Grab the popcorn! Our list of movies filmed in Pittsburgh during the past decade is here! There’s been a variety of films–coming of age dramas, blockbuster action, heartfelt rom coms, you name it. Top notch stars have made Pittsburgh home while filming, including the likes of Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Emma Watson, Viola Davis, Kristen Stewart, Olivia Wilde, Marisa Tomaei, Jake Gylennhal, and Anne Hathaway. What a list! Sit back as we take a trip through ten years of movies filmed in Pittsburgh. Ready, set, action!
The 1980’s based comedy Adventureland (2009) was mostly filmed at Kennywood, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, who were both unknown at the time. Stewart would later become a huge star when Twilight hit theaters a year later. Eisenberg would end up playing the role of Mark Zuckerberg in the hit film The Social Network (2010). The Adventureland cast was strong—Bill Hader, Kristen Wig, and Ryan Reynolds. Speaking of underground comedies, we have to mention She’s Out of My League (2010), a raunchy rom com where a perfect 10 goes for a 5, starring Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve. (You’ve seen it on Comedy Central or VH1 a million times during a Saturday morning). They filmed scenes in the Pittsburgh International Airport and Andy Warhol Museum. Soon after was the release of Love and Other Drugs (2010) starring Jake Gylennhal and Anne Hathaway. The movie had all the hype in the world and received mixed reviews. Scenes were filmed in Fox Chapel, Sewickley, Shadyside, and Station Square.
And then there was Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012) starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. The film captivated audiences, and was rare in the fact that the movie lived up to the hype of the book. Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 hit novel came to life in the coming of age dramedy. Chbosky was raised in Upper St. Clair. The scene where Emma stands up and throws her arms in the air while they drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel still feels infinite!
You can’t forget about the blockbuster action films shot over the years. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was the final film in the famed Christopher Nolan superhero trilogy. Some scenes were filmed at Heinz Field and CMU. The movie made $535 million worldwide. The same year saw the release of Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. There he goes doing crazy stunts again! Be careful Tom!
The romantic drama that took the teen angst world by storm, Fault in Our Stars (2014), starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, was the biggest thing ever among YA readers. John Green’s tremendously successful novel was set in Indianapolis, but the movie was actually filmed in Oakmont, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon. It was a fresh look at the teenage love story, with the audience holding back tears throughout the film. Ok? Ok.
The sports drama Concussion (2015) starring Will Smith was based on Allegheny County’s forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, which brought widespread attention to concussions in the NFL. Spoiler alert: the NFL wasn’t too happy about it. The film showed how a full contact sport isn’t good for the brain, which led to the NFL implementing a concussion based protocol after a hard hit. The scenes were filmed in Mt. Washington, Hill District, Downtown, Braddock Carnegie Library. Later that year Love the Coopers (2015) was released, a Christmas comedy that featured an all star cast, including John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomeii, Olivia Wilde, and Timothee Chalamet. Scenes were filmed in Millvale, Galleria mall in Mt. Lebanon, and Wilkinsburg.
Fences (2016) saw Denzel Washington and Viola Davis recreate August Wilson’s pulitzer prize winning play in his home of the Hill District. The amazing cast had Oscar written all over it. No pressure! The film was shot entirely in the Hill District. It ended up being nominated for Best Picture–Denzel scored a best actor nom, and Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress. The same year saw the release of American Pastoral (2016), which was a crime-drama film based on the hit novel starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, and Dakota Fanning. It was filmed in Northside, Wilkinsburg, and Lawrenceville.
This Fall audiences will get to watch Tom Hanks play the beloved Mister Rogers in the upcoming drama/bio A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Scenes were filmed throughout Pittsburgh including WQED, Squirrel Hill, and Wood Street. The movie is scheduled for release November 22. It’s going to be a beautiful awards season for the film!This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.