Ever wonder where some of your favorite TV shows and movies are filmed? Then look no further than Lindsay Blake of IAmNotAStalker.com. She digs deep to find houses, restaurants, stairs (specifically the stairs that Donna Martin was pushed down), and more from movies and TV shows all over.
On top of being a filming location sleuth, she is a HUGE Beverly Hills, 90210 fan and was even an extra at David and Donna's wedding. How cool is that?
Lindsay was nice enough to chat with me regarding how to "stalk" and her Beverly Hills, 90210 celebrity encounters. Read all about her here:
LeeAnn: I’ve been following your Instagram account (search: iamnotastalker) for awhile now and am fascinated by what you do, especially the 90210 locations. How did you start doing this?
Lindsay: I kind of fell into it because I was always interested in filming locations. As a kid, my mom would make us stay through the end credits of movies to see where everything was filmed. As I got older, I would pay attention to spots in movies and wonder where it was filmed.
I grew up in San Francisco and even though I knew movies were filmed there, I never saw a film crew or celebrity, nothing like that. On one of our first trips to L.A., I was maybe 21 or 20, and we went to the Grauman's Chinese Theater, Universal Studios and I thought it was amazing. It was like walking into a Hollywood set, it was fascinating. I would see celebrities and fell in love with the whole filming world. When we moved here, I was 22 and we lived in Pasadena near the Walsh house. You’ve been to the Walsh house, right?
LeeAnn: No, I haven’t yet.
Lindsay: Oh, you haven’t! Everything on Beverly Hills is mostly filmed in Pasadena. I would walk out my door and see these yellow signs showing the crew where to go to get to set, so I would follow them. I would show up on sets. Most film crews are generally pretty nice and will let you hang out and watch and I was just fascinated. That’s kind of what got me into it, but also Beverly Hills, 90210 is one of my favorite shows ever and I wanted to know once we were in L.A. where everything was filmed and we lived right down the street from the Walsh house. I would go out for a jogs and realized that Dylan’s house was right down the street too. Once I started to find a few of the houses, I wanted to find them all. I wanted to find Kelly’s house and where everything else was filmed. Since I started with the 90210 houses, I thought, “Well, where are other shows and movies filmed?” I started building a database of locations that I found by researching myself and whenever anyone would visit me, I would make them find filming locations with me.
LeeAnn: That’s super fun.
Lindsay: I don’t think I took anyone who was actually interested, but for me it was a passion. People kept telling me that I had to start a blog or a tour company. I said I would start a blog because a tour company was way out of my realm. I started the blog and it just went from there.
LeeAnn: What are some of your favorite locations that you’ve seen?
Lindsay: The Walsh house, of course.
LeeAnn: And you even got to see the inside of the Walsh house! I was reading your blog post about meeting the owner. Is it the same owner from when the show was first filmed?
Lindsay: Yeah, it is. I used to be a substitute teacher and mentioned my love of 90210 to another teacher and they knew the owner of the house really well. I sat down and wrote the owner a letter requesting a tour. It was so embarrassing. It turned out to be really bad timing because it was right around 9/11 and I never heard anything. Then years had passed and I was by the Walsh house. The owner happened to drive up and was so friendly and welcoming. For some reason, he took a liking to us and he took us on a tour and first brought us to the backyard.
LeeAnn: I love the post with the comparisons of seeing the backyard yourself with the iconic shots from the show of Dylan looking over her shoulder towards Brenda on the balcony. I would have had the same reaction, thinking “This is where it happened.”
Lindsay: I was dying and the owner didn’t think it was anything exciting. He thought it was funny how I was freaking out.
They never really filmed inside the house besides the balcony scene. Except, one time they built Kelly’s bedroom set in his living room. They rarely used the inside of his house. They would only film at his house 3-4 days at a time depending on what they were doing. I want to say that they filmed on location maybe only 10 times a year. The float scene with Emily Valentine was on location at the house or the episode where Dylan and Brenda meet while Dylan’s fixing the car. They were probably only on site 8-10 times a year.
LeeAnn: I’ve been learning things from reading your blog too. I didn’t realize that the scene at the Rave in the U4EA episode is the same exterior as the back of the Peach Pit. Now I want to go and compare it and see how I missed it.
Lindsay: They did that a lot! The first couple of seasons were low budget.
LeeAnn: Yeah, the first season especially. Weren’t they on the same film set as a bunch of porn movies or something?
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah! The studio was in a very industrial spot in the valley. It’s so strange. Imagining the cast driving there just seems so crazy to me.
LeeAnn: What’s your favorite episode? Or top 3?
Lindsay: Isn’t It Romantic? is one of my favorites. I also like the Palm Springs episode with David Silver’s grandparents. I love that episode! And probably, the first Emily Valentine one with back to school, basically any episodes with Brenda and Dylan.
LeeAnn: That’s your favorite couple?
Lindsay: Yeah, definitely! What’s your favorite episode?
LeeAnn: My favorite episode is U4EA.
LeeAnn: Yeah, it was in the thick of my childhood and I loved the whole exchange an egg thing. It’s funny, when I interviewed Christine Elise (who played Emily Valentine), she told me that during that episode, they wanted her and Jason Priestley to dance on table and sing/chant “U4EA” as if it was “Gloria.”
Lindsay: Ohhhhh my god.
LeeAnn: She joked about the different versions of the song, “Gloria.” Neither her nor Jason wanted to do it because they didn’t dance and they thought it was lame.
I also didn’t know that when they spun off Melrose Place, that Emily Valentine was originally supposed to be one of the characters.
Lindsay: You’re kidding me.
LeeAnn: Yeah, it was actually supposed to revolve around Emily Valentine. I don’t know what happened, but it fell through and then they had Jake as a segway into Melrose Place with Kelly how he was their gardener.
Lindsay: Oh my god.
LeeAnn: Yeah, what could’ve been.
Lindsay: That’s so random.
LeeAnn: Christine Elise mentions it on her Instagram page. She posted old promo pics and photo shoots. I didn’t realize how big her character was then.
Lindsay: She was going to live in the apartments?
LeeAnn: Mmm hmmm.
Lindsay: Wasn’t she in high school?
LeeAnn: Maybe it was right after high school after they graduated.
Lindsay: That’s so funny. I have to go back and look.
LeeAnn: Have you met any of the cast?
Lindsay: Yeah, I’ve met all of the original 8.
LeeAnn: I haven’t met all of the original 8 yet. I haven’t met Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, or Brian Austin Green.
Lindsay: Oh, so those 3 weren’t at RewindCon?
LeeAnn: Nope, the other cast members were Christine Elise, Vincent Young and James Eckhouse.
Lindsay: That’s right, that’s when Shannen was sick.
LeeAnn: Ian was originