Bonnie Hunt’s directorial debut “Return to Me”: Filmed at Twin Anchors
When O’Reilly’s Sent Anchors Away
In 1999, Twin Anchors® was thrilled to be a part of the major motion picture “Return to Me”, starring Bonnie Hunt, David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O’Connor, Jim Belushi and Robert Loggia. Bonnie Hunt, a long-time customer, directed and co-wrote this film; she wanted a quaint, neighborhood place that could become “O’Reilly’s Italian Restaurant” in the movie. And so, Twin Anchors® was transformed!
Filming lasted 5 weeks. Shooting would go from Monday through Thursday, for twelve hours or more each day. After Thursday’s wrap, the crew would remove all traces of “O’Reilly’s” and amazingly, bring Twin Anchors® back to life for weekend business. On many days, one could find the cast lounging on director’s chairs on Sedgwick Street; Carroll O’Connor was known to give a few hugs to friendly fans now and then. David Duchovny and Robert Loggia relaxed by playing softball with cast members and neighborhood children at LaSalle School across the street. Our Old Town neighbors were surprised to see a building façade constructed out onto Eugenie Street to create the illusion that O’Reilly’s was located in the middle of a city block. Of course, what do most women want to know? ”Where did David Duchovny sit in the scene where he first met Minnie Driver?” The answer . . . booth 5.
Bonnie was hilarious as always and generous to a fault! Gina Manrique, one of the owners, got married at St. Michael’s in the midst of the filming. Bonnie surprised Gina and her husband, Christian, with a lovely wedding gift from Tiffany’s. The Tuzi children really enjoyed the abundant food buffets provided by the film’s caterers, too. Swedish Fish were most popular for lunch!
It was really an honor to be associated with such a fine, sweet, romantic comedy that seems to have found a unique cult following. Even now, patrons constantly ask about the movie and take pictures of the restaurant because of Return to Me! Thanks, Bonnie!