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Guest Post: 5 Ways to See TV or Movie Stars in NYC


February 14, 2013 by Amanda

Today’s guest post comes from Kate of 30Traveler. She blogs at and, and is here to give you some tips on how to catch a glimpse of stars while visiting New York City.

1. Go to where on-location filming is occurring.

There is an amazing website called that posts daily updates of the addresses where TV shows and movies will be filming that day.

Where do they get their intel? It’s mostly from volunteer tipsters who have seen restricted parking signs up around the city. These parking signs state that folk won’t be able to park on a given street on a given day due to filming.

OLV’s Twitter followers also tweet in tips directly from filming sites.

Ideally, check whether outdoor or indoor scenes are being filmed, since you won’t generally get to see much when it’s an indoor location.

Be warned that this is a hit and miss game, so not ideal for when you’re timecrunched.


2. Watch red carpet arrivals.

I once saw Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie from a distance of less than 3 feet when they were arriving for a movie premiere. Many of the NYC premieres are held at Ziegfeld Theatre on W. 54th St., which is very close to the Broadway theater district.

3. Get tickets to Letterman.

It’s pretty easy to get tickets to Letterman. I’ve gotten standby tickets twice and missed out on a standby ticket once. (Again, this does require a good few hours commitment. Also, be warned that the show is super loud and attending a taping is actually a bit unpleasant due to this).

You can also consider other shows like “The View.” This has been my favorite TV show taping, but the tickets are harder to get.

4. See a Star on Broadway.

I’ve seen stars as big as Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Amy Adams, and James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) performing on Broadway. Most of the time, even big stars do the “stage door,” meaning they sign autographs after the show. Even Scarlett Johansson recently did a Broadway play.

You can search forums like the one at for information about whether a particular star does the stage door or not.

Broadway stars also attend shows — for example, Diana Ross was at the same performance of “Mamma Mia” that I was.

5. Just walking around.

I have seen tons of celebrities just walking around NYC. Keep your eyes peeled for big black SUVs. People like Mariah Carey usually have an entourage and security, but many TV stars just walk around like the normal people that they are.

I’ve seen Julianne Moore, Allison Janney, Michael Emerson and his wife Carrie Preston (Ben from “Lost,” his wife is in “True Blood”), Ted Danson, actors from “Glee,” and many more. I once stumbled upon Gossip Girl filming in Central Park, and bumped into Julia Roberts filming “Eat Pray Love.”

If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll definitely see TV and movie stars just out and about.


Have you ever seen any TV or movie stars while traveling?




  1. I’m definitely going to do some tv and movie set stalking next time I’m in New York City. I spend a few days in LA last year and didn’t see a single celebrity… total disappointment. Sounds like NYC is a better space for spotting them as they’re out on the street not driving in cars like LA.
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    • Amanda says:

      I think you would definitely have better luck in NYC if you want to spot people out and about on the streets! In fact, last time I was in NYC, I walked right past Fred Armisen (of SNL fame) on a sidewalk.

  2. I saw Tracy Morgan in NYC last year in Times Square – he was shopping. Last month I saw Robin Roberts leaving the GMA studio as I was heading to a work function (I live in Florida!) – it was her first day back to work and seeing her walk out the door was a nice surprise!

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