Based on the namesake 2016 memoir by J.D. Vance, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ tells the story of a family living in the ruins of the Rust Belt and their desperate pursuits of the American Dream. The Vance family is originally from Jackson, Kentucky, but they have been living in Middletown, Ohio, for three generations. The film has two distinct storylines – one depicts J.D. as a young boy (Owen Asztalos), while the other shows him as a university student (Gabriel Basso). With the help of his grandmother (Glenn Close), J.D. manages to escape his circumstances.
He joins the U.S. Marines and serves in Iraq. Later, he graduates from Ohio State before enrolling in Yale. While attending a party that exposes him and other students to prospective employers, he gets a call from his sister Lindsay (Haley Bennett), who tells him that their mother has overdosed on heroin. As he drives back home, all his childhood memories come rushing back. The film is predominantly set in Middletown, with some scenes depicting Jackson and New Haven, Connecticut. Here is everything we know about the filming locations of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’.
Hillbilly Elegy Filming Locations
Production for the film started on June 12, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia, and lasted for about 43 days before concluding on August 8, 2019. The cast and crew spent about three to four days in Middletown. Most of the scenes, especially the interior ones, were shot in various locations in Georgia, likely to make use of the considerable tax credits that the state offers to the production companies. Aside from Atlanta, the towns of Macon and Clayton hosted the production team. According to local news outlets, Netflix did apply for tax credits in Ohio in March 2019, but they were too late. The credits had already been allotted to other productions. Some of the scenes were shot on location in New Haven, Connecticut.
Director Ron Howard and cinematographer Maryse Alberti shot most of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ in three different cities in Georgia. Atlanta, being the state capital, has a rich history of film tourism. In the past, projects like ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ have been filmed there.
What's filming in Atlanta now? Lovecraft Country, The Conjuring 3, Waldo, Hillbilly Elegy, and more – Atlanta Magazine https://t.co/jWeHrGAjNd
— 108dayslater (@108dayslater) June 27, 2019
Macon, located about 85 miles (137 km) southeast of Atlanta, is known as “The Heart of Georgia”. It has previously served as a filming location for ‘Rampage’ and ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’.
— Jason (@Psyco_J) July 22, 2019
The country seat of Ruben County has hosted the productions team of ‘Manhunt’ and ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ before the cast and crew of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ came to the town.
Ron Howard has started filming Hillbilly Elegy in clayton ga.
— Roger Smith (@Nuk3dawg) June 7, 2019
New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University, where J.D. studies law, is located in New Haven, Connecticut. In August 2019, a casting call went out in the town for law students and Marines.
— Project Casting (@ProjectCasting) August 8, 2019
J.D. grew up in Middletown and graduated from Middletown High School. The production team landed in the Middle City in the final days of principal photography.
Ron Howard is filming his new movie Hillbilly Elegy in Middletown Ohio Starting Aug 5. Anyone with a 1960 thru 1967 vehicle can be in the movie. . Look on Ohio Car Shows and Cruise ins for more information. @Jetstar1311 @TyffaniHarvey pic.twitter.com/XuEKdWPbRr
— TheFreeze (@the_dairyfreeze) July 31, 2019
Read More: Is Hillbilly Elegy a True Story?