Don’t Look Up has captivated audiences with its satirical take on the impending doom of a comet heading towards Earth. It features an all-star cast with a plot that grabs your attention and piques your curiosity. So where was Don’t Look Up filmed? The locations span from Massachusetts to New Mexico. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be focusing on one location, in particular. So let’s dive in. 

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Where Was Don’t Look Up Filmed?

Don’t Look Up was filmed in various locations across the United States, capturing the diverse landscapes that serve as backdrops for the story’s unfolding events. Here are some of the key filming locations:

Massachusetts – Several scenes in the movie were filmed in and around the state of Massachusetts. The towns of Worcester and Marlborough were used to portray the fictional town of Northlake, where the protagonists, Dr. Mindy and Dr. Kate, first discover the comet.

New Mexico – Parts of the film were also shot in New Mexico, known for its stunning desert landscapes. White Sands National Park, located in southern New Mexico, served as the backdrop for some of the scenes involving the comet and its impact on Earth.

Michigan – The city of Detroit in Michigan was used for the filming of various urban scenes in the movie, including scenes depicting media coverage and political events.

Los Angeles, California – As a hub of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles served as the location for some of the indoor scenes, including studio sets and interior shots.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts – The prestigious MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was used for several scenes depicting the fictional scientific research center where the astronomers work.

What was Don’t Look Up All About?

Don’t Look Up is a dark comedy film that tells the story of two astronomers, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, who discover a comet on a collision course with Earth. As they try to sound the alarm and convince the world of the impending catastrophe, they encounter a slew of challenges, including skeptical politicians, media frenzy, and apathetic public response. 

The film satirically reflects on society’s response to existential threats and explores themes of media sensationalism, political incompetence, and human denial in the face of impending disaster. With its star-studded cast and thought-provoking storyline, Don’t Look Up has been widely praised for its comedic yet sobering take on a global crisis.

Who Was In The Cast?

The cast of Don’t Look Up includes several A-list Hollywood actors who brought their talent and charisma to the big screen:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio – DiCaprio portrays Dr. Randall Mindy, one of the astronomers who discovered the comet and tries to warn the world.
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Lawrence plays Dr. Kate Dibiasky, the other astronomer who teams up with Dr. Mindy to raise awareness about the impending comet impact.
  • Meryl Streep – Streep portrays President Janie Orlean, the President of the United States who faces the crisis with skepticism and political maneuvering.
  • Jonah Hill – Hill plays Jason Orlean, the Chief of Staff and son of President Orlean, who tries to spin the comet impact for political gain.
  • Mark Rylance – Rylance portrays Peter Isherwell, a wealthy tech mogul who becomes involved in the comet crisis.
  • Tyler Perry – Perry plays Jack Bremmer, a media mogul who sensationalizes the comet news for ratings.
  • Ron Perlman – Perlman portrays Colonel Ben Drask, a military leader involved in the response to the comet.
  • Timothée Chalamet – Chalamet plays Quentin, a young activist who becomes involved in the comet awareness campaign.
  • Cate Blanchett – Blanchett plays Brie Evantee, a popular TV personality who covers the comet news.
  • Ariana Grande – Grande plays Riley Bina, a pop star who adds her voice to the campaign to raise awareness about the comet.

With such a star-studded cast, Don’t Look Up boasts an ensemble of talented actors who bring their unique performances to this satirical comedy.

Where Was Don't Look Up Filmed? Movie Poster

Who Directed Don’t Look Up? 

Don’t Look Up was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Adam McKay. Known for his expertise in blending comedy with social and political commentary, McKay has made a name for himself in the industry with hits like Anchorman, The Big Short, and Vice. In Don’t Look Up, McKay brings his signature style to the forefront, creating a satirical yet thought-provoking film that tackles pressing issues such as media sensationalism, political incompetence, and climate change denial. 

Did Don’t Look Up Receive Any Awards? 

Don’t Look Up received 90 nominations with 20 wins. The movie received Academy Awards nominations for Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Original Screenplay. 

BAFTA Awards –  nominations for Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Leading Actor.

AFI Awards – Winner, Movie of the year

Golden Globe Awards – Nominee for Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Jennifer Lawrence, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Leonardo DiCaprio.

These are just a few of the nominations and wins the movie received. 

Where Was Don't Look Up Filmed? Space scene

Technical Information

This is a longer movie than most. It’s two hours and 18 minutes long (138 minutes). The cameras used were the Aaton Penelope, Arricam LT, and the Arricam ST. The lenses used were the Kowa Cine Prominar, Fujinon Premier Cabrio, and Atlas Orion lenses.

Fun Facts About Don’t Look Up

Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t a slam dunk for this movie. In fact, the director and writer spent a few months tweaking the character before DiCaprio agreed to join the cast.

Notice all the Oscar winners in this cast? Well, let’s see. There’s Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Rylance, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Matthew Perry made a cameo appearance but the scene didn’t make the final cut.

Poor Jennifer Lawrence has to suffer with a broken tooth throughout filming due to COVID-19 restrictions. She couldn’t get her tooth fixed until filming was finished.

