James Pascucci’s family was hoping to make his 50th birthday memorable and found some unlikely help from crew members on the set of a new Netflix series.
The seven workers were stationed in Glen Cove for a week while filming “Maniac,” starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. When Pascucci, who has Down syndrome, and his sister, Pamela Giorgi, stopped to check out the production on Oct. 25, the crew befriended Pascucci over three days and even sent him a belated birthday gift.
“With everything crazy going on in the world, it was so nice and so many people were so wonderful,” Giorgi, 54, of Glen Cove, said.
Giorgi had taken Pascucci, who turned 50 the week before, out for a birthday lunch at Glen Cove’s View Grill when they heard about a TV production happening nearby, Giorgi said. After lunch, they drove down to Pryibil Beach, where several large trailers were parked as the show filmed at a mansion.
“I was expecting to get kicked off and this guy just comes up and says ‘Hi, how are you?’ ” Giorgi said.
The crew member was Dave Hyde, part of a group transporting actors and equipment to and from the set’s base camp, which includes trailers and larger equipment that don’t fit at the main set.
Hyde said that after Giorgi told him it was Pascucci’s birthday week, he wanted to give him a special experience.
“He has such a big heart and I took an immediate liking to him,” Hyde, 58, of Sea Girt, New Jersey, said of Pascucci. “I said, ‘Hey, would you like to see my truck?’ ”
The quick visit turned into two hours as Hyde and six other crew members gave the siblings a tour of the lot and showed Pascucci their equipment. They invited him back the next day and gave him the first of several birthday gifts: an NYPD baseball hat.
Pascucci loves hats, his sister said.
On a third visit, Giorgi said she had copies printed of a photo she took of Pascucci and the crew. The crew members signed a copy for Pascucci, who loves to collect people’s names, and asked him to sign their copies.
The siblings are close and she said she tries to make every holiday special for him, from birthday festivities that included a trip to the set of the “Today” show and filling the living room with gifts from Santa on Christmas Day.
But the kindness of the crew members made her especially emotional. “I had to compose myself the second day after we walked away,” she said.
Hyde said the crew sent more birthday gifts to Pascucci last week. The first box arrived on Nov. 1 — a card and a variety of hats Hyde had collected, including some from his crew’s union, Teamsters Local 817.
“I like them, I like them every day,” Pascucci said of his new hats. “I want to say I love you” to his new friends.