Movie star Ben Affleck has left McLean.
He and his movie crew reportedly spent Saturday filming at the CIA for "Argo" a movie Affleck is directing and starring in based on a CIA mission during the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
On Sunday what they call the "second unit" filmed in the morning at the McLean Cleaners in downtown, then shot scenes along Canal Road and wrapped up the day shooting exterior scenes at McLean landmark, the Pleasant Grove Church on Lewsinville Road.
Alas, Affleck did not return. He reportedly spent the day filming "interiors" at the State Department in Washington. He set the town atwitter Friday afternoon when it was learned that he and a crew were filming in West McLean.
According to the website Collider: Based on true events, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis—the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades.
"On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies," Collider said.
Affleck plays Mendez.
Pleasant Grove church, one of McLean's most historic churches, became St. Dominic Catholic Church complete with a sign saying "Pray for our hostages."
Alison Rosa, the assistant second unit director, said the church was chosen because "It looked rural. The character lives in Northern Virginia. It's an appropriate location."
Fairfax County police closed about a mile of Lewinsville Road to traffic shortly after 4 pm. The church was filmed with vintage cars slowly passing by.
Then the cameras were packed up. About a dozen crew members returned to their vans and trucks. Traffic returned and McLean's weekend in a movie lens ended.