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‘Book Club’ meets ‘Fast X’ in Italy

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In theaters this week, there are two very different movies that will show you different sides of Italy. Fast X has a huge action sequence that takes place in Rome, and Book Club: The Next Chapter takes you to Rome and Venice and Florence.

Book Club writer Erin Simms tells ABC Audio the idea to shoot in Italy wasn’t hers. It came from the film’s stars — Candice BergenMary Steenburgen and Jane Fonda.

“They had the best time, they’re back together to do press, and they were like, we’ve got to do a sequel and let’s do it in Italy,” Simms recalls.

You might think Venice would be a tough place to shoot, because of the crowds and narrow streets, but it actually wasn’t, according to Book Club directer Bill Holderman, who explains “everything obviously comes in and out on boat… It’s so efficient… And at the end of the day, you’re there shooting in one of the most magical places in the world. And same thing for Rome.”

Shooting in Rome was a different story, says Simms, who found out that Fast X was shooting in the same area at the exact same time.

“They were doing this crazy thing down the Spanish steps and we were sort of around the corner of the park and this chopper kept going over head,” notes Simms. “Our line producer called the other guy on Fast X and said, ‘Hey, could you hold the helicopter for 15 minutes?’ And literally the helicopter flew away and we shot the scene with Jane Fonda in the park, so that she could do the phone call.”

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