Hollywood has come to Chickamauga, and fanatic fans, onlookers and businesses are getting a taste of show business.
Cori Burnette, 25, and Evi Galloway, 21 both of Chickamauga, Thursday waited anxiously outside the set of the Hollywood feature film “Water for Elephants” starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.
A house on West Cove Road in Kensington, just south of Chickamauga, will be used in the upcoming movie, set for release in 2011.
“Water for Elephants” will star Pattinson (famous as Edward Cullen in the “Twilight Saga” series) and Witherspoon. The movie, based on a novel by the same name, is set during the Great Depression. Pattinson plays a poor, newly orphaned veterinary school student who joins up with a traveling circus. Witherspoon plays one of the circus performers.
Crews and the two stars are expected to be on the scene Friday morning for filming. According to news reports, roads will be blocked and security will be heavy.
The house, which has not been lived in for 12 years and has no electricity or running water, belongs to a north Georgia family. The owners were told the house is perfect for scenes for the 1930s-era film.
“We are coming out to get a view or a picture of Robert Pattinson,” Burnette said.
As the two fans stood on the street with their children trying to get a good view of the set being built and possibly a chance encounter with a Hollywood movie star, the weather was hot and humid and the attention to the area was growing.
The movie is in its final stages of being shot and according to some of the movie’s insiders, the scene being shot is only for a five-minute scene for the film.
Pattinson and Witherspoon have yet to be called to the scene, but this doesn’t stop the actors’ fans from getting a look at movie magic in the process.
“It is not every day that Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon come to town,” Burnette said.
Asked if she had the opportunity to meet Pattinson, Galloway said, “I just want to touch him.”
“I just moved to Chickamauga and this girl here (Galloway) came out of her house with a ‘Twilight’ shirt on. Not only is he (Pattinson) making great movies, but he has brought people together,” Burnette said of the two young fans’ new friendship.
Asked if security asked them to leave to not disrupt filming, the two fanatic fans said that they would.
“We are not stalkers, we are just dedicated fans,” Burnette said. “This is history being made in Chickamauga.”
The two fans stayed up until 4 a.m. Thursday Googling when and where the movie was being filmed in Chickamauga.
“We love him and want to meet him and we will see the movie when it comes out,” Burnette said.
The business of showbiz
Mountain Cove Farms Store proprietor Steve Caheely has been hard at work keeping the film crew fed for lunch and has had an increase in business due to the filming in Chickamauga.
Caheely has been feeding the crew for the past three weeks.
“They are a mixture of artists, painters, prop designers, landscapers and laborers and they are a great group of people who are very nice,” Caheely said.
According to Caheely, the film crews have enjoyed hamburgers, sandwiches and hotdogs and this, Caheely said, has been good for business.
“I have fed at least 10 more people a day that I normally do not have,” Caheely said.
Asked if the filming is good for the area, Caheely said, “This has brought money down here and many sightseers. Maybe they might film another movie here in these locations, possibly.”
The Mountain Cove Farms Store is at 994 Daugherty Gap Road in Chickamauga.

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