An awesome thing about going to such a prestigious university is all of the pop culture references that come along with it. There’s a whole Wikipedia article of all of our awesome university’s mentions in pop culture. Pretty much every doctor character on television had a stint at Hopkins Med. It’s really fun to be watching, oh, say, Parks and Rec and hear Leslie Knope mention the beds in our dorms, Wolman and McCoy.
But what’s even more fun is to actually spot celebrities on campus (or, at least, where they’ve been).
We’ll start off easy…
The Social Network was filmed here at Hopkins!
1:25… Hello little access road between the AMRs.
1:36 THE BREEZEWAY! He begins the scene running up the side by Remsen hall
2:11 Jesse Eisenberg runs down the real Breezeway (the one next to Krieger and Ames) where student groups are always barraging passersby with flyers. Bonus points for the spire of Latrobe!
2:23 He then enters Latrobe Hall.
(You can read more of the locations that aren’t in this scene here)
Okay, so movie magic here, none of his movements really make sense if you understand the campus. How did he get from the AMRs to Latrobe so quickly? Why did it look like he was coming from Mattin Center when he entered Latrobe? Ah, the magic of cuts. But, whatever, it’s cool. Jesse Eisenberg (plus an entire Oscar-winning film crew!) traipsed our campus. It’s supposed to take place at Harvard, and our favorite joke is that JHU looks more like Harvard than Harvard does. I’ll take it.
House of Cards (round one)
This scene from Season 1 Episode 8 has MSE and the Upper Quad masquerading as Frank Underwood’s alma mater!
And as for round two, this past summer, House of Cards set up shop again to film on our campus! They began shooting in front of the BMA, and I got to pass the crews everyday on my way to work. Several eighteen-wheelers full of equipment, cherry pickers for some nice high-angle shots, fake news trucks, and police escorts made Art Museum Drive a nightmare—but a very, very exciting one. Then, the crew moved filming to the Homewood campus. Students received emails to please not disturb the film crews, but no one could resist.
You can see more actual photos of the sets here
Now, seeing our campus on the big screen is crazy exciting, but there are also plenty of celebrities to see outside of the monitor.
A favorite of both Hopkins students and an Olympic Swimmer, Pete’s Grille in Waverly is the place to be to spot Michael Phelps. This place is known to be his favorite breakfast place, so grab a good book and a cup of coffee and keep your fingers crossed.
John Waters, the cult filmmaker who put Baltimore on the map, is known to love Hampden, Charles Villages’ cooler next-door-neighbor. I’ve had friends who have seen him at Rocket to Venus, and one of my favorite restaurants, The Corner BYOB, is also a favorite of his! He did a book signing at our Barnes & Noble last week, but I had class. Tears were shed.
My professor mentioned that she once saw Sonja Sohn, who plays Kima on The Wire, at Donna’s, the best place to catch a bite right off-campus. If you take Dr. Peter Beilenson’s Baltimore and The Wire course, you’ll also be sure to catch more notable people from the show (minus truffle mac and cheese).
Now, if luck isn’t on your side and you’re one of those people who’s all Wah, I never see celebrities, wah I never win prizes blah blah, then there’s a sure-fire way to meet a celebrity. John Astin, aka Gomez from The Addams Family, is a professor here. Seriously, we have a famous, father-of-a-Lord of the Rings-actor, professor right here on campus. He teaches Theatre, duh, and I’ve heard his classes are awesome. And he’s also an alum!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (a true Baltimorean, considering he’s related to Francis Scott Key, the dude who wrote our National Anthem during the War of 1812), lived in one of our very own Hopkins dorms. While his wife Zelda was being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Sheppard Pratt, F. Scott lived in Wolman Hall, which was an apartment building at the time. Cue every English student vying for the floor of Wolman.
Eva Chen, JHU alumna and editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, recently Instagrammed some snapshots of the University seal in Gilman and a shot of her posing in front of Gilman! Her captions revealed that she took a little day trip from New York to revisit the campus, so fingers crossed she’ll make the trip again soon.
I’ll keep updating the list as I discover more!
This video went viral amongst Hopkins students, and I’m so proud of this little girl for embracing the S.
There are a ton of other famous people who have made Baltimore their home (or at least their death place. Edgar Allen Poe, I’m looking at you), but considering Homewood is just one little pocket in the city, I’m pretty proud of our ability to pull some celebrities. I’ll still be on the hunt for John Waters.
And in case you’re wondering, this is what I actually do with my Film major.