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Robots in plain sight on 'Transformers' set

[Update: Filming for "Transformers: Age of Extinction" will continue this weekend in the Loop. Shooting will take place 7 am to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday on LaSalle Street, from West Lake Street to West Jackson Boulevard. According to a notice sent out to local businesses and residences, "Filming will entail helicopter work, vehicular stunts, controlled special effects and pyrotechnics, complete with some loud noises."]

The Autobots came out to play Sunday on the Near East Side set of "Transformers."

The red-and-blue semi known as Optimus Prime and the yellow Camaro known as Bumblebee were both used during the shoot, which took place in front of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower for the second weekend in a row. The film's star, Mark Wahlberg, could be seen climbing into Optimus Prime's driver's side under Michael Bay's direction. Hours earlier, two actors who appeared to be co-stars Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz (or their stand-ins) exited Bumblebee after it performed a "doughnut," bringing the car to a screeching halt.

Stanley Tucci was filmed getting out of his vehicle Saturday outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, only in less exciting fashion. His vehicle didn't appear to be an Autobot, and he had someone wearing sunglasses and a suit open the door for him.

There were several extras in sunglasses and suits both days, some off whom were asked to drop to the ground when a smoke machine went off during one scene Sunday. On Saturday, a couple of military-looking men in berets and all-black uniforms that read "KSI" were seen on set.

Spectators were forced to watch from across the street most of the time but were close enough where they could get a small glimpse of the action and, occasionally, interact with the stars. Tucci waved to onlookers when he was driven away during Saturday's lunch break and Bay rolled down his window to say hello while being driven off the premise. After one woman shouted "I love your movies," Bay responded "I love Chicago."

Because so many fans wanted a photo with Wahlberg during filming, he has for the most part opted to wave and keep walking rather than stop for a picture, knowing three or four photos could turn into 10 or 20.

"I would but I got to hurry up," Wahlberg said when asked to take a photo Wednesday during the two-day shoot in the Uptown neighborhood, which was made to look like Texas, the state flag hanging outside Crew Bar & Grill and South By Southwest festival posters hanging outside the Uptown Theatre. "I'd have to take one with everybody. I have to get ready for work."

Wahlberg did, however, take a photo with the manager at Chicago Cut Steakhouse when he had lunch there Aug. 25. On Aug. 27, he had lunch at Centro and dinner with Bay and Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Piccolo Sogno. Bay hung out Aug. 25 at The Underground and Saturday at the newly opened Parliament. He had dinner Aug. 26 at Tavern on Rush.

About this week: The Sndclsh, the DJ duo featuring rapper Lupe Fiasco and DJ Sky Gellatly, will spin Saturday at Green Tie Ball at A. Finkl and Sons in the Sheffield Neighbors neighborhood. The fundraiser benefits Chicago Gateway Green.

Sightings: Rapper Nas partied Saturday at Paris Club's upstairs club, Studio Paris. … Bethenny Frankel ("Bethenny Ever After") visited Roof in the Wit hotel Aug. 27. … Sophia Bush ("One Tree Hill") dined Aug. 27 at Jellyfish while in town filming "Chicago PD," a spinoff of "Chicago Fire." … Christian Slater ("True Romance") and Timothy Busfield ("The West Wing"), who are here filming "Mind Games," had dinner Aug. 27 at Joe's Stone Crab. … James Cromwell ("Babe"), here filming "Betrayal," dined Saturday at Prasino in Wicker Park. … William Petersen ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") had dinner Aug. 26 at Harry Caray's Tavern on Navy Pier. Kyle MacLachlan ("Desperate Housewives") dined Thursday at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse in River North. … Jennifer Beals ("The L Word") had dinner Aug. 28 at Siena Tavern. … The Bears' Jay Cutler was spotted with teammates Aug. 28 at Japonais and Chicago Cut Steakhouse. Fellow Bear Devin Hester hung out with teammates Thursday at Lumen.

lgomez@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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