Sydney Pollack has won permission to shoot “The Interpreter” inside U.N. headquarters on New York’s East Side — the first feature to film there.
Pic, skedded to start this spring, stars Nicole Kidman as a U.N. interpreter who gets caught up in a plot to kill an African leader addressing the General Assembly. Sean Penn is also attached to star.
Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” perhaps the U.N.’s most famous onscreen appearance, was not allowed to shoot on location, resorting to creative set work instead. U.N. staff could not recall another pic that had shot on its premises.
“I’m very grateful to the secretary-general and to the U.N. for giving us the unique opportunity to make this film as authentically as possible,” Pollack said.
“The physical setting and the sense of history and event that come from standing almost any place in the U.N.’s corridors and great rooms is impossible to duplicate.”
A spokesman for the U.N. said details of access for Pollack’s production are still to be worked out. Filming will likely take place on weekends and at night when the world body is not in session.
Heraldo Munoz, Chile’s U.N. ambassador and this month’s president of the Security Council, said “Interpreter” had won permission because U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan considered the pic consistent “with U.N. values.”
When the 15-member Security Council was asked for its consent, Munoz reported, the only query came from Spanish Ambassador Inocencio Arias who wondered how one became an extra.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)