UCLA’s secret second career

by Avery Silfin

The UCLA campus is well-regarded for its beautiful architecture and iconic buildings such as Royce Hall, Powell Library and Kerckhoff Hall. What many don’t know, however, is that part of what makes our campus so iconic is that it has been featured in a number of famous films and TV shows. Here are just a few of the world-renowned films and TV shows that have used UCLA as their set:

1. “Legally Blonde”

Harvard? More like UCLA. When Elle Woods shows up for her first day at Harvard Law school, she heads to a patio to pick up her class schedule, where she checks in and gets brutally judged by her fellow law students. In reality, Elle is on Kerckhoff patio. Next time you’re walking or studying there, look closely – the Harvard crest is etched on to the top of the building!

2. “Criminal Minds”

While “Criminal Minds” obviously films in many different locations across the country, one episode in particular, “Masterpiece” (season 4, episode 8) films on Janss Steps! When Reed and Rossi visit a college campus to watch a professor’s lecture, he confesses to being a murderer, and they immediately run out of the building and down Janss Steps to begin finding his victims.

3: “Gilmore Girls”

Rory Gilmore’s dream is to attend Harvard University (spoiler alert, despite the fact that she ends up going to Yale). Rory and Lorelai take a girls trip to visit her dream school in “The Road Trip to Harvard” (season 2, episode 4), but they actually go to UCLA! The two of them even sneak into a “dorm,” which is actually Kerckhoff Hall.

4. “Jobs”

In the 2013 film about the story of Steve Jobs, UCLA plays the school that Jobs dropped out of, Reed College. A number of scenes are filmed at the school, especially in front of Royce Hall and Powell Library.

5. “Oppenheimer”

Recently, a new movie was being filmed at UCLA. The film is about Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist in charge of the Manhattan Project in which the atomic bomb was invented. While the real thing happened at Berkeley, the movie is being shot at UCLA. If you walked by Kerckhoff Patio recently, you might have noticed cameras, lighting and even a celebrity or two!

Now that you know about these movies and shows, maybe you will notice even more of UCLA’s campus on TV!

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