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Rector selected as locale for 'Foxcatcher' movie

| Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 7:36 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley was the setting last week for scenes from the movie “Foxcatcher,” a drama directed by Bennett Miller and starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum.

The movie is based on the life of John du Pont, heir to the du Pont chemical fortune.

In January 1996, du Pont killed David Schultz, a 1984 Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, at the Foxcatcher National Training Center, a state-of-the-art facility he built on his estate near Philadelphia.

He was serving a 13- to 30-year sentence at a prison in Somerset when he died in December 2010.

The film began shooting in the Pittsburgh area Oct. 15 and will continue through January 2013. Initial filming began at an 1899 Sewickley Heights mansion, Wilpen Hall, which serves the location for du Pont's estate.

Last week the cast and crew shot scenes in Rector. Aside from chance sightings at a few Latrobe restaurants, the filming went seemingly unnoticed to the local community.

Ligonier Township Police Chief Mike Matrunics said he was contacted prior to the film crew's arrival regarding possible traffic control during the shooting of the film. But, after they arrived he was informed the township's service would not be needed.

“They were not a hindrance to the community,” said Matrunics. “They did not even put the community out by closing roads.”

Tom and Christen Mizikar rented their Laurel Mountain Village cottage to three members of the film crew but did not have an opportunity to meet them in person.

“They worked around the clock. We never really saw them,” said Tom Mizikar of Laughlintown.

Mizikar said he rented the cottage from Sunday to Friday to two grips and a teamster driver.

“They came and went at odd hours,” said Mizikar. “They would go to the set at 4 a.m. and not return until after dark each day.”

Mizikar said he assumed they chose his rental unit because of its proximity to the production site.

“Out cottage is only minutes from the movie set in Rector,” he said.

The movie is based on the life of John du Pont, heir to the du Pont chemical fortune.

In January 1996, du Pont killed David Schultz, a 1984 Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, at the Foxcatcher National Training Center, a state-of-the-art facility he built on his estate near Philadelphia.

He was serving a 13- to 30-year sentence at a prison in Somerset when he died in December 2010.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or dbrehun@tribweb.com.

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