a huge example of exploitation of people in a depressed area. Those involved should be ashamed.

  6. this is a great thing for our area i am about 20 minutes away from bsg and go there on a weekly bases,, the only thing i have a problem with is that ashley is not far from home herself just over in ky which you can be in ar5ound 30 minutes from bsg and she is so against coal well that all that is in this area are coal jobs, medical or prison jobs . she needs to be mindful of this before she goes out to locals places to eat and says anything esle to people because they dont like her here. she knows all to well how much coal jobs are needed

  7. itsme says:

    If you all need any help, or anything at all, Just email me. I have lived here my whole life, and you all are the first exciting thing I know of, ever really happening to this place…other than my son being put in the paper, the day after his birth, last year, for being the first to arrive for the year 2012. lol

  8. Trina says:

    OK, Hello and welcome Ashley, Whoopie, and Patrick. It is so nice to have y’all here, shooting a movie! I think it’s great and about time something good happened to BSG. For real. I read some of the other comments, and want ya to know, NOT every1 here is small town jealous, idiots. So Glad to have ya here in our small town.

  9. COWBOYS52 says:


  10. Stella Reese says:

    I am from. Norton;a few miles from Big Stone Gap. I sing most genres.,so does my granddaughter, We now live in Beaverton, OR,Would like for one or both of us to be in the movie

  11. I am a local songwriter. I just came out with a album. I would like for you to consider it for music for this movie.I can send you a copy or you van read more about us on Southern Daughters.You can also what samples of the original song unique to our area! So excited for this movie.

  12. Falin says:

    How can I apply to be an extra in the movie

  13. Alicia chandler says:

    Here in my hometown big stone gap va

  14. Ellen says:

    Where is it being shot???? Location?

  15. Rachel says:

    Hopefully, this movie will encourage BSG’s economy as well as their morale. I grew up there and visit often, but watching the town decline over the years is disheartening. I must say that I am incredibly disappointed in the decision to hire Ashley Judd. I would have been more supportive even if it was someone unknown playing Ave’s part, rather than Judd. It’s like a slap in the face to the miner’s and their families to have her here. Not to mention the fact that she is horribly rude! But who knows, maybe her being around the town and meeting the people will help her attitude. If she gets off of her high horse long enough to meet them, that is…

    • Edgar Lucas says:

      Sadly I dont think it will they are not even paying the extras or stand-ins at all. Just think a high budget movie that asks people to work for free, it makes me sick.

  16. Elsie Tanney says:

    Want to know when this movie is coming out ?Where will it be shown? How can I see it in Michigan,i have family in it . Waiting for a reply .THANK YOU

  17. amy burke says:

    If you need a mechanic or garage for the movie… we own Danny’s service center in big Stone Gap. My husband, Danny Burke is the best mechanic around!

  18. Maybe some of these people who think Ashley Judd is pushing 60 should look up her bio.She was born in 1968 that makes her 45.

    • Lynn Rogers says:

      Is she really only 45? She looks a lot older than that. Anyway, I think the relevant question is not her actual age, but whether she is a believable 35 year old. In my opinion, the answer is no.

  19. Arnold Lawson says:

    It is great to see this being made and at the most beautiful time of year for the back drop. My father spoke highly of Adriana and him growing up in the area at that time. He enjoyed reading the novels himself and I know would have loved to see it go to film for her.
    Looking forward to seeing it.

  20. ann holbrooks says:

    Ashley and Patrick is two of my favorites…so honored to have them here in my home town…I would love to meet them both…

  21. Judymullins says:

    Ashley Judd needs to go back to Hollywood and keep sleeping with whoever will give her a job. She also needs to realize that COAL is what powers the lights that she tries to act by.

    • edu says:

      more than likely those lights will be powered by diesel

    • Judy Mullins Marrs says:

      My name is Judy Mullins Marrs. I did not make the above comment that some people are trying to say that its me. Ashley Judd is an awesome person and we love her movies. So if YOU are saying I made the above comment then you are wrong…..

  22. deanna troi says:

    Should anyone be lucky enough to run into Ashley Judd in BSG, make sure to tell her how much you loved her in Star Trek. In interviews, Ashley never fails to mention how much she enjoyed working on the show. She says her fondest memories are from her Star Trek days, and how she owes her career to the franchise. If you address her as Ensign Lefler (her Star Trek character), you will have a friend for life.

    Don’t believe anyone who says that Ashely has ever been mean to anyone.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Ashely Judd is not CIA, she’s just looking for someone to lie to her and tell her she is an actress.

