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'Vacation' reboot filming in Covington

Twelve Oaks has been the backdrop to many film and TV scenes, but the iconic historic building that most associate with “Gone with the Wind” transformed into something completely different for three days this week: a sorority house in Tennessee, littered with red cups, partying college students and a few A-list movie stars.

The most recent movie Newton County can add to its resume is “Vacation,” a reboot-sequel to the classic 1983 film starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Anyone walking down Monticello Street Wednesday may have gotten a glimpse of Ed Helms and Cristina Applegate, the stars of the New Line Cinema production.

The Covington News watched from inside Twelve Oaks as Rusty (Helms) and Debbie Griswold (Applegate), the grown up son and daughter-in-law of Clark (Chase) and Ellen (D’Angelo) Griswold, as they attended a party at Debbie’s alma matter.

Although Chase and D’Angelo will appear in cameos as their original characters, the movie follows Rusty’s family, including two sons, as they recreate a childhood roadtrip to Wally World – which will be filmed at Six Flags, according to the production’s publicist, David Linck.

About 150 extras, all local and Atlanta-based, filled the hotel’s porch and front yard. Linck said about 90 percent of the crew was locally contracted.

“They’re spending money in town,” said Nicole Greer, owner of Twelve Oaks. “It’s great to see the financial repercussions down the road, bringing in more movies, tourists.”

And not only is this filming good for Covington and the county, she said, but “National Lampoon is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s really interesting to see the transformation they do.”

Also starring in the movie is Leslie Mann (“Knocked Up,” “The Other Woman”), who plays Rusty’s sister, Audrey Griswold, along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) and Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses”). John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who wrote “Horrible Bosses” and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” together, are making their directorial debut and writing the movie.