No Head Butting Here — 'Premium Rush' Crew Gets Warm Reception at Columbia
By Leslie Albrecht
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Call it "Premium Gush."
Columbia University students were thrilled that Hollywood hottie and "Premium Rush" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was shooting on campus Friday — a stark contrast to the Upper West Sider so annoyed by the disruption caused by the filming that he head butted a production assistant last Sunday.
"We're not going to be doing any head-butting," said 23-year-old Victoria Sheppard, a Columbia grad student.
She and a friend were delighted to see the crew taking over a significant chunk of campus sidewalk space. More specifically, they were psyched to get a close-up look at Gordon-Levitt.
"We sort of want to cross paths with him," Sheppard said. "That's why we're creeping around here."
That's a far cry from what people were saying just a few blocks south last week, during the head butting incident at Broadway and West 102nd Street reported by the New York Post.
The alleged head-butter, Breffny Flynn, was arrested; the production assistant was hospitalized.
The next day, the film crew took another hit, this time when the Daily News ran a story about an elderly woman who was "forced to drag her shopping-bag filled cart" out of the way of the film crew.
It was a different story at Columbia on Friday, where the only disruption seemed to be in the heart rates of women hoping to spot Gordon-Levitt.
Emily Nguyen, 17, said she made a special trip to the campus at 116th and Broadway in the hopes of catching a glimpse of "Joseph," as she called him.
Nguyen, on vacation in New York from Orange County, said that before leaving for the trip, she checked the website On Location Vacations, which tells hopeful star-gawkers where they can find film sets.
She lucked out earlier this week at the Empire Hotel, where "Gossip Girl" was filming. Nguyen snapped a photo of blue-eyed star Chace Crawford, who she said looked just as handsome in person as he does on television.
On Friday, she was eager to find out how long "Premium Rush" would be filming on Columbia's campus.
"I really want to get a chance to see [Gordon-Levitt]," she said. "All my friends back in California, we all loved 'Inception.'"