Hollywood has long been fascinated with Hasidic Jews. From A Stranger Among Us (1992) to New York I Love You (2009)—featuring Natalie Portman as a Satmar wife—to Madonna’s most recent film W.E. (2011), it’s not like we haven’t seen the ultra-orthodox on the big screen before.
But none of those glittery final cuts can compare to this behind-the-scenes video, which captures the spectacle that took place last week while shooting the CBS cop drama Blue Bloods on location in the Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park, Brooklyn.
Several crowd scenes were scheduled to be filmed, and over 100 actors were hired to portray Hasidic Jews. Even in New York, where film crews regularly set up shop all around the city, the filming of a major show usually attracts a crowd. But nothing can match the ironic hilarity of this scene: hundreds of actual Hasidic Jews showing up to watch hundreds of actors pretending to be Hasidic Jews.
Fortunately for us, the ensuing drama was captured by an astute onlooker with a video phone. This YouTube video is the surprising and very “meta” account of what happened.