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Richard Gere films on Gettysburg Battlefield

Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, Leon Reed headed home to Gettysburg after running some errands.

As the 66-year-old Cumberland Township resident came upon the Lincoln Highway, he saw it with his own eyes - the cause of recent local social media buzz.

A film crew visited the Gettysburg National Military Park this week to film a scene for "The Dinner," a movie starring Richard Gere and based on Herman Koch's novel of the same title. People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive of 1999 spent a couple days in the historic town.

National Park Service spokesperson Katie Lawhon said the service issued a permit to AWP Productions for the crew to film the scene during which two brothers, played by Gere and Steve Coogan, have a conversation about a book they are writing about the Civil War. Shooting took place Wednesday and Thursday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The occasion inspired Reed to snap a few shots of the filmmakers. He later ran into the film crew at the visitor center just as they were packing up their gear. The other Gere, they confirmed, had been in Gettysburg earlier in the day, he said.

The cast of "The Dinner" also includes Chloe Sevigny, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall. The movie, directed by Oren Moverman, is "a look at how far parents will go to protect their children."

Reed moved to Gettysburg last summer from Washington, D.C., where such celebrity appearances don't elicit the same level of excitement. In his former hometown, President Barack Obama can be spotted somewhere in town and "it's sort of ho-hum."

"You definitely get the small town effect here," he said. "The word gets around a lot quicker."

The buzz around the film crew was no different, as residents flocked to Facebook to talk about it.

"Obviously the battlefield is there all the time and, except for the weather, it doesn't change," Reed said. "I have become a real fan of events around town, things that are out of the ordinary, like bike week and the re-enactors. This was really a neat thing to see."

"It reminds you that this is a notable place in which we live," he said. "They didn't just select the battlefield because they found a tree and a barn they wanted to film. They selected it because it's Gettysburg."