Kept under wraps in Albuquerque
Howard Bryan • The Tribune • 14 June 1975
British rock star David Bowie has been in Albuquerque two weeks for the filming of the British movie The Man Who Fell to Earth, but the film executives have been keeping him under wraps.
News reporters and photographers visiting the movie sets are cautioned repeatedly that "Mr. Bowie does not wish to be interviewed or photographed."
The Belen News-Bulletin, visiting a recent film site in Los Lunas, reported it was told by a movie secretary that its cameras would be smashed by "a real big guy" if any pictures were taken of Bowie.
Movie officials told The Tribune that any such threat would only be made jokingly. "David Bowie probably will be made available for interviews and photographs later," a film spokesman told The Tribune. "This is the first movie he has ever made, and he wants to be left alone for a while."
Bowie slipped into Albuquerque quietly aboard an Amtrak train from Los Angeles about two weeks ago and went into seclusion at the Hilton Inn. Since then, it has been learned, he has taken a private home here.
The movie executives are just as secretive about the story line of their movie as they are about the whereabouts of David Bowie.
All they will reveal about the plot is that it is "a mysterious American love story spanning a quarter of a century." Co-starring in the movie, to be filmed in its entirety in New Mexico through early August, are Rip Torn, Candy Clark and Buck Henry.
Cast and crew of The Man Who Fell to Earth moved Friday to Artesia for a week following two weeks of initial filming in the Albuquerque area. They will return here from Artesia to make use of additional Albuquerque area locations before moving north to Santa Fe.
Albuquerque locales used so far include the new First Plaza with its gushing water fountain, the new First National Bank Building and several homes in the Four Hills area.
Scenes also have been filmed at Los Lunas and Madrid.
The multi million-dollar film is scheduled for release late this year or early next year by Lion International.
Film publicist David Cammell said the film company is enthusiastic about the cooperation it has received from Albuquerque and New Mexico residents.
"There have been no problems and everything is going fine," Mr. Cammell said. "We have found everybody to be most cooperative."
Nicolas Roeg is directing the film for producers Si Litvinoff, Michael Deeley and Barry Spikings.
About 25 Albuquerque residents have speaking roles in the movie.