Natalie Portman Series Halted in Baltimore After Locals Threatened to ‘Shoot Someone’ Unless They Were Paid $50K
Filming for an Apple TV+ limited series starring Natalie Portman was temporarily halted over the weekend after two men threatened to shoot a member of the production unless they were paid $50,000, according to Baltimore police.
The cast and crew of Lady in the Lake, based on the book of the same name by Laura Lippman, had been filming in the downtown area of Baltimore for several months before a driver was reportedly approached by two men last Friday, Aug. 26.
The men allegedly brandished a gun and said they would only “allow” filming to continue if they were paid $50,000, which the driver refused. They then threatened to “come back later this evening [and] shoot someone” before fleeing, Baltimore police said in a statement.
While no other crew members were on set at the time, the production decided to “err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” a police spokesperson said.
Rolling Stone reached out to the Baltimore Police Department for further comment. No arrests have yet been made. Local news outlet The Baltimore Banner described the men as local drug dealers.
In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, the series’ production company Endeavor Content confirmed the incident and said production would continue with increased security measures. “We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing,” the statement said. “The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured.”
Lady in the Lake follows the fictional story of Maddie Schwartz (Portman), a 1960s housewife in Baltimore who becomes an investigative journalist while trying to get to the bottom of an unsolved murder. During her reporting, she meets activist Cleo Sherwood, played by Baltimore-native Ingram Moses.