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Actors Tatum, Carell doing 'normal' things in Ligonier

| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

If you're hoping to meet Magic Mike or Michael Scott — or at least the actors who portrayed those characters — look no further than Westmoreland County, where several sightings of Channing Tatum and Steve Carell have occurred in recent days.

The actors, who have been in Ligonier Township filming the movie “Foxcatcher” this week, have been spotted in Unity and Hempfield doing normal things like eating and shopping.

Women dining at Sharky's Cafe in Unity were drooling over Tatum, who most recently starred as a male stripper in the film “Magic Mike,” on Tuesday night as he ate a chicken dish.

Meanwhile, Carell — known for his former role as the bumbling boss on the television show “The Office” — was seen shopping at the Target store in Hempfield on Tuesday.

Sharky's owner John Huemme said Tatum, who was extremely polite, was with four or five other people for dinner.

“He had plenty of girls waiting to talk with him, and he was super nice,” said Huemme, who was not at the restaurant at the time but heard about the visit from employees. “All of the customers left him alone when he was eating, and as he was leaving they started talking to him.”

Huemme said Tatum sported a Latrobe wrestling T-shirt while at the restaurant.

Tatum actually plays a wrestler in the film, which is based on the true story of John du Pont, heir to the chemical company fortune who built a wrestling training facility on his estate. Du Pont, played by Carell, shot and killed Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, played in the film by Mark Ruffalo, in 1996. Tatum portrays Schultz's brother and fellow wrestler, Mark Schultz.

Sharky's has seen its fair share of celebrities.

President Obama stopped in several years ago, and members of the Steelers and Penguins have been customers.

“It's not an everyday occurrence but once or twice a year, we have the nice presence of celebrity customers,” Huemme said.

Marcie Hartung's brush with celebrity on Tuesday was seeing the back of Carell's head as he left the Hempfield Target store.

She didn't realize a celebrity was in her midst until she heard several people saying the man was Carell.

“Everybody was kind of leaving him alone because he's not like Jon Bon Jovi where you'd be, ‘Whoa, look at him.' He's kind of normal-looking,” Hartung said.

Valerie Brown, a manager at Target, didn't get to see Carell, but several employees told her they spotted him.

“He was just at the lane for a minute and a couple of the team members spotted him and got excited, but then he was out the door,” Brown said. “They didn't approach him or anything. At least he had an uninterrupted shopping experience.”

Filming of the movie hasn't been interrupting everyday life in Ligonier Township.

Police Chief Mike Matrunics said film representatives contacted him initially about providing assistance with the film but changed their minds and are using their own security.

“They've been actually very quiet,” Matrunics said. “They're not interrupting anybody. They're not interrupting traffic flow so we don't have any contact with them.”

Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or jreeger@tribweb.com.

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