A real astronomer that worked for NASA was an adviser for the movie. 

Can You Visit the Set?

You can’t visit the set but you can certainly visit many of the places where filming took place. In Boston visit the Museum of Fine Arts, South Station, Copley Plaza, Wheaton College, and Howl at the Moon. 

Head over to Brockton to D’Angelo’s Grilled Sandwiches. That location was turned into a fast-food restaurant called Burger Crown in the movie. 

What is Massachusetts Famous For?

When I think of Massachusetts, I think of Boston, Paul Revere’s famous ride, Harvard, MIT, Cape Cod, lobster, and great seafood. Not to mention cobblestone streets, the Italian North End, and more. Being from  New England, I’ve spent some time there. The state is filled with history. After all, it’s where the colonies first started.

Unique Places in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a rich history and diverse landscapes. Here are a few unique places to visit in Massachusetts:

  • Salem: Known for its infamous witch trials in the late 17th century, Salem offers a fascinating blend of history, culture, and mystery. Visit the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, and other historical sites, and explore the unique shops, cafes, and waterfront.
  • Martha’s Vineyard: This picturesque island off the coast of Massachusetts is known for its pristine beaches, charming towns, and relaxed vibe. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or beachcombing, and experience the island’s artistic and culinary scene.
  • The Berkshires: This scenic region in western Massachusetts is known for its stunning landscapes, including the Appalachian Trail and Mount Greylock, the highest peak in the state. The Berkshires also offer world-class cultural attractions, such as Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).
  • The Bridge of Flowers: Located in the town of Shelburne Falls, the Bridge of Flowers is a unique attraction that spans the Deerfield River. This 400-foot-long former trolley bridge is now a colorful pedestrian walkway adorned with over 500 varieties of flowers, making it a stunning sight to behold.
  • The Boston Public Library: As one of the oldest and most prestigious public libraries in the United States, the Boston Public Library is a unique destination for book lovers and history buffs. Its beautiful architecture, rare book collections, and cultural exhibits make it a must-visit for those interested in literature, art, and history.
  • The Museum of Bad Art: Located in Somerville, the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) is a one-of-a-kind museum that celebrates art that is “too bad to be ignored.” MOBA’s collection features a humorous and eclectic selection of artworks that are unintentionally bad, offering a quirky and entertaining experience for visitors. I haven’t been there, but the description alone is enough to get me there out of sheer curiosity!
  • Provincetown: This vibrant and LGBTQ-friendly town on the tip of Cape Cod is known for its arts scene, unique shops, and picturesque beaches. Provincetown is also home to the Cape Cod National Seashore, offering stunning coastal landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities. It’s also the place where I had the best New England clam chowder of my life!
  • The Quabbin Reservoir: Located in central Massachusetts, the Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. The reservoir and its surrounding lands offer pristine wilderness, including hiking trails, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching, making it a unique destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

These are just a few examples of the unique places to visit in Massachusetts. The state offers a wide range of attractions, from historical sites to natural wonders to quirky museums, providing something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

Fun Things to Do in Massachusetts 

Massachusetts offers a plethora of fun activities for visitors of all ages. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Whale Watching: Massachusetts has several coastal towns, such as Provincetown, Gloucester, and Plymouth, that offer exciting whale watching tours. Get up close and personal with majestic whales, such as humpbacks and finbacks, as they migrate through the waters off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • Fenway Park: Catch a baseball game at Fenway Park, the historic home of the Boston Red Sox. As one of the oldest ballparks in the United States, Fenway Park offers a unique and nostalgic experience for sports fans, with its distinctive “Green Monster” left field wall and rich baseball history.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Massachusetts has an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. From hiking in the Berkshire Mountains to swimming, boating, and fishing in Cape Cod’s beaches and lakes, there are plenty of options for outdoor fun, including camping, biking, and ziplining. Walden Pond in Concord is a great place to unwind!
  • Boston Freedom Trail: Embark on a self-guided or guided tour of the Boston Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile long trail that takes you through 16 historical sites in Boston, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old North Church. Learn about the history of the American Revolution and the birth of the United States in an engaging and interactive way.

Final Thoughts

I’m a little biased when it comes to Massachusetts. There’s so many places I love there. From the historical North End to Cape Cod, Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard, Walden Pond, and Salem. There’s just so much to see in such a relatively small state. There are plenty of places I could recommend but I have too many favorites! You’ll have to discover your own!

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4 Comments

  1. Did they bring in any real astronomers to consult on ‘Don’t Look Up,’ or was it all pure Hollywood magic? Curious how they balanced the science with the satire.

  2. Fascinating choice to film in Massachusetts, given its rich historical background. I wonder how much of the locale’s history influenced the film’s setting or if it was purely logistical.

    1. Massachusetts has been a hotspot for filmmakers lately because of the tax incentives. Might be more logistics than history in this case.

  3. Anyone else think that movies like ‘Don’t Look Up’ pick places like Massachusetts not just for the tax breaks but also because the natural beauty adds so much to the scenes? Or is it all just about the money?