New Yorker headbutts PA on the set of Gordon-Levitt film

Senior Editor
08.09.10 22 Comments

Shocking new evidence seems to suggest that New Yorkers can be not only rude, but also impatient.  Oh I know, I was as surprised as you are.

When a New York man was told he’d have to walk around the set of Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, which was shooting on the Upper West Side over the weekend, he got so angry that he headbutted a production assistant, a move known in the business as the “Busey Hey Buddy.”

“I live here! I pay taxes!” fumed the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Breffny Flynn, 43, who lost his cool at on Broadway at West 102nd Street, on an errand to buy paint for his kid’s bedroom. [10 bucks says he was buying lube for his fleshlight, but as soon as he got caught headbutting a dude, he was all “Eh oh, wassa matta wid dis prick, I’m tryna buy paint fa my kid’s bedroom ova heah. -Ed.]
Flynn went ballistic when production assistant Steve Lafferty told him he had to wait a few minutes to cross the street.
“Don’t tell me what to do, motherf- -ker!” he yelled, according to witnesses. “I gotta get to the store! I gotta get to the store!”
Flynn clenched his fists and puffed out his chest before landing the powerful head butt on Lafferty’s face, witnesses said.
Lafferty was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. Flynn was arrested for assault and released with a desk-appearance ticket.
Most people only dream of head-butting their way through the ubiquitous film sets that have become as loathsome as tube-sock street fairs. [NYPost]

Leave it to the New York Post to turn a 300-pound dude headbutting a kid into a wish-fulfillment story.  “Don’t you wish you could physically assault people half your size for trying to do their thankless job?  He’s a hero!”

New Yorkers have long griped that the shoots eat up street parking, blast neighborhoods with floodlights and cause major traffic snarls in residential areas.
And for most jaded locals, the chance of a celebrity sighting doesn’t make up for the loss of a parking spot.
“I certainly understand that frustration,” said Elisa Sansone, 46, who was walking on Broadway near the scene of the dust-up.
“People in New York are so directive that when something intervenes, it freaks them out. And look at these [production assistants] — they have a power complex. It’s intrusive.”

“Directive”, is that slang for “assh*le”?  Yes, I can’t imagine why I ever left that fine city.

But Lafferty, who was released from St. Luke’s Saturday afternoon, was just doing his job, according to witnesses.
The film crew was in the process of shooting a complicated action scene that involved a bicycle messenger traveling southbound on Broadway, while a camera mounted on a vehicle filmed from the northbound traffic lane.
The thriller, set to hit theaters next year, centers around a bike messenger who catches the attention of a dirty NYPD cop after picking up a parcel from Columbia University.
Lafferty’s job was to keep the six-block area clear of pedestrians and vehicles.
“It’s the PA’s job to protect everyone on set,” an extra said. “This was clearly a safety issue.”

“Just doing his job” is usually a crappy excuse, especially if you’re a Nazi soldier or meter maid, but in this case, hey, maybe you shouldn’t assign the job of blocking off six lanes of traffic to the 140-pound kid fresh out of theater school.  I’ll bet you a thousand dollars there was a 350-pound teamster standing three feet away just eating donuts and leaning on his truck while this was all going down too.  Oh well.  At least no one said “Only in New York!”

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