Hollywood, the birthplace of countless films and TV shows, and for a long time if a big film or TV series was being filmed it would be filmed there but every now and then these top directors, producers, and of course actresses like to relocate.
Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, CA that not only attracts the majority of the nation’s tourism, but also the biggest directors, actors, and creative minds. But in recent years, more and more film makers have been relocating in the southern region of the U.S. to find a change of scenery in the deep South. States like Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and yes, even Mississippi have played host to some pretty big names from Hollywood like Ryan Reynolds, Juliane Hough, Dennis Quaid, Halle Berry, and Queen Latifah just to name a few. But this is not a new thing…more like a resurfacing trend.
For years during and after the Civil Rights Movement, film makers flocked to southern states to get a look first-hand at what it meant to be segregated in the South, after the rest of the nation had mostly been integrated, and movies were made like Mississippi Burning (1988).
In recent works down south, a mega film inspired by Kathryn Stockett’s novel (2009) chronicling the lives of Black maids to white families in Jackson, MS, The Help (2011) showed Hollywood what Mississippi was made of once again. The movie stars a few top actresses in today’s limelight like Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer. Another movie recently shot in the same state is biopic of the Godfather of soul himself, James Brown. The film not only shares the southern state, but it also shares the director, Tate Taylor. This Director was responsible for bringing these two great movies to the South, where the story lines both originally took place.
Hollywood isn’t the only one getting in on all the action. Independent film Blackbird (2014) was filmed in the Hattiesburg (Pin Belt) area back in March 2013 by Univ. of Southern Mississippi alum and director, Patrik-Ian Polk. A Hattiesburg, MS native, Polk not only filmed the movie there but opened the auditions for one of the lead roles to the public, which was won by USM student Julian Walker. Walker co-starred in the film with Academy Award Winner Mo’Nique, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Isaiah Washington, and Single Ladies’ Terrell Tilford.
As we speak, a brand new cast and crew fresh from the Hollywood scene is hosting an open casting call in Jackson for the upcoming movie The Hollars, starring Pitch Perfect‘s (2012) Anna Kendrick and The Office‘s John Krasinski. I’m not saying Hollywood has to be worried about losing revenue…just know that somewhere far, far away, there’s a state called Mississippi, and it’s not so bad (despite popular belief).