Who knew getting to Alaska from Cape Ann could be so easy? Downtown Rockport has been a bustle of activity since Disney came to town to film scenes for “The Proposal” as Rockport played the part of the seacoast town of Sitka, Alaska.

Who knew getting to Alaska from Cape Ann could be so easy? Downtown Rockport has been a bustle of activity since Disney came to town to film scenes for “The Proposal” as Rockport played the part of the seacoast town of Sitka, Alaska.

“It’s beautiful,” said Betty White, one of the stars in the movie. “It’s just the quaintest little beautiful fairy-tale town in the world.”

White, along with Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Oscar Nunez, Craig T. Nelson, Mary Steenburgen and Malin Akerman are starring in the romantic comedy, made by Disney/Touchstone Pictures and directed by Anne Fletcher. The movie centers on a publishing executive, played by Bullock, who pressures her assistant, played by Reynolds, to marry her so she can avoid deportation to Canada.

Many residents are enjoying the excitement that comes with a movie filming in town.

“I figure this: It’s the only way we’re going to get to Alaska,” said Richard Cabral, a Rockport resident who was checking out the action with his wife, Arline Cabral. He said it’s been a long winter, and it’s nice to see some activity downtown.

“It’s good for the economy,” Arline Cabral added.

Most business owners agree.

Amy Hale, owner of the Greenery restaurant said if she were to rate having the movie in town on a scale of 1 to 10, she’d give it a 10. Gloria Hart, a manager at the Greenery, said she would give it a 15.

The Greenery has been called upon to make food for the production as they filmed just outside the restaurant and in the Bearskin Neck, Main Street, and Bradley Wharf areas. One of Bullock’s favorites, they said, was their pesto pizza.

“She wanted to have them every day, but knew she wouldn’t fit into her wardrobe,” Hart said.

One of the Greenery’s rooms is being rented out for extras to go when they’re not filming. Hale said the production company has been nothing but professional and great to work with, and the local filming has brought them more business than usual.

“I think it’s wonderful for the town to have all this buzz,” Hale said. “Not only are we getting business from movie people, but people from out of town who come to watch it.”

She said Reynolds and Bullock have both been in the restaurant, and that they were very friendly.

Some business owners were less enthusiastic and saw the movie filming as more of a disturbance than an asset.

Steve Squillace, owner of Capt. Steve’s Sea Shells on Bearskin Neck, said that some of the business owners have felt a disruption from the movie being in town. He said the blockades that are created while filming is going on has been a disruption, but that people were allowed to pass through intermittently.

“It just didn’t seem to show a benefit to the town,” he said, adding that when people see Rockport in the film they will be under the impression that it is actually Sitka, Alaska.

“They’ll say, ‘What a beautiful little town. Let’s go to Alaska—it reminds me of Rockport!’” he said.

Many of the shops have new signs on them while filming is taking place, to make them look like they are stores in Alaska. They will be in the background of some of the scenes. One of the Bearskin Neck shops, the Kanegis Gallery, was transformed into the Sitka Internet Café for inside filming, but owner Mark Kanegis said it will probably not be recognizable in the film as his photography gallery.

“I don’t think anything is going to be as recognizable as we expect it to be,” Kanegis said. “It’s Disney, so they can create whatever look they want. I think people will be surprised when they (see the movie) that it won’t look like downtown Rockport. It’s going to look exactly what they want, which is Sitka, Alaska.”

Rockport resident Marge Kidder said having the production in town is exciting. During filming, she was talking to a friend by the food table that was set up for cast and crew, when Nunez offered her a chocolate bon-bon. Kidder, who did not recognize the star, asked him if he was one of the caterers. She said he introduced himself and shook her hand just before three teenagers came over to meet him.

“It’s sort of exciting, I think, to have this little change before the tourists get here. It’s nice,” she said. “They take over the town, but so what?”