Don't Look Up Locations
When filming began in November 2020, the cast and filmmakers headed to the state of Massachusetts, especially around Boston and Weymouth, to shoot some scenes. But most of the filming took place in Boston, including several notable Don’t Look Up locations, such as the Museum of Arts, Howl at the Moon Boston, and the historic South Station.
The film captures the distinctive look of the buzzing Financial District in New York, which was shot in downtown Boston. More specifically, it features Federal Street and Devonshire Street to create a big-city look. You’ll also find the fictional Buchanan hotel in the movie, which was supposed to be in Washington D.C. However, the upscale hotel was actually the Fairmont Copley Plaza in real life, where some indoor and outdoor scenes were filmed.
When the movie production team needed to capture the space shuttle launch, they used Weymouth locations creatively for backdrops that were larger than life. Filming also took place in the Fort Point neighborhood on the South Boston Peninsula and Brockton, a city in Plymouth County. Several areas in Massachusetts also stood in for New York, Michigan, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and other countries worldwide when the characters did their press tour.
This comedy-drama film is one of the most star-studded movies today, including eight Academy Award nominees. Not only have they been nominated, but five of them won the prestigious award too.
The train station scene in Don’t Look Up
South Station, Boston, MA
With Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), professor Mindy and Kate head to the train station after a disappointing visit to the U.S. President. Now they plan to take matters into their hands, seeing the nation’s leaders aren’t taking their devastating news seriously. They intend to leak the information about the catastrophic comet approaching the Earth to the press since “the White House just blew them off,” as Teddy described.
Boston’s busiest transit Hub is featured in this scene, where Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence walk along the platform next to the train at the South Station. The historic station opened in 1898 and currently serves thousands of travelers, commuters, and shoppers each day. It is also the city’s largest railroad station and intercity bus terminal.
South Station is conveniently located in downtown Boston, near many tourist attractions. It is only a short minute walk from Boston Children’s Museum, the Opera House, Paramount Center, and another famous filming location, the Boston Common. If you are staying nearby, you’ll find several hotels around the station.
The MBTA’s Silver and Red Lines stop at the station, connecting commuters to the Green, Orange, and Blue Lines. It will also connect you to ferry service and local buses if you want to go out of the city center.
Kate’s gets arrested scene in Don’t Look Up
Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Kate and professor Mindy finally revealed to the world through a television interview about the comet that’s about to destroy everything on the planet in six months and ten days around this time. But things didn’t go as expected. Now they receive a massive backlash from the media and public, and they’re wanted by the police.
Teddy is taken while walking out of an office, the FBI arrests professor Mindy from his home, and Kate is apprehended at the park while she’s out jogging. They are under arrest for “breach of national security secrets.”
The outdoor setting used for this particular Don’t Look Up film scene where Kate was arrested was not a public park in real life. It’s actually part of Wheaton College, known as the Dimple. It’s the heart of the Wheaton campus, which was named Dimple due to the bowl-shaped depression you’ll notice at its center. This grassy hollow is right in front of Emerson Hall, which students might identify in the movie.
The Dimple serves multiple purposes for the admin and student life. Throughout history, it has been used as a gathering space for events like Opening and Graduation ceremonies and a popular spot for socializing, studying, and even occasional outdoor classes.
Since it’s a school, Wheaton College is accessible through various public transportations. The MBTA operates a rail service that links providence and Boston, with stops near the campus. Public buses also leave the rail station and stop on the campus.
First political rally scene in Don’t Look Up
Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA
U.S. President Orlean is caught in controversy and needs to divert people’s attention away from her issue. Because of this, she apologizes to the astronomers and decides to do something about it. Now it’s to her advantage to “act on the comet,” as Kate noted, to which the president admits. But according to astronomers, they’re just relieved that the government is finally doing something about this problem.
So they decide to make a presidential statement to the American people and the world about “an unprecedented comet,… on a direct collision course with Earth.” It’s a pretty big, dramatic scene, which the president put out there to impress the public, televised nationwide, and with a fireworks display.
While the cast and crew were filming this scene, spectators were gathered on the Heritage State Park boardwalk. They were watching the fireworks launched from the stern of the USS Massachusetts (BB-59), also called the Big Mamie, without knowing that A-list celebrities were on board the Battleship.
