I Love Hearing 'KY' on the Big or Small Screen

I'm a nerd. I know that. I own it. And it goes way back. You should have seen me when "Kentucky" was mentioned in any movie or TV series I watched when I was a kid. I'd light up. If a specific CITY was name-checked, well...Katie bar the door. Excitement reigned.

"They mentioned Kentucky (or any Kentucky city)! They know we're here!"

My all-time favorite sitcom--WKRP in Cincinnati--couldn't help it. A good portion of the Queen City's metropolitan area is in the Commonwealth. So Kentucky came up on a couple of occasions.

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Is KY the New Hollywood?

These days, we're seeing more and more films and shows SET in Kentucky. They're even shooting movies in the Bluegrass that are NOT set in Kentucky. I'm thinking of Wiseguys, in which Cincinnati and its vicinity are doubling for 1950s-era New York City, and there's been some work done in Covington KY.


But now we have Ethan Hawke shooting (and WRAPPING) a movie about the life of author Flannery O'Connor in and around the Louisville area. Here he is hobnobbing with Governor Andy Beshear:

The cast of Hawke's film, Wildcat, includes his daughter, Stranger Things' Maya Hawke, in the lead role, as well as Kentucky residents Steve Zahn, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Laura Linney, among others.

You'll likely remember Linney from a number of roles--she's been nominated for three Oscars and WON four Emmys--including her memorable turn on the Netflix crime drama Ozark. I'm not a binge-watcher, but I binged the heck out of that one. In it, Linney plays increasingly sinister (depending on how you perceive the character, I guess) Wendy Byrde to perfection.

Linney's Other KY Connection

In the final season, Wendy mentions needing to travel to Paducah. That she didn't say Paducah KENTUCKY is a credit to the writers who knew that anyone living in southern Missouri doesn't need to say KENTUCKY when mentioning Paducah. They know where it is. Had she said KENTUCKY, that would've been strictly for the audience and wholly unbelievable.

Laura Linney and Eithan Hawke Out and About in Louisville

Fast forward to 2023, and Laura Linney is actually IN Kentucky shooting the Hawke movie and hanging out with some pretty glamorous Louisvillians, to boot:

I guess I'll have to tone down my excitement--won't be easy--since it appears Kentucky is becoming more and more attractive to Hollywood filmmakers.

Who knows who's going to show up in the Commonwealth in the months and years to come?

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