Last week, Astoria was transformed into the backdrop for scenes from the upcoming movie, Into the Wild. Based on the book by John Krakauer, the movie tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a college student who left his Georgia home to cross the country and live in the Alaskan interior only to die of starvation a few months after reaching the wilderness outside of Fairbanks. Krakaur, the journalist who originally reported the story for Outdoor magazine, felt that there was more to his death than met the eye, so he wrote the book to uncover the real truth.
Sean Penn (who is directing the film) and Vince Vaughn spent the week in Astoria shooting scenes for the movie. (Vaughn was rumored to have been visited by Jennifer Aniston for a day or two during the shoot. Also, in an unrelated star-sighting, Johnny Depp was supposedly in Seaside, about 20 minutes from Astoria, checking out potential sites for Pirates of the Carribean III.)
Evidently there was a casting call the week before, but I didn't hear about it until afterwards. I could have been an extra!