Actor Jim Duff had just finished shooting a scene for a heist film he was working on in Crawfordsville, Indiana, when he stepped outside costumed in a black ski mask, holding his prop pistol in hand. Seconds later, he found himself surrounded by actual police officers ordering him to drop his weapon.
Indiana State Police told FOX 59 that they received a call Tuesday reporting an armed robbery at Crawfordsville's Backstep Brewery, where—unbeknownst to the cops—Duff and his crew were filming a heist flick. When police saw Duff back out of the brewery in what looked like a bonafide getup straight out of Heat, they pulled their weapons. Police said they screamed at Duff to drop his gun, but he just turned around, likely dumbfounded by whatever the hell was happening behind him.
"The next thing I know I heard a gun shot and something buzz by my head," Duff told the Journal Review.
Duff said he ripped off his mask, tossed his toy gun to the ground, and screamed "it's a movie!" at the cops gathered around him. Lucky for him, the shot missed and no one was hurt.
Apparently, according to Indiana State Police sergeant Kim Riley, the low-budget studio behind the movie, Montgomery County Movies, had failed to tip local law enforcement off about their plans to film a realistic-looking bank robbery at a real neighborhood brewery. They also reportedly had all the camera gear inside the building, and didn't have any "QUIET ON SET" signs or whatever hanging up around the building.
"He was in a ski mask and holding a weapon. Whether it's real or not, you don't know that at the time," Riley told Fox 59. "When you're told to do something, the one thing you don't do is turn towards police while you're holding a gun."
Despite the fact that Duff's weapon was about as lethal as a Nerf gun, police detained him and held him in custody until they could confirm his story, Fox 59 reports. He was later released.
It's not the first time the line between Hollywood heist films and reality has gotten a little blurred. Back in August, a small Pennsylvania town started spending prop movie money like it was real cash. A few days later, a band of gun-toting thieves in nun outfits went all Ben Affleck on a Pennsylvania bank, staging a hold up like a scene straight out of The Town.
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