A Hollywood movie production crew began filming scenes for The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston on Thursday at the Loews Don Cesar and Dolphin Motel in St. Pete Beach.
"We had heard that Bryan Cranston was going to be in town filming and we thought it was just nonsense," said resident Jesse Bender. "Sure enough, he's here."
Cranston is best known for playing Walter White in AMC's hit series Breaking Bad. Bay News 9 caught a glimpse of Cranston filming scenes at the Dolphin Motel with Olympia Dukakis. The Infiltrator is a true story about a Tampa undercover federal customs agent, Robert Mazur, who helped bring down the Medellin drug cartel in the 1980's.
"It's based on a book written by Robert Mazur," said Tony Armer, the Pinellas film commissioner. "Now they're turning it into a film."
Since the period film is from the 1980's all the extras had to wear clothes from that era and old cars were brought in to line the streets. At the Don Cesar, scenes were shot on the balcony over looking the pool.
"We just checked in and they said they were shooting a movie just for a day here," said guest Alicia Pisula. "So, it's kind of neat to watch."
Armer said anytime a big Hollywood movie comes to the Bay Area it helps boost the local economy.
"There are over a 100 people that are going to be working on a major film like this," he said. "They spend a lot of money in the area and it's a big benefit."
The Infiltrator is scheduled to shoot for 9 days in the Bay Area with a majority of the scenes being filmed in Tampa. Armer was tight lipped about those locations.
"I know they're going to be at several different locations in Tampa. I can't say exactly where," he said. "They're going to be doing a little more in Pinellas County as well. Some fun unique locations that give it a throw back look to the 1980's."