BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A small New Mexico city is seeing some major star power. Clint Eastwood is turning the city of Belen into the backdrop for Warner Brothers’ production “Cry Macho.” The filming shut down part of Main Street on Thursday and turned the popular local restaurant, Montaño’s Family Restaurant, into a movie set.
“It’s exciting anytime we have a production in town,” Jerah Cordova, Mayor of Belen, said. According to IMDb, “Cry Macho” is a drama-thriller about a former rodeo star and horse breeder who takes a job from his boss to bring his son home, away from the boy’s alcoholic mother.
“Everybody’s searching for good news now-a-days. What we’re seeing with this production today, is people are excited. They’re happy to have something going on in town that’s a little bit different than always having to worry about COVID-19,” Cordova said.
But COVID-19 is still in the back of everyone’s mind on set. According to the New Mexico Film Office, all productions must follow the state’s guidelines while filming. The office said this in a statement:
“All film and television productions in New Mexico are required to adhere to the state’s operative emergency public health order, associated public health restrictions and COVID Safe Practices. Those restrictions include but are not limited to the adherence to occupancy maximums, the maintaining of a six-foot distance between individuals, wearing masks at all times, daily disinfection, symptom screenings, and more.”
This isn’t Eastwood’s first time filming in New Mexico. It’s also not the first big picture to be filmed in Belen. “We were having film productions you know, on Main Street back in 1970,” Cordova said. “We have had Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, so many folks that have walked these streets and filmed here. They have transformed this area time and time again.”
And while the latest production is exciting, Mayor Cordova also said it is needed. “Especially now-a-days, as economic stimulus is desperately needed in small towns across New Mexico. And so, any business that we can welcome to town, including a Hollywood production like that, is fantastic for us,” he said. “I know there are a lot of local businesses and property owners who are making a little bit of money today.”
“Cry Macho” is expected to wrap up filming on December 15th. There is yet to be a release date. According to the New Mexico Film Office, all productions in the state stopped from mid-March to mid-September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, there are currently 12 movies and 12 TV shows being filmed in the state.