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9 times celebrities showed Cincinnati love

Mark Ruffalo
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 05:00:19-04

Cincinnati has some big fans, from hometown celebrities such as George Clooney to those introduced to it because of their work.

The Queen City truly is a jewel to be admired. Here are nine times stars showed their love for the 513.

Mark Ruffalo

The actor who famously portrayed the Hulk in Marvel Studio's "Avengers" movies was anything but angry after spending several weeks filming another movie, "Dry Run," in the Queen City.

After production on the film ended March 12, Mark Ruffalo shared a love note to the city on his Twitter account.

“Dry Run” is based on the true story of Cincinnati defense attorney Robert Bilott, who filed an environmental lawsuit against chemical company DuPont and exposed decades of chemical pollution. Ruffalo portrays Bilott in the film.

The movie is also the second film that director Todd Haynes has produced in Cincinnati. He shot "Carol," starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, here in 2014. (More on that in a bit.)

Emilio Estevez

The actor son of Dayton, Ohio, native Martin Sheen became a Cincinnati staple in 2012 after coming to town to make the small budget film "Johnny Longshot."

Since then, Estevez has returned to the Queen City multiple times. He shot another movie, "The Public," in Cincinnati in 2016. It was set mostly inside the Downtown branch of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Estevez wrote, directed, produced and starred in the movie. It tells the story of a group of librarians trapped in the middle of a confrontation between police and people experiencing homelessness who take over the library during a severe cold snap.

Estevez talked about his experience filming "The Public" in Cincinnati with WCPO anchor Tanya O'Rourke before the movie was released to theaters nationwide on April 5.

"It made me proud of the city. It made me want to make all of my films here," he said.

Estevez also told O'Rourke that because of the film's critical success and his experience in Cincinnati, a television series based on “The Public" could be filmed in the city as well.

George Clooney

No matter where his career takes him, the son of local broadcaster Nick Clooney never forgets his roots. Clooney breathed new life into the Greater Cincinnati movie industry when he filmed parts of his political thriller, “The Ides of March,” here in 2010. He also shows Cincinnati businesses love when he is town: In 2015, he visited Northside brewery Urban Artifact with his wife, Amal, before they moved to Europe.

His love for the Queen City also extends to its animals: The couple saved the life of Nate, a malnourished rescue dog from Colerain Township, in December 2015. After seeing news coverage of Nate online while living in Europe, the couple ultimately adopted the pooch for Clooney’s parents, Nick and Nina Clooney, who live in Augusta, Kentucky.

Adrian Grenier and the entire 'Marauders' cast

Cincinnati received plenty of love from the cast and crew of the bank heist movie “Marauders,” which was filmed in the Queen City in 2015. Film stars Chris Meloni, Adrian Grenier, Johnathon Schaech and Northern Kentucky native Alyshia Ochse, along with director Steven C. Miller, were spotted hanging out at various places around town when not filming. Miller went so far as to recast the setting of his film from Chicago to Cincinnati, and after production wrapped, Grenier declared our town to be "a new favorite city."


Local alternative band Wussy formed in 2001. It released its most recent album, "What Heaven Is Like," through Northside's Shake It record label last year. The band took a short hiatus shortly thereafter so founder Chuck Cleaver could deal with a spinal issue but since has announced several 2019 tour dates.

In 2016, Cleaver said he is happy to praise the Queen City wherever he goes.

“We live in Cincinnati. That’s where we are from,” he said during an interview with WCPO. “We have pretty strong ties here. That’s what we write about for the most part. I think our stuff sounds like we are from here. And we like where we are from.”

Don Cheadle

It took the Academy Award-nominated actor nearly a decade to make his Miles Davis biopic "Miles Ahead." Cheadle filmed the movie, which he starred in and directed, in Cincinnati in 2014. He hosted a special screening of the film at the Esquire Theatre in 2016, and on the red carpet, Cheadle told reporters that the movie would not have happened without Cincinnati.

Jesse Eisenberg

The actor and author, whom you most likely remember from starring roles in "The Social Network" and "Zombieland," heaped praise on the level of art and culture in Cincinnati during a visit to Joseph-Beth Booksellers in January 2016 for a signing of his book, "Bream Gives Me Hiccups."

"I am continuously amazed because I am from New York, and we live in a real bubble there, and we don't realize there are wonderful things outside of New York," he said. "So to come to a place like this and see more art and interesting things to do per capita than anywhere else I have been is incredible."

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett

The actresses discovered the wonder that is Cincinnati in 2014 as they filmed the 1950s-era love story "Carol" here. Blanchett and Mara praised Cincinnati during the press build-up for the movie's nationwide release in 2016.

“It’s been phenomenal shooting in Cincinnati, actually,” Blanchett said. “The architecture here is phenomenal. There’s so many buildings that haven’t been ... gentrified. Everyone, the fire department and police, have been so cooperative.”

Russell Wilson

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback shared his fondness for the Queen City during an interview in October 2015 with ESPN reporter Coley Harvey before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Wilson was born in Christ Hospital but spent only a short time in Cincinnati before his family moved to West Virginia. It was enough time for Wilson to fall in love with Skyline Chili and the Cincinnati Reds.

"We (Wilson's family) would go back up there every year a few times a year, so ... I used to love watching the Cincinnati Reds," Wilson said. "My dad always used to talk about the Bengals even though he was a huge Chargers fan, Anthony Munoz and guys like that. There's a bunch of memories watching them play. Growing up I used to love their jerseys. Like I said, I have very fond memories."