North Hollywood Park from “Say Anything . . . “Aug 16th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
A few months back, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, informed me that his fiancé, Ame (who grew up in North Hollywood), had just told him that the iconic Boombox scene from the 1989 classic Say Anything . . . was filmed at, of all places, a park – North Hollywood Park in North Hollywood to be exact. I was absolutely shocked to hear this information because, not only had I always assumed that the flick was filmed in its entirety in Seattle, Washington, but the scene was made to look as if it took place in a residential area, directly outside of the house where Diane Court (Ione Skye) lived, and not at a public park. As we both came to find out, though, thanks to the Washington State Film Locations website, while the vast majority of the movie’s establishing shots were lensed in the Pacific Northwest, all actual filming took place right here in Southern California! Well, believe you me, once Mike and I learned that bit of information, we set about tracking down some other locales from the flick and had quite a bit of success. And we also ran right out to stalk North Hollywood Park.
In the brief, but iconic Say Anything . . . scene, shortly after Diane breaks up with him, a heartsick Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) stands outside of Diane’s bedroom window (or so producers would have us believe) at night, holding a large Boombox that is playing Peter Gabriel’s hit 1986 song “In Your Eyes”. The memorable scene has been duplicated and parodied countless times since, on everything from Saturday Night Live and South Park to The Colbert Report and fave movie Easy A.
In an interesting twist, Peter Gabriel came thisclose to turning down director Cameron Crowe’s request for “In Your Eyes” to be featured in the movie. In a November 2009 Entertainment Weekly article, Crowe explains that he was on the phone with Gabriel a few days after sending him a Say Anything . . . screener, but Gabriel refused to sign off on the song’s use. Of the call, he says, “I just remember being in the kitchen and just going, ‘Oh man.’ I said I understood and I appreciated it and was he sure and he said yes, he was sure, and I was saying goodbye to him and I remember the phone was like on its way to the cradle, I think we’d already even said goodbye. And I just, like, was seized with this thing and I pulled the phone back up and I go, ‘Why? I got to ask you why. Why can’t we have the song? Why was it wrong?’ And he said, ‘Well when he takes the overdose it just didn’t feel like the right kind of use of the song.’ And I’m like, ‘When he takes the overdose?’ He said, ‘Yeah, you’re making the John Belushi story [Wired], right?’ I said, ‘No, no, no. It’s a movie about the guy in high school with the trench coat.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, the high school movie. We haven’t watched that yet.’ Hallelujah! ‘Please watch the high school movie and let me know if it works in the high school movie.’ And he said, ‘Oh yeah yeah yeah, okay, great.’ And then we got the word back that he said yes.” And the rest is (very often re-enacted) history.
Before heading out to the park, Mike had told me to wear a trench coat and that he would be bringing along a Boombox from work so that I could recreate the iconic scene. As fate would have it, though, the Boombox went missing a few days before our stalk, but Mike was thankfully able to work his magic by digitally adding the stereo into the below picture. Love it!
I would venture a guess that North Hollywood Park was also the park featured in the Say Anything . . . montage scene, but I, unfortunately, have not been able to verify that hunch.
And thanks to the Hollywood Lost and Found blog, I learned that Pee-wee Herman (Paul Ruebens) rode his beloved red bike through North Hollywood Park – in almost the exact same spot that appeared in Say Anything . . . – at the very beginning of 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.
Sadly, I can’t say that I would really recommend stalking North Hollywood Park. While the tree-lined, 99-acre space, which was originally founded in 1927, is quite beautiful and boasts countless amenities, including a library, three baseball diamonds, a public pool, tennis courts, a playground, a skate park, and a recreation center, the place seemed to be a haven for the homeless and a den of criminal activity. The police were actually called and wound up arresting someone in the brief ten minutes that we were there.
And let me tell you, when you’re standing around in shorts, wedges and a trench coat and holding a non-existent Boombox above your head, the “locals” tend to get just a wee-bit rowdy. LOL
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Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and his fiancé, Ame, for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: North Hollywood Park, where the iconic Say Anything . . . Boombox scene was filmed, is located at 11455 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood. In the scene, Lloyd Dobler was standing on the southwest corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Tujunga Avenue, in the area denoted with a pink arrow above.