Some are classics, while others you may have forgotten about. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are hundreds thanks to state tax incentives. For more television shows and movies filmed in New Orleans, check out the IMDB page and NewOrleans.com.
Television Shows Filmed in New Orleans
Dozens of television shows have been filmed in New Orleans ranging from dramas to comedies.
American Horror Story: Coven
In the popular horror series, the third installment was set and filmed in New Orleans. It centers on a coven of witches and stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts, and Adina Porter.
Many of the filming locations can be seen from the outside, including the Buckner Mansion, the Lalaurie Mansion, the Hermann-Grima House, and Atchafalaya Restaurant. Check out more using this Roadtrippers guide.
Into the Badlands
In this post-apocalyptic society, the land is ruled by barons. A warrior and supernatural child must face obstacles in their journey. The series stars Daniel Wu, Emily Beecham, and Nick Frost.
Season 1 was filmed in New Orleans before production moved to Ireland. Filming locations include Evergreen Plantation, Fort Macomb, Longue Vue House and Gardens, and Lafayette Cemetery. Read about more locations on Atlas of Wonders.
In the Oprah-produced Queen Sugar, three siblings clash in rural Louisiana as they take over their family’s sugarcane farm. True Blood’s Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Kofi Siriboe star.
Filming takes place at St. John Plantation, Felicity Plantation, B&C Seafood, and St. Philip Catholic Church. Read about other locations on The Cinemaholic.
Named for the New Orleans neighborhood, the show features an ensemble of characters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Khandi Alexander, Kim Dickens, Rob Brown, and Steve Zahn star.
Many locations are real-life music venues like Vaughan’s, Snug Harbor, The Spotted Cat, and Tipitina’s. Restaurants like Dooky Chase, Liuzza’s by the Track, and Bacchanal were also used. Read more on TravelAge West.
The anthology crime series tells a different story each season. It has featured Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, and Mahershala Ali.
A number of locations were used for filming, including Oak Alley Plantation and Fort Macomb in New Orleans, and locations in Eunice and Norco. Learn more from Louisiana Travel.
Movies Filmed in New Orleans
The big screen loves New Orleans as a location, almost always used for its historic buildings and marshy scenery. You might be surprised at which of your favorite movies were filmed here!
12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup, a freedman living in upstate New York before the start of the Civil War. He is abducted and sold into slavery, where he ends up at the plantation of a cruel master.
After meeting an abolitionist in his twelfth year of captivity, he begins to think about his escape. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dwight Henry, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and Quvenzhané Wallis all provide award-winning performances.
Specific filming locations include Audubon Park, The Columns Hotel, and the French Quarter in New Orleans, as well as St. Joseph and Felicity plantations. For more locations, visit Movie-Locations.com.
A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire is perhaps the best-known work by Mississippi native Tennessee Williams. It was turned into a film starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter.
Set in New Orleans, the story tells of troubled Blanche DuBois, who goes to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley. The couple’s tumultuous relationship becomes increasingly volatile as Blanche flirts with Stanley. The movie was mostly filmed in Los Angeles, but the French Quarter and a now-demolished train station were also used.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
In Beasts of the Southern Wild, headstrong Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhane Wallis, lives with her father Wink in a coastal area known as The Bathtub. When her father falls ill, she sees visions of the ice caps melting and prehistoric beasts roaming the bayou, so she goes to find her mother.
In Blue Bayou, a Korean-American man works hard in the Louisiana bayou. But when he learns that he is in danger of being deported, his life totally changes as he fights to stay with his family. It stars Justin Chon and Alicia Vikander.
The movie was filmed all over New Orleans, including on a paddle boat on Lake Pontchartrain.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Based on a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about a child born looking like an old man and gradually becomes younger. Abandoned by his father, he comes to live with a maid at a nursing home in New Orleans.
Benjamin travels the world and is reunited with Daisy, the granddaughter of one of the tenants. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett shine in this film, which interweaves the past story with the modern events of Hurricane Katrina.
The movie was filmed in Donaldsonville, Laplace, Mandeville, Morgan City and New Orleans, Louisiana, with some shots filmed in California, Canada, Cambodia, India and the US Virgin Islands. Find more on Curbed New Orleans.
Dead Man Walking
Starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon and directed by Tim Robbins, Dead Man Walking is the true story of a nun comforting a convicted death row killer who must decide where her loyalties lie.The film won an Academy Award.
The Oscar-winning film Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington. In this play on the spaghetti western, a freed slave in the antebellum South seeks out a German bounty hunter to save his wife from the clutches of an evil plantation owner in rural Mississippi.
Evergreen Plantation in Edgard was one of the main locations, along with the Second Line Stages studio in New Orleans.
In Double Jeopardy, a woman wakes up covered in blood with her husband missing and is convicted of killing him. After doing her time in prison, she gets out and realizes she can track him down and get revenge without being tried again.
Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, and Bruce Greenwood star in the film. A majority of filming took place in the Vancouver , Canada area, including the sailing scenes and library. But some of the most memorable took place in New Orleans, including at Lafayette Cemetery and on Bourbon Street.
Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith star in Girls Trip, which follows a group of friends from college for a weekend in New Orleans for Essence Fest. Along the way, they reconnect as friends and find their wild sides.
The movie filmed at the real event, along with at The Roosevelt Hotel, Hotel Monteleone, the Superdome, the New Orleans Convention Center, Tropical Isle, and the Harrah’s Casino. For more, see this article on nola.com.
Interview with a Vampire
Interview with a Vampire is based on the book by Anne Rice. In it, a vampire tells his life story, with all the ups and downs, love, and lust for blood. Lestat takes a mortal under his wing and offers him the chance to live forever as a vampire.
Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, Thandie Newton, and Antonio Banderas share memorable performances. Much of the film is set in New Orleans and the iconic Oak Alley Plantation and Lafayette Cemetery making cameos.
Elvis Presley filmed countless movies, including King Creole, about a struggling musician in New Orleans. There were a few scenes filmed in the French Quarter but the majority was shot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. But Elvis and his crew stayed at the iconic Roosevelt Hotel during filming.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
The Butler is loosely based on a true story of a butler for the White House, who served under eight presidents. It goes through the presidencies of Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Reagan and Johnson, among others.
The film has an all-star cast, including Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Alan Rickman, Liev Schrieber, and many more.
In Monster’s Ball, a racist prison guard falls in love with the black woman whose husband he executed on Death Row. The film made stars of Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Mos Def, Sean Combs and Heath Ledger.
Specific scenes were filmed at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, in LaPlace, and at locations around New Orleans like Bud’s Broiler.
The Pelican Brief
As with many other John Grisham novels-turned-movies, The Pelican Brief is set in the South. Starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, the film tells of a law student who uncovers a conspiracy involving two Supreme Court justices that have been killed. It’s not long before someone is onto her and starts to attempt to cover their tracks at any cost.
Some of the movie was filmed in Washington DC, but other scenes used New Orleans. Antoine’s Restaurant, the American Italian Cultural Center, and Tulane University were also used. Read more about them on The Cinemaholic.
In Runaway Jury, a juror in a trial involving a major gun manufacturer teams up with a civilian to change the outcome. John Cusack stars alongside Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, and Gene Hackman.
Specific scenes were filmed at the New Orleans Riverwalk, Cafe du Monde, Cafe Pontalba, Palace Cafe, and the Esplanade Mall in Kenner.