  24. Jessica Shepard says:

    Be careful around Ashley Judd. She’s been known to bite the head off any “commoner” who dares to talk to her. One time I was in a supermarket in Tennessee and she was buying something. The clerk recognized her and was so sweet – she said she was a big fan and she hoped she wasn’t bothering her but would she mind giving her an autograph? Ashley Judd’s exact reply, burned into my memory: “I DO mind, you ARE bothering me, and no I WON’T give you an autograph.”

    Yup, like a lot of celebrity “humanitarians” Ashley Judd loves people – she just doesn’t like PEOPLE.

    • Scott Kerns says:

      She Was Probably Stealing Something And Didn’t Want Attention Brought Her Way. Tell Her On A Windy DayThat You Can Smell That Foul Odor From Kentucky.

      • Angie McCoy Lipps says:


    • betty says:

      Being from that area myself, I;m sure anyone that lives in bsg will put judd in her place, if she offends them. I hope the movie does bring help and hope to bsg.

    • saralynn says:

      Jessica — my friend Hannah is a friend of a friend whose cousin was the clerk Ashley chewed out. Small world.

  25. IBH says:

    Given the speed that women age in BSG due to harder living, smoking, financial problems the list goes on and on, casting and older woman to okay a 35 year old is smart.
    It will portray a realistic 35 year old for the area.
    The men age just as poorly so they should cast someone older for the male role.

    I hope this movie helps Big Stone Gap. The town is a drug ridden hole of poverty and needs rescuing.

  26. loma lawson says:

    I JUST RETURNED HOME FROM WALMART. WALMART IN BIG STONE GAP WHERE I MET PATRICK WILSON IN THE FLESH. HE WAS SOOOO SWEET AND GOOD LOOKING ! I even got a hug not an autograph or a handshake but a hug. Thank you Patrick you are the greatest. Loma

  27. amber says:

    I want to be in the movie

  28. andi says:

    I must add my two cents — Judd as Ave = Insanity. God, I hope The Secret History is never, ever made it to a movie.

  29. Debs says:

    No hate here. I happen to like Judd, but I, like many others think she is totally wrong for the part of Ave. From what I understand, Judd was cast several years ago, when the movie was supposed to be made. Plans fell through, and no movie. Fast forward many years, Judd is still in the film. Even several years ago, I would not have liked her as Ave. With the passage of time, she has gotten very matronly looking. I just don’t see it. To each his own, but, as much as I like Judd, I will not be seeing the movie.

  30. Alicia marie chandler says:

    Hey my name is alicia and i am from and live here i bsg and i am tickled to death to have whoopi patrick and ashley here! I plan to meet them just like some other ppl i know meeting them :) im excited for the movie :))

    • livvy says:

      Alice Fay — I sincerely hope you feel the same way after meeting Ashley Judd. She is notorious for being a complete and total b### to the “little people.” And whatever you do, DO NOT OFFER HER A COLD DRINK! She only drinks water at room temperature!

  31. Alice Faye Cox says:

    Ashley Judd is a beautiful woman for any age, and a good actress. I can see her as Ave I thought the casting in this case was spot on.What’s up with all you haters? Ashley, just like every other American ,has a right to her opinions on any subject.I love Whoppi in most every thing I’ve seen her in, and personality wise I can see her as Fleeta.I have never had the pleasure of seeing Wilson in anything , but he seems a little young for Jack .Trigiani, having written these characters, must feel they are all a good fit. I enjoyed all the books in The Big Stone Gap series, looking forward to the movie. My one big hope is that people in our area aren’t portrayed in a bad light as so often they are.

    • Steve says:

      Wilson isn’t too young, Judd is too old. And when she attempted to run for the US Senate, she placed her stupid ideas in the public for debate. And as for Trigiani (writer/director) she should notice that the public is being more discerning. Look at 50 Shades of Grey and the public outcry over casting. Any good businessman gives the public what they want, not what they don’t..

  32. Rose says:

    The actress against COAL, is coming to COAL COUNTRY to make a film.

  33. Meg says:

    Jager — they had better have some very talented makeup artists on that set. Even so, if they make Wilson look as old as Judd, the movie will definitely lose something. A romance between people pushing 50 is completely different from one between people in their thirties. WIll the movie span all of the books? If so, they will have to age Judd even more. What a mess. I am very sad about the whole thing. I don’t mind Judd as an actress, but she is no Ave.

  34. Jager says:

    It will be easier to make Patrick Wilson look as old as Judd than to make her look his age. But it all may be OK.

