First Reported 8/20/2008 4:03:00 PM
The normally quiet 200 block of Gale Avenue in River Forest was a beehive of activity starting at 6 a.m., Aug. 20. And at the center of it all was movie and television star Patrick Swayze.
Swayze, hearthrob of Dirty Dancing and Ghost, along with a film crew, a dozen semi-trailers and assorted air-conditioned mobile homes, took over the block, plus the north side of Randolph for two blocks, for the next two days to shoot scenes from the A&E cable television show The Beast.
Just after 6 a.m. last Wednesday, Laura and Andrew Maychruks’ front porch, next door at 210 Gale Ave., served as the staging area for a group of young extras who took part in a scene featuring a volleyball game in the backyard at 214 Gale.
Swayze plays an FBI agent in the series.
Travis Kimmel, who starred in the 2003 Warner Bros. series Tarzan, plays Swayze’s FBI partner. But Pat Hahn, who lives across the street from the film set, only knows Kimmel as “the guy in the Calvin Klein commercial.”
“I had the Calvin Klein guy eating a bowl of cereal on my lawn,” she said. “That was the highlight of my day so far.”
A small crowd standing by the south end of the block experienced another highlight shortly before 2 p.m. when Swayze, dressed in faded jeans and a long-sleeve shirt, exited his mobile home. He walked across the street to the Maychruks’ parkway, mounted a vintage Schwinn bicycle and took a slow practice spin up the street and back, checking out the pedal action.
Bike riding aside, Swayze reportedly didn’t dance-dirty or otherwise.