Johns Hopkins Was in Sleepless in Seattle?! And Other Hollywood Surprises…

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A scene from "House of Cards" that was filmed on the JHU campus.
A scene from “House of Cards” that was filmed on the JHU campus.

I knew that Johns Hopkins was one of many Baltimore locations that had a cameo role in House of Cards. But I didn’t know until today that the university also has a starring role in a Nicole Kidman bio-thriller, a Chris Rock comedy, and everyone’s favorite Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com.

I learned about these unexpected Hollywood appearances thanks to the Hopkins Hub, which has a rundown of Johns Hopkins’s appearances on film dating back to an early John Waters film from 1969. Some highlights:

Sleepless in Seattle (1993): In this romantic comedy that features many Baltimore locations, Meg Ryan visits her brother, a professor, at his office in the George Peabody Library.

Head of State (2003): The unlikely Democratic presidential candidate Mays Gilliam (played by Chris Rock) rallies campus supporters from the steps of Shriver Hall in this comedy that marked Rock’s directorial debut and co-starred the late Bernie Mac.

The Invasion (2007): Nicole Kidman plays a psychiatrist whose son may be the key to stopping an alien lifeform from infecting the entire human population. Key scenes were filmed in Mudd Hall biology laboratories.

The university is also referred to in about a zillion pieces of pop culture — generally as a metonym for “place where smart people go” — including Jurassic Park (the book), South Park, and Parks & Recreation.



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