NORTH ANDOVER — HBO has discovered North Andover.
Many residents were surprised yesterday morning when they saw huge cameras, trucks and other filmmaking equipment at the unfinished mansion at 440 Great Pond Road. When they saw a crew of workers spreading turf on the grounds, some of them may have thought the edifice was at last going to be completed.
Rather, the large, red brick house that overlooks Lake Cochichewick is going to be featured in the HBO film “Clear History,” written by none other than Larry David of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame. David is also playing the lead role in the film, as Nathan Flomm, the marketing director of an electric car company who loses out on billions when he leaves the firm in a huff after a disagreement with the boss.
The humiliated Flomm changes his name to Rolly Davore and moves to an island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Then the ex-boss, Will Haney, portrayed by Jon Hamm, comes to the island to renovate his summer mansion. Davore, aka Nathan Flomm, aka Larry David, wants revenge and plots to drive his tormentor off the island.
Those who stopped by the shooting scene yesterday couldn’t get close enough to see the action, or learn what actors might be at the site. Michael Keaton, Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes are among those featured in the movie.
Production crew members forbade anyone from descending the slope from the road to where the mansion sits. At least two police officers were on the road directing traffic.
“Rollin’ rollin’, quiet please!” one of the crew members would yell when they were shooting a scene. A sign near the road advertised W.B. McKenzie and Sons Construction — but there’s no such firm in these parts.
In the movie, Philip Baker Hall is McKenzie, the construction foreman who hires Rolly Davore — and later regrets it. Keaton plays Joe Stumpo, an erratic and eccentric quarry operator, while Danny McBride has the part of Frank, Davore’s best friend.
Other cast members include Bill Hader as Rags, Stumpo’s henchman, who agrees to help Davore settle an old debt; Hudson as Rhonda, the glamorous wife of Davore’s archrival, with whom Davore strikes up a special friendship; Mendes as Jennifer, a local resident who takes an offhanded suggestion from Davore a bit too seriously, causing him lots of trouble; Amy Ryan as Wendy, Davore’s ex-girlfriend, who has been hiding an explicit secret since before they dated; and JB Smoove as Jaspar, the ex-boyfriend of a local girl who blames Davore for the breakup of his relationship.
No air date has been set for “Clear History,” according to HBO. Greg Mottola is directing the film and is executive producer along with Bradley Thomas, Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer.
Berg, Mandel and Schaffer joined David in writing the screenplay.
In real life, the 6-acre property at 440 Great Pond Road was owned by the Manzi family for many years before it was sold to Anthony DiNapoli, an Andover property manager, for $2 million in 2002.
The house that was on the site when DiNapoli bought it has been torn down and the current edifice has remained unfinished for years.