Being located in Southern California certainly has its perks: cultural icons come into NPR West for interviews so often that staff have actually gotten used to pointing Oscar winners towards the bathroom. But every once in a while we still get dazzled by a Hollywood encounter, and that was certainly true when ABC's Modern Family shot a scene in our studio in February.
If you caught the show last night, you saw Claire Dunphy (played by Julie Bowen) give a radio interview about her town council candidacy. What you may not know is that she was actually sitting in an NPR studio for the interview.
As a fan of the TV show, I was excited to see the crew unloading production gear as I turned into our driveway and to witness a production of lights, cameras and people that later would be crammed into NPR West's Studio C. What I didn't expect is that my affection for Modern Family would be completely unmatched by Julie Bowen's love for NPR.
Modern Family production trucks outside of NPR West.
I found the actress wandering around our office in search of NPR's on-air talent and later fixated in front of a photo slideshow in the lobby of our journalists, commenting about every person ("No, that's not Susan Stamberg!" and "Neal Conan was held hostage by Iraqi soldiers?"). She even donned an I Heart NPR tee shirt with pride.
Before the cast and crew left, National Desk Producer Amy Walters revealed tales of reenacting Modern Family scenes while on assignment with NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman. Julie was delighted to pose for a photo with Amy and "Tom"...
Julie Bowen posing with National Desk Producer Amy Walters and self-confessed Modern Family enthusiast and NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman (his head shot at least)
Julie Bowen posing with National Desk Producer Amy Walters and self-confessed Modern Family enthusiast and NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman (his head shot at least) Angielyn Hamilton-Lowe/NPR
and sign a card for the whole Goldman family.
Actress Julie Bowen's note to Tom Goldman and his family when she found out what a Modern Family fan he is.
Actress Julie Bowen's note to Tom Goldman and his family when she found out what a Modern Family fan he is. Tom Goldman/NPR
And Modern Family isn't the only show in town that's been hanging out at NPR West. Earlier this month, an NBC pilot moved in for a day. Actors Matthew Perry and John Cho took a break from the shoot to show their NPR love, too:
John Cho and Matthew Perry
If Hollywood keeps calling, we're going to need an agent!
Angie Hamilton-Lowe handles news operations at NPR West, our west coast production center in Culver City, CA.