Bruce Willis, Luke Wilson film murder mystery action film ‘Gasoline Alley’ in Tifton

Updated: Mar. 6, 2021 at 11:21 AM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) -Hollywood is back in Southwest Georgia and it’s brought actors Bruce Willis, Devon Sawa, and Luke Wilson to town for their latest project.

Parts of Tifton including some downtown buildings, streets, and the airport can be seen in the new film “Gasoline Alley.”

We’re told it is a murder mystery with a kick of action.

Willis and Wilson play police officers and Sawa’s character is framed for murder, according to film officials.

Behind the scenes of "Gasoline Alley"
Behind the scenes of "Gasoline Alley"(source: Alexander Kane)

An exact premiere date has not been released but officials told us it could come out as early as the beginning of next year.

We’re told crews from around the nation are spending around a month in Tifton with more filming scenes still on the calendar, however, Willis and Wilson have already wrapped up their camera work.

Around a hundred people are working on the film with a lot of them from right here in Georgia.

We’re told some locals have been extras in the mystery flick.

Brittney Roberts is the second assistant director for the movie. She is also a Fitzgerald local who said it’s important to hire Georgia talent.

Brittney Roberts
Brittney Roberts(source: WALB)

“Typically we like to keep our crew from Georgia,” Roberts said.

She also added the goal of having the film in Southwest Georgia is “revitalizing small towns and specifically South Georgia, Fitzgerald, Cordele, and Tifton.

This latest film is a saving grace for a local business owner.

Film crews from across the nation are getting a taste of down-home southern cooking at 41 and Main in Tifton and it seems like they like it.

B.J. Smith owns and operates the eatery and catering business.

“It’s strange, they love biscuits and gravy in the morning. When I don’t have it, they say ‘B.J., where’s the biscuits and gravy?” said Smith. “They call me Ms. Barbara. They call me Grandma. Some of them call me Mama B.J. so I feel like I’ve made friends.”

But before Willis, Wilson and Sawa brought their latest film to town, B.J. and her business wasn’t doing so well.

The pandemic hit B.J. and her establishment hard, canceling out contracts that would typically bring in thousands of dollars.

“It was devastating,” said Roberts. But this Tifton film project saved her and her business.

B.J. Smith
B.J. Smith(source: WALB)

“I’ll be putting it in South Georgia terms, it’s a blessing.”

B.J. said this film has been a lifesaver, bringing in over $25,000 dollars so far, paying her lease for the month and electric bill.

“I have been inspired by this filming team. They’ve given me hope, they have. I’m not gonna cry but I could get very emotional about it because I was about, like, should I give up and, it was like, no you’re not gonna give up. Here’s something, we want you to feed us and that’s what I like to do. I like to feed hungry people.”

B.J. said her catering team prepares over a hundred meals a day for the film crew, mostly breakfast and lunch.

“They’re just down-to-earth kinda ‘picture of America’. These are good kids. They’ve really changed my view of the movie industry.”

Tift County and Tifton city leaders told us it’s been great working with the film crews and actors.

Leaders said they’re welcome back any time.

“They’ve enjoyed interacting with us. They’ve invited us to sets to watch what’s happening so they’ve been great to work with they’ve been very open with their communication, so it’s been fun,” Angela Elder with the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association said.

This isn’t the first time a movie was made in Tifton. She said The Tiger Rising was filmed in 2019.

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