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Baltimore serves as Hollywood stand-in for D.C.


As a New Jersey native, I will admit that one of my favorite parts about watching HBO’s The Sopranos was being able to recognize many of the places that the series was filmed. Tony Soprano’s mother’s house is down the street from where my sister currently attends middle school and my best friend attends Drew University, the school where Season 1, episode 5 “College” was filmed. While everyone knows HBO’s The Wire was set and filmed in Baltimore, some shows set in Washington D.C. may be causing students to experience the same pleasure of “I have been there! I know where that is!” while watching Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s Veep.

Both shows are set in Washington, D.C. but are shot in Baltimore and other Maryland locations. Veep’s main soundstage is in Columbia. Not everyone can tell that Baltimore is the location of a few settings in the shows themselves, standing in for our nation’s capital. The 2011 Maryland Film Production Employment Act offers sizable tax credits to production companies making Baltimore a more affordable location for production.

Veep focuses on Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character, Selina Meyer, a Maryland senator turned vice president. It also stars Emmy winner, Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky as members of her staff. The show has featured scenes filmed all over the city that may be familiar to you such as MICA, Donna’s in Charles Village and Dillon Street row home in Canton. Other recognizable locations might be The Ottobar, a venue for sub-mainstream music, Mt. Vernon’s The Belvedere, Druid Hill Park and Camden Yards. Currently filming season three, the show closed streets around the University of Maryland, College Park for production.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a South Carolinian Democrat and house majority whip who decides to seek revenge on the people whose betrayals led to him being passed over for secretary of state. It also starts Robin Wright, Corey Stoll and Kate Mara. This show has filmed at the Maryland House of Delegates, Mt. Vernon’s Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins University. The Underwood home is located in the Bolton Hill area while Zoe’s apartment is off Charles Street in Mount Vernon.

Both shows have also been filmed right here on Loyola’s campus. Veep filmed at the Loyola Chapel and House of Cards filmed in Hug Lounge and Sellinger.

Veep casting director, Pat Moran, said “In a city like ours, we need the revenue,” she says. “We were once top five in the nation in the film industry. Now people move to New York, New Orleans. Hopefully, this will help bring our crew base back.”

Governor Martin O’Malley said, “We are very pleased that HBO and the Veep cast and crew have returned to Maryland for what we are confident will be another very successful production experience. The State and HBO have had a successful partnership over the years, and we look forward to more seasons of filming Veep in Maryland.”

O’Malley also stated the House of Cards brought in $140 million in economic impact and 2,200 jobs to the state in its first season and “purchased or rented goods or services from over 1,800 vendors, many of which were small Maryland businesses.” These shows prove to be good for the Maryland economy as well as entertaining for the public.

With elections coming up in November and Colin Powell speaking on campus next week, politics may be on the forefront of everyone’s minds. While these shows are not the same as watching the news, they are well-written, intriguing shows that take place in the political sphere, and they may inspire those of us not as politically inclined to investigate more.

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Baltimore serves as Hollywood stand-in for D.C.