Pop culture fans will be fascinated by Alexandria’s ample celebrity ties, from blockbuster films shot in the city like “Wonder Woman 1984,” to famous faces raised in Alexandria, ranging from Hoda Kotb to Dave Grohl and beyond, to star athletes who’ve called the city home. Read on to be surprised by the city’s star-studded connections.
Movies & TV Shows Filmed in Alexandria
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
“Wonder Woman 1984,” Warner Bros.’ much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s record-breaking “Wonder Woman,” was filmed in part in Alexandria in June and July of 2018, with most local filming taking place inside the Landmark Mall in Alexandria’s West End. Set designers transformed the interior atrium into a bustling 1980s shopping mall in its neon heyday, with many classic storefronts making memorable cameos. “Wonder Woman 1984” was released simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max on December 25, 2020. Peek behind the scenes of the movie’s filming at Alexandria’s Landmark Mall, learn about the large-scale Virginia is for Lovers movie prop and peruse Wonder Woman-inspired offerings from Alexandria small businesses here.
Starring: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal
In this biographical film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim, Natalie Portman takes on the titular role as Jacqueline Kennedy during the days following her husband’s assassination. The production included filming at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt
J. Edgar (2011)
Clint Eastwood’s Leo-led biopic of the F.B.I.’s most notorious director shot several scenes at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Look closely and you’ll notice that the Masonic Memorial looks slightly different—that’s because the filmmakers used CGI to chop off the tower!
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Dermot Mulroney
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Given Alexandria’s important role in American history (and its connection to Freemasons like George Washington), it only makes sense that parts of the “National Treasure” sequel were filmed in Old Town. The lecture hall in the movie’s opening scene is actually the auditorium inside the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Helen Mirren
The West Wing (1999-2006)
Quite a few episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s classic serial political drama were filmed in Alexandria, but the most extensive shoot took place for part two of the second season premiere, “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen.” The episode opens with an assassin stepping outside the former Dixie Pig restaurant near Old Town for a smoke when he is immediately surrounded by dozens of federal agents.
Hollow Man (2000)
This Kevin Bacon-helmed sci-fi thriller was a box office hit and a critical flop. One creepy scene involving a swimming pool was shot at 311 South St. Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria, in a large townhouse with wrought iron on top of the entrance. Kevin Bacon has returned to Alexandria several times since to perform at The Birchmere alongside his brother Michael as The Bacon Brothers.
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin
Random Hearts (1998)
Although director Sidney Pollack’s movie starring Harrison Ford was panned by critics, “Random Hearts’” production was a big hit in Old Town, where it took over King Street for about a week.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas
The Pelican Brief (1993)
Although Denzel Washington did not film in Alexandria for “Remember the Titans,” he did make it out to George Washington’s Mount Vernon a few years earlier for his part in “The Pelican Brief,” a legal crime thriller based on the John Grisham novel.
Starring: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow
Broadcast News (1987)
In this clever satire of American television news, centered on a love triangle between a news producer, anchor and reporter, a particularly important plot point is revealed outside 219 Restaurant on King Street.
Starring: Holly Hunt, William Hurt, Joan Cusack, Albert Brooks
No Way Out (1986)
In this smart thriller with a complicated plot, Will Patton’s character arrives to pick up soon-to-be murder victim Susan at 101 Quay Street near Alexandria’s waterfront, also affording us a glimpse of Founders Park in the background.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Will Patton
Movies & TV Shows Based on Alexandria Stories
Remember the Titans (2000)
How could we forget? This award-winning film starring Denzel Washington depicts the consolidation of Alexandria’s three public high schools into one, T.C. Williams High School (the school will soon be renamed), in 1971 and the subsequent integration of the schools’ football team, which went on to win the state championship that same year.
In this understated and moving film, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton depict Mildred and Richard Loving, the Virginia plaintiffs of the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision which legalized interracial marriage throughout the United States. At the corner of King and N. Pitt Street in Old Town, find a brand-new mini kiosk commemorating the decision, positioned near the former 110 N. Royal Street office of the Lovings’ lawyers.
PBS’ Mercy Street (2016-2017)
The national PBS series “Mercy Street,” the network’s showcase drama series following the conclusion of “Downton Abbey,” was inspired by real events of Union-occupied Civil War Alexandria, revealing the realities of Civil War medicine, changing roles for women and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African Americans claiming their freedom.