Whatever the 100 or so extras were frantically running away from during "Transformers 4" filming Sunday at Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) in Millennium Park, Kelsey Grammer, who plays a villain in the film, was nonchalantly walking toward it. Grammer was on the phone in the scene paying no attention to the scared civilians running past him.
There were no explosions like the ones that went off Friday and Saturday in the plaza at McCormick Place or low-flying helicopters like the ones that glided just above the Chicago River, along Upper Wacker Drive, Sunday morning. And there was no sign of the sports cars that spent much of the weekend parked outside Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, including the yellow Camaro known to Transformers fans as Bumblebee.
It was just Grammer and several extras filming the same scene repeatedly, which was good enough for the crowd of onlookers who stuck it out in the hot sun. They raised their cameras whenever they heard the crew yell "rolling" and some inquired about how they too could become extras. One fan was shaking with excitement after taking a photo with Grammer, who like, director Michael Bay, had a chair waiting for him with his name on the front and the "Transformers 4" logo on the back.
Filming is scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday in the Uptown neighborhood and will return to Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower over the weekend. One business owner said they were told aerial shots of the Uptown Theatre and the Green Mill will take place Wednesday and that the scene is set in an old town in Texas. (Chicago played the role of Hong Kong during filming at McCormick Place, which featured ads and signs in Chinese.)
No word on whether Grammer or the film's protagonist, Mark Wahlberg, who took over for Shia LaBeouf, will be involved in the Uptown shoot.
Wahlberg briefly visited Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, where filming took place on the 50th floor Saturday and Sunday, according to a building employee. He also dined at Sunda twice in three days, with Bay on Wednesday. Bay, as he is known to do, hit the clubs that night, opting for Paris Club's upstairs club, Studio Paris, and then Cuvee, where he was a regular during "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" filming in 2010 (Bay visited Cuvee four times in eight days during filming). Grammer was seen Saturday dining at the Pump Room in the Public Chicago Hotel.
"Transformers 4" is expected to film in Chicago through Oct. 2 and be released in June.
About this week: Following the Wu-Tang Clan's performance Sunday at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park, rappers RZA and U-GOD will perform at Cobra Lounge.
Sightings: Channing Tatum ("Magic Mike") dined Aug. 16 at Jellyfish. ... NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was spotted Thursday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Friday at the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock Center and Saturday with Michael Wilbon ("Pardon the Interruption") at the Public Library Bar in the Public Chicago Hotel. ... Singer Ke$ha dined Aug. 19 at Giordano's in the Near North neighborhood. ... Singer Jason Derulo put on an impromptu concert Thursday at Studio Paris after performing at the Magnificent Mile Fashion Festival in Pioneer Court. Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), who appeared at the fashion festival, was spotted Thursday at Lulu's on the Avenue in the 900 North Michigan Shops and at the newly opened Travelle. ... Mena Suvari ("American Beauty") had dinner Wednesday at Le Colonial. ... NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith dined Wednesday at Saranello's in Wheeling. ... Singer Mike Posner had dinner Tuesday at RM Champagne Salon. "Chicago Fire" co-stars Jesse Spencer and Eamonn Walker were there Friday.