PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — August Wilson’s Pultizer Prize-winning play “Fences” is headed to the big screen. The movie was filmed mainly in and around the Hill District earlier this year.
Many local actors had roles and others worked many hours behind the scenes. Tuesday night, they got their first look at the finished product during a special screening here in Pittsburgh, and they were welcomed by star and director, Denzel Washington.
Washington greeted a packed house of extras and crew members at the South Side Works theater for the Pittsburgh premiere.
“August Wilson belongs to you. Pittsburgh belongs to you. ‘Fences’ belongs to you,” Washington told the crowd.
The film captured the feel of what the city was like in the 1950s and ‘60s for a struggling Troy Maxson, the lead character, and his on-screen wife, Viola Davis.
But for the Hill District community that hosted the crew for weeks of production, it was a chance to see their hard work pay off.
“I saw my face! It was so cool, but also cool to see our church and to see so many parts of Pittsburgh that I grew up in,” Rev. Leslie Boone, of the Warren United Methodist Church, said.
“The two backyards they kept showing, with the raggedy door and the concrete steps? That was my house there,” Charles Greenlee said.
“It was a core group of extras and we were able to just see Denzel just in his master,” movie extra Dawnella Druery said.
“My job was to take care of August Wilson first, to serve our actors second, and take care of myself after that,” Washington said.
“Fences” opened in select cities on Dec. 16 and is already receiving rave reviews. It opens in Pittsburgh and nationwide on Christmas Day.