The historic Battleship at Fall River provided the setting for the iconic political rally scene with fireworks. It is one of the most famous tourist spots in Southeastern Massachusetts, drawing visitors worldwide. It is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, and children ages 4 to 12 can enter for free. Take the Peter Pan bus from South Station to Fall River. Then take the FR2 bus, which goes to Battleship Cove.
The riot scene in Don’t Look Up
Howl at the Moon, Boston, MA
The confused and enraged Kate has another public meltdown at a seafood restaurant called Bojo Mambo’s after learning about the reason behind the mission’s failure. Apparently, the government decided not to break up the comet, as initially planned, because they wanted to harvest its minerals “to make a bunch of rich people even more disgustingly rich,” as Kate worded. As a result, the customers destroy the restaurant in a riot.
When a scene involves destroying a set, the filmmakers would often build a stage so they don’t have to ruin someone else’s property. But for this scene, the Don’t Look Up film set is not a sound stage but a music bar in Boston’s Financial District called Howl at the Moon. The crew transformed the bar into a seafood restaurant, creating a prop for the film.
The bar was almost unrecognizable after being remodeled for the story. But today, it remains a popular spot for anyone looking for a lively nightlife experience in the city. Besides its cocktails, Howl at the Moon is known for its high-quality musical programs, live shows, and events year-round. No wonder it has multiple locations across the country, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Orlando, and many more.
The concert scene in Don’t Look Up
Old South Weymouth Naval Air Station, Weymouth, MA
The “real last concert to save the world” happens with Riley Bina (Ariana Grande) performing on stage. She sings Just Look Up, which the astronomers have been encouraging people to do while BASH and president Orlean urge them ‘Don’t Look Up.’
This concert scene was filmed at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, about 15 miles southwest of Boston. It was used as a Base from 1942 until it was closed in 1997. It spans approximately 1,444 acres in a partially developed urban area, with wetland areas, forest, and some small stream channels.
The former Naval Air Station was built to support forty-eight non-rigid airships used for anti-marine patrols. But since the end of the Second World War, there was no longer a strategic need for NAS South Weymouth. So it reduced its status to a naval aviation facility and was allocated as a site for aircraft storage in 1945.
The easiest and most convenient way to get to NAS South Weymouth is by car or taxi. If you want to commute, the Kingston Line and bus 226 have routes that pass through the South Weymouth Station.
Jason Orlean’s rally scene in Don’t Look Up
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
While Riley Bina is singing Just Look Up and the astronomers are warning the public about the comet that’s now visible to the naked eye, President Orlean and her son, Jason (Jonah Hill), have organized a rally promoting the Don’t Look Up slogan. This time, Jason has a lot to say about the third type of American people, “the working class, the lower.” He mentions the list, including the nutritionists, personal trainers, people at the spa, and more.
The filmmakers filmed this scene outside the Museum of Fine Arts at 465 Hunting Avenue, Boston. If you’re on a filming tour, make sure you enter the museum and marvel at over 100 galleries and excellent collections of nearly half a million works of art. These include art pieces from Asia, Ancient Egypt, the Americas, Africa, Oceana, Ancient Greece, Rome, and more.
Several buses have routes near the museum, including bus 39, which stops at Louis Prang st. and Ruggles St. You can also take the CT2, 8, 18, and 47 buses or take the Orange Line or Green Line E train.
This 2021 disaster comedy film may have some of the best actors from Hollywood, but it wouldn’t be complete without every incredible Don’t Look Up filming location featured in the movie. It was shot at multiple locations across Massachusetts, especially in and around Weymouth and Boston.
The crew filmed in Fall River at Battleship Cove, in the old South Weymouth Naval Air Station, in the Framingham neighborhood, and more. These and other filming sites, from the railroad station and the museum to a luxury hotel and the busy streets of downtown Boston, played a critical role in presenting the story.
Because of the impressive features of those cities and their neighboring areas, the crew could use them as a stand-in for New York City, Washington D.C., and other locations. It means they didn’t have to travel further but could still bring authenticity to the scenes.