Ethan Hawke, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy, and Robert DeNiro have all been in Kentucky within the last 12 months. If you don't know why, you might think they're here or WERE here because of the good bourbon or maybe they're buying a horse.

While either of those reasons sound plausible AND while they just might (or might have, as the case may be), it's because they're working. Kentucky has really moved toward the front of the line regarding desirability as a filming location. And that's not an accident.


The Kentucky Entertainment Incentive (KEI) has made it far more affordable to film in the Commonwealth, and some of Hollywood's biggest players--as you can see--have taken full advantage of it. What's more, $65 million has been poured into a brand new movie studio in Louisville. Here's what Soozie Eastman, the Louisville Film Commission chair told Variety:

Kentucky’s lucrative film tax incentives, our talented local workforce, and our diverse locations have all helped to create an incredible film economy in Louisville, and now with soundstages and a studio presence, our city can elevate our film and media infrastructure similarly to New Orleans and Atlanta.


Hawke first made big news here in the Bluegrass when he showed up in Shelbyville scouting filming locations last fall.

Then he was seen in Louisville on multiple occasions, and it's worth noting he has no problem granting fans photo ops.


Well now, filming is actually in progress in Louisville, and Ethan Hawke has announced his awesome cast. In fact, there's Georgetown KY resident Steve Zahn with the man himself filming the movie Wildcat. And, on a personal note, Zahn is standing right in front of where I once had to sleep in my car. (Long story, and not pertinent to this piece.)

One of my oldest friends in the world used to live on St. James Court and I ALWAYS thought that neighborhood would make a great location. And now it's happening. I wonder how much of this incredible cast that Ethan Hawke name-checks below will be needed at that location.

By the way, four-time Emmy winner and three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney is sort of "back" in Kentucky. In the final season of Netflix's Ozark, for which she has received three Emmy nominations, her character Wendy Byrde travels to Paducah to visit her dad. I don't think it was filmed there, but this movie would now make for her "second" Kentucky connection.

I'm not sure if you can watch them filming or not; the city might block off St. James Court and other shooting locations if they got permits to do so. But if you're in Louisville any time soon, you might want to give it a try.

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