Vicki Truchan estimated she’d been waiting since 6:30 p.m. across the street from the former Sewickley Country Inn, hoping to catch a glimpse of Tom Cruise.
It was about 9:45 p.m. when the “Top Gun” and “Jerry Maguire” star arrived on set in a black Cadillac Escalade. Cruise waved from the vehicle to the crowd, causing a rush of excitement and prompting cheers from spectators lined up in the cold along busy Route 65.
Sydney Bichsel, 13, was first to spot Cruise. She quickly pointed him out to friends Sarah McSweeney and Elizabeth Truchan.
“I saw his arm,” said her mother, Vicki Truchan of Sewickley, who is a huge fan. “I saw him wave, so that counts.”
Cruise was in Sewickley Thursday night for his crime thriller “One Shot.” He stars as Jack Reacher, an ex-military investigator trying to catch a serial killer sniper in the adaptation of Lee Child's action-packed novel.
Cruise was gracious, stopping to wave to the crowd several times in between shooting a scene before being whisked away in the same vehicle.
Film crew members said the nighttime scenes would be shot through early Friday to take advantage of the hours before sunrise. Crews planned to pack it up when daylight hit. A member of the crew included camera operator John "Buzz" Moyer, a Sewickley resident, who has been in the business for more than 20 years. He had worked on "One for the Money" last year with Katherine Hiegl and Debbie Reynolds, and on "Mothman Prophecy" with Richard Gere, which was shot in Sewickley.
Friends and fans Olivia Skocz, Kelsey Kane and Sarah Beining couldn't hide their love for the Hollywood actor as they nervously walked onto the set two hours before filming was to begin.
“We want to meet Tom Cruise,” said Beining, 18, of Sewickley.
The friends said they were also hoping to land roles as extras.
“We love him,” said Skocz, 21, of . “He’s beautiful.”
“He’s our favorite actor,” added Kane, 20, of Sewickley.
The trio didn’t land roles, and they were eventually asked to leave the busy set to stand in the spectator area.
provided traffic control on Route 65 while dozens of film crew members moved equipment, positioned stunt cars and prepared the set for the shoot. Crew workers hushed onlookers during takes and herded them to far ends of the sidewalks.
Sidewalks around the inn were restricted, as well as a section across the street where a spotlight was positioned in a yard.
Diana Hornyak was curious about the movie shoot that was taking place just around the corner from her Sewickley Manor home. She called neighbor Linda Stumper to see if she’d be interested in walking to the set.
“This is crazy, but do you want to?” Hornyak asked her friend.
“I’ve got my coat on,” Stumper answered.
The two ended up on Boundry Street, trying to pick out Cruise from the dozens of others who moved about the set. The bright new sign glowed in the night, bringing the women back to a time when the Country Inn's restaurant served great food and the motel was open for business.
“It’s hard to believe they’re making a movie right next door,” Hornyak said.
Hornyak said she was more familiar with Cruise’s earlier films, but she'll definitely see “One Shot.”
“He’s a good actor,” she said. “I’ll watch this.”