You had to have been under a rock to not know that Savannah got a visit from Hollywood royalty a few days ago.
I say that knowing full well that a lot of you are firmly planted under said rock. And that’s OK. Sometimes it’s much more quiet there. Certainly more peaceful, I know.
If you don’t know, or didn’t see the flash alerts from People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight and the rest, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez spent a little bit of time with their families strolling downtown Savannah a couple of Thursdays ago.
They were here for the weekend wedding at Mr. Affleck’s Hampton Island Preserve home about 40 miles South of downtown’s Gallery Espresso, where the newlyweds were spotted grabbing a coffee during their stroll.
I know J-Lo wasn’t there for Gallery’s fantastic chocolate cake. She had a wedding dress to fit into. I guess they also missed the memo on weddings in the South during peak heat and humidity. But what do I know, between them, they have roughly five times more wedding experience than I do.
We tease because we love, no?
You can see photos from their wedding day and details of the guests all over the internet by now. I heard a few things about the food down there this week.
Not much I can share.
I can say that when I asked Savannah’s Ice Cream Man, Stratton Leopold, if they had delivered some of their goods to the event, he chuckled and said “I cannot speak to that.”
We know, sir. We know.
What we also know is that Lopez and Affleck are just the latest high-octane Hollywood types to pop in on Savannah.
They don’t all get chased down by the tabloids and helicopters, but they are here on the regular.
Names like Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, The English Patient), Anya Taylor-Joy (Queen’s Gambit), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, True Lies) and Comedian Patton Oswalt have all been seen here and there around town.
Oswalt shared to social his love for Abe’s on Lincoln downtown and their soon to be world famous Abraham Lincoln doodles.
Mr. Fiennes was spotted a couple of times at Savoy Society on Liberty Street.
The trend is really nothing new. A few years ago, Robert DeNiro dined at Cha Bella while in town shooting Dirty Grandpa and more than once wandered up to the bar of his hotel at closing time in a t-shirt and shorts very nicely asking if he could get a filet and a bottle of wine delivered to his room.
The short answer was always “of course.”
A quick aside on Mr. DeNiro’s stay in Savannah. While they were here filming on Tybee Island, he broke away to attend one of those major boxing matches in Las Vegas on a Saturday night in May.
On his flight back to Savannah from Las Vegas (yes, in the middle of the night) they called ahead and asked their hotel to arrange for a poolside party for some of the cast and crew they were working with on the film.
Talk about a mad scramble from the hotel staff to make sure they delivered. I was told at the time it was a fantastic afternoon with Zach Efron in attendance as well. Everyone was more than gracious with the regular hotel guests who were lucky enough to have decided to hang at the pool on that Sunday afternoon.
Johnny Depp sneaking in to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on Bay Street for dinner? Yeah, that happened too.
I happened to be there that night in 2014. He was here because his girlfriend, Amber Heard, was in Savannah filming Magic Mike II.
Perhaps you’ve heard of that couple.
Actor Matthew McConaughey was here for a minute a few years ago for a wedding at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. He was a groomsman.
He officially gave Betty Bombers a thumbs up for having one of the best burgers he’d ever had. (He speaks truth)
It goes way back too. Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon to see Kevin Spacey sitting outside Gallery Espresso reading the paper (remember those?) in the morning while he was here shooting the movie version of “The Book.”
Of course that’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Arguably the one that started it all around here.
So, while Mr. and Mrs. Affleck give Savannah another 15 minutes on the national scene, we can be assured that it will happen again. Savannah’s star continues to rise. “A,B, and C-listers” are here all the time.
Sometimes they are working, other times they are simply walking among us, taking in what so many of us already know about this place we get to call home.
How cool is that?