Film Crew Pops Up on Constitution Ave.

Poli-Docu about Tony Blair and Bill Clinton Friendship

By Eden Godbee
|  Friday, Oct 2, 2009  |  Updated 5:03 PM EDT
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Film Crew Pops Up on Constitution Ave.

Eden Godbee, NBCWashington.com

This was the scene along the Mall this morning.

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You may have wondered about that camera dolly rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue this morning. We did too, so we skipped our a.m. Starbucks run to find out what was going on. Most of the activity was centered on Penn and Constitution avenues, around the Newseum and the Canadian Embassy.

Turns out that Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan is at it again. The brains behind movies like "The Queen," "Frost/Nixon" and "The Last King of Scotland" is in town to wrap up filming on his latest work, the HBO film "The Special Relationship."

Director Richard Longcraine calls "The Special Relationship" a "serious political piece" that chronicles the Tony Blair and Bill Clinton friendship. The movie touches on issues such as the Monica Lewinsky trial, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, the pair's fallouts and the rekindling of their friendship. This film begins with Blair approaching Clinton for advice on how to win the conservative English vote, ending the night Bush wins the U.S. presidency.

The term "Special Relationship" was coined by Winston Churchill, referring to the relationship between Britain and the United States. When asked if this movie was overtly political, Longcraine said, "This movie is about their private faces not their public faces."

The bulk of the film was shot in England, but crews showed up this morning for the backdrop of downtown Washington. The  cast includes Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton, Broadway-famed actress Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and British actress Helen McCory as Cherie Blair. No famous faces were out today, though -- the crew was merely capturing some background footage.

We just hope the crew leaves the Newseum out of the finished product -- it wasn't located on the Mall during Clinton's presidency.

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