The Perfect Backdrop for Students (and Movie Stars)

Everyone who visits Millbrook's campus comments on the expansive yet intimate setting and the incredible natural beauty of the campus proper and surrounding hundreds of acres. It's no surprise that location scouts, eager to find the perfect setting for a film or television episode, often reach out to inquire about filming on campus. Two feature films became a reality here in 1982 and 1990 respectively—The World According to Garp (an Academy Award-nominated film starring Robin Williams and Glenn Close) and Regarding Henry (starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening). Since then, Millbrook has hosted other film and photography shoots as requests arise that make sense for both the school and the filmmakers.

When scouts for the streaming service Peacock reached out late last spring, they were initially interested in using the Trevor Zoo as a backdrop for a new streaming series, Poker Face, with lead Natasha Lyonne (of Orange is the New Black and Russian Doll fame). When they arrived on campus, they were eager to explore and eventually asked if a scene could also be shot in the Flagler Memorial Chapel. 

So, you will spot some familiar locations in the 5th episode of Poker Face. The zoo and the chapel are backdrops in scenes with Natasha Lyonne's character, Charlie Cale, as she unravels a new mystery. Millbrook's own wallabies and emus have walk-on roles, and the tropical building, although dressed up, is clearly a Trevor Zoo original. The most iconic building on campus, the chapel, was used pretty much as is (with some light filtering happening on the many windows), and the inside benches served as the perfect spot for the actors to commiserate in a scene at a memorial for a too-soon-departed character. 

It was exciting to host the cast and crew for a few days over the summer and to see how others appreciate the beauty of the spaces that we inhabit every day!