Lake Norman & Mooresville

Shops supply props for 'Homeland' series

The filming of scenes in Mooresville recently for a new Showtime TV series gave a boost to local businesses, and especially to a couple of antiques stores where film crews shopped for props.

Airing at 10 p.m. Sundays on Showtime, "Homeland" is a psychological thriller starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin. Some areas of Mooresville are depicted as a Mexican town in the series. Many of the props you'll notice came from stores in town.

Jane and Richard Carter, owners of American Classic Antiques, sold many items to the series crew. Many of the antiques they sold to the crew are to be used for scenes in a cabin.

Jane Carter, a Mooresville native who left and moved back, said she is eager to look at the show's sets to see whether she can spot many of the antiques they sold to the production.

Other viewers also may be able to spot some of the numerous items the crew bought in town, such as caboose lanterns, quilts, bedspreads, linens, leather trunks and old-time jars for jams and jellies. A dry-goods table with red rust on it - an old table out of Davidson Dry Goods - also may catch your eye.

Keep your eye out for a print of a Grandma Moses painting. It, too, was sold here.

American Classic Antiques has two shops in Mooresville, and the TV crew shopped at both. One is in a 150-year-old building on Broad Street; the other is on Institute Avenue. The Broad Street shop looks very much the way it looked in 1907. The producers and crew shopped three times in the Broad Street store and twice in the Institute Avenue shop.

Jane said, "They were very specific in what they wanted and were pleasantly surprised we could accommodate their needs."

Among the items the film crew requested was a candlestick telephone, the old-fashioned stand-up kind. The shop had one, but it had a rotary dial on the base. The crew wanted one without a dial.

Store manager Dennis White said it was "most unusual. They walked in and bought. Every purchase they made was four- or five-digit (prices) each time. We have no (other) customers who don't want a discount."

Jane added, "It was amazing how quickly they put things together."

The crew began filming in Mooresville during the week of Aug. 25, the day after wrapping up in South Charlotte.

"Filming was at opposite ends of the block," Jane Carter said. "Facebook chat was rampant that day."

She was disappointed, though: "I really wanted to see Mandy Patinkin."

The shop had closed at 5 p.m. that day, but filming continued until 8 p.m. That night, the police called the Carters at home. One crew member had mistakenly left his iPad in the store.

"We came down and opened the store," Jane Carter said. "He walked right over to where he had left it." When commended for their graciousness, she said, "I knew it was for his livelihood. He was so depending on it for his life and soul."

The filming is ongoing in Mooresville. On Oct. 17, J.J. Wasabi's restaurant will be closed for filming for the series. The crew will transform the downtown Mooresville restaurant into a diner. The diner will appear to be located in or near Gettysburg, Pa.

Crewmembers with cameras can be seen scattered around town. Joel Jose, owner of J. J. Wasabi's, said this is the second time his restaurant has been used in a film. An independent film by J.P. Cashman titled "Simply Delicious" was filmed there but has not yet been released.