BU Band Lands Part in Whitey Bulger Biopic Black Mass

The Boston University Band will shoot a St. Patrick's Day Parade scene on June 23.

Boston University Bands

Photo by James Priestley / Courtesy of BU Bands on Facebook

The Boston University Band is about to get their 15 minutes of fame, and it’s coming up really soon. After being approached by a production company working on the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, the band landed a significant role in the highly anticipated film starring Johnny Depp due out next year.

“The movie company needed 100 uniforms to fill for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston circa 1982,” says Boston University’s director of athletic bands, Aaron Goldberg. “But only about 30 of our 300 students [in the band] are local for the summer.”

Goldberg says the program reached out to members within a reasonable distance from the city, as well as young alumni, and even high school seniors in the area. The program also released a web form to find potential participants, from which they received more than 280 responses. With only 70 spots to fill, the form closed just two days after its posting due to the overwhelming response.

“BU affiliates had first priority, then New England and local college band people second. No auditions were necessary,” Goldberg explains about the selection process. By the end, the band rounded up folks from a variety of different schools—Northeastern, Harvard, UConn, UMass, and North Andover High School, just to name a few.

But alas, a plot twist! Instead of Southie, the shoot will take place in Lynn, Mass., about 11 miles outside the city. South Boston was looked into, according to Goldberg, but 2014 Southie appears too gentrified compared to the blue-collar Irish-Catholic Southie that Bulger once reigned.

As specified by the BU Band’s Facebook posting, the group will use Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week to host rehearsals and uniform fittings. Monday, June 23, is the day of the shoot, when the entire band will travel out to Lynn by bus and remain on set from sun up to sundown.

“We’re so excited about this opportunity. A lot of alumni are coming back [from] as far as New York and New Jersey,” Goldberg says. “It shows not only a level of commitment from the band and our alumni, but also our excitement for the project.”

Black Mass has earned its hype so far this summer. Johnny Depp has been spotted multiple times in full-on Whitey gear as he galavants around shoots in Southie and Cambridge. And Benedict Cumberbatch recently signed on for the role of Billy Bulger. More cast members include Sienna Miller, Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons, Fifty Shades of Grey’s Dakota Johnson, and Parks and Rec’s Adam Scott.