Lynn high schools are Central to movie

COURTESY PHOTO
Lynn English graduate Allana Barefield, pictured in the lower left corner with the maroon hat, was chosen as an extra for the new movie “Central Intelligence,” a portion of which was filmed in English’s gym. 

BY DILLON DURST

LYNN — It isn’t everyday that Hollywood stars show up in a school cafeteria.

But that’s exactly what happened when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart filmed a scene of their new movie, “Central Intelligence,” at Classical and English high schools.

Last summer, while shooting at Classical, Gene Constantino, principal, and Chris Warren, vice principal, saw the actors in the cafeteria, but thought they were body doubles.

“He looked too skinny to be The Rock,” Warren said of Johnson.

The movie, which opens in theaters today, features scenes from English’s gym and Classical’s athletic lobby.

Hart plays a former high school sports star turned accountant. He learns his bullied ex-classmate, Johnson, now a CIA contract killer, wants to recruit him to help stop a planned leak of military secrets.

Allana Barefield, a 2015 Lynn English graduate, was chosen as a background actor for a scene filmed at her alma mater. She got the opportunity through Boston Casting, a company that specializes in casting roles for films, commercials and TV shows.

The 19-year-old said candidates were invited to the set wearing 1990s-themed clothing, and were critiqued by the wardrobe manager.

“I actually went with my friend, but she didn’t get picked,” she said. “I was the only one chosen from my school.”

Barefield, an aspiring news reporter who attends Xavier University of Louisiana, said she was placed in the front row of the gym’s bleachers for a scene in which Hart accepts an award.

“They stopped the entire set at one point to change my lip color,” she said.

While filmmakers were at English for one week, Constantino said they finished filming at Classical in two days.

He said the director had the athletic lobby’s green doors replaced with wooden ones, and replaced the trophies and memorabilia, including the picture of Lynn legend Harry Agganis, in the cases.

After Hart posted a “selfie” being filmed at the school on social media, Constantino said three dozen kids formed outside to catch a glimpse.

“We didn’t have access to the actors though,” he said.

While teachers and staff couldn’t talk to the cast, they were invited to dine from a large buffet that Warren said cost the filmmakers $20,000 a day.

“I put in some OT that week,” he joked.


Dillon Durst can be reached at [email protected]

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