  35. Bill says:

    Judd needs service dogs, so she has got to be disabled. Are the dogs part of the movie?

  36. Meg says:

    With the exception of Whoopi Goldberg, I think the entire movie is miscast. I will definitely wait for the video.

  37. Livvy says:

    Judd is infamous for being an entitled, diva b-word on the set. I’m surprised anyone would cast her in anything. After her short stint on the B-plus List, she crashed and burned. Now, she seems to take any part that she is offered. Toothfairy, anyone? I can’t believe that they couldn’t get anyone better to play Ave. What a shame.

  38. Sarah says:

    Annalise, I agree completely, though I don’t think she is quite 60 — probably early-fifties. Judd is way too old to play Ave, especially as the love interest of Patrick WIlson, who looks half his age, and about a third of Judd’s. When you compare Wilson’s gorgeous wife to Judd, the error in casting is even more apparent. Is it possible that Judd has a daughter, also named Ashley? Maybe there is another actress named Ashley Judd?

  39. J says:

    Wasn’t Ashy Judd that actress who got mad cause everybody said she had lots of plactic surgery? Her face was all puffy and fat, but she may just be fat. She doesn’t look like she in her 30’s.

  40. ANNALISE says:

    Seriously, Ashley Judd? Isn’t she like 60? I thought the Ave was supposed to be in her mid-thirties. And opposite Patrick Wilson? She could be his old-maid aunt. Who did the casting, AARP?

  41. moderngirl says:

    Who is Ashley Judd?

  42. Nikos Gekas says:

    Never believed Ashley Judd was serious about actually running for the senate and I doubt she is serious about working for human rights. If Bono or some other big star isn’t part of the click, Judd won’t use the issue. She only wants stuff that promotes her. She’s struggling to hold on.

  43. Betty Ahlstedt says:

    I guess we’ll see how serious Ashley Judd was about making difference. If she speaks about the human rigts issues while she is in Virginia then it will show she is serious. If she doesn’t speak up or makes an excuse, she was playing the advocate just for personal gain.

  44. Ariadne Snodgress says:

    I’m sure Ashley Judd would be happy to lend her voice to complaints about the local prison. She’ll go and visit, spend an hour with an inmate (with at least three photographers in tow), hug him while squeezing out a tear for the camera, then she’ll add his story to her canned speech that she gives around the country for $50K a pop, and never visit the prison again.

  45. Susan Williams says:

    Jennifer Cox: Taser and Ulton are both brands of electroshock weapons. If the brand name is that important to you.
    Robert brown is correct that Wallens Ridge State Prison is on the list of many Human Rights Watch Lists for horrible things. An Advocate as preeminate as Ashley Judd speaking out about violations in the US would be a good thing.

  46. Jennifer Cox says:

    Robert Brown: You are not fully aware of the incident in which you are commenting on that involves an inmate at Wallen’s Ridge State Prison. He was not killed by a taser or any other device. The inmate who was assaulting other inmates and staff, was stunned by a ultron device. The inmate did die but he had an underlying heart condition that was not found out until an autopsy was preformed. The stun of the ultron caused his heart to misfire. Please learn all the facts before you post false statements.

  47. Robert Brown says:

    Hopefully Ashley Judd will continue her human rights advocacy when she goes to Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Wallens Ridge State Prison has numerous human rights violations that include killing an inmate with a taser, lack of water for basic needs, and earlier this year a hunger strike. It would be wonderful to see a person of such depth speak out for human rights here in Appalachia!!!

  48. Linda Roy says:

    The cast chosen for this film is like a dream come true for me as I would have chosen these particular actors to fit the story. There was no mention of a black person in the book but Whoopi has got to play Fleeta. For one thing Whoop has been a long time smoker and she is one of the few people who could give the right sass and do right by the author to play the character in Whoop style. BTW Those who question Ashley’s age for the part? Unless Patrick says otherwise I think she’ll rock the socks off any potential competitor. Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Hannah says:

    Ashley Judd does look good for 45. Unfortunately she doesn’t look good for 35 … the age of the character she is playing. Plus she doesn’t have a lot of on-screen personality … I wonder if she will be up to the nuances of a role like this where it is so important to care what happens to the character. Big Stone Gap sounds like an amazing place … Almost like a character in the novel.

  50. dolly thompson says:

    i have read the book and cant wate to see the family has been leaving in big stone gap for all my life.and im 55 years old.this is the biggest thing that has ever came to va’.cant wate’

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