San Francisco Chronicle (US), May 18, 2001
Alameda no longer star-struck
There's Hollywood, Bollywood and, now, it turns out, Alywood, the hip celebrity hangout formerly known as Alameda.
Yes, movie fans, that was Laurence Fishburne you saw mingling with the gym rats at Bladium, the island's giant sports and fitness club.
He's in town filming the Matrix 2, the latest addition to Keanu Reeves' inspiring cinematic oeuvre, and yet another in a long string of big-money films to be shot in this once unassuming city.
"True Crimes,""The Rainmaker,""What Dreams May Come"-- star-sightings are pretty ho-hum now that Alameda has been transformed into a sprawling movie- set-by-the-bay.
"We're getting a little jaded,"says Ed Levine, a facilities manager with the city.
It's a perfect fit, really. The abandoned barracks, the looming freeway overpasses. Introducing Alameda, the ideal backdrop for a series of explosions hung loosely on a threadbare plot.
Unless, of course, you want to make a comedy called "Flubber,"in which case Alameda will suit you, too.
But back to Fishburne. He dropped by Bladium recently, along with a small flock of movie stuntmen, to pump some iron.
Reeves wasn't around, which isn't surprising. He's a naturally rugged star who performs most of his own stunts, relying on stand-ins only for scenes that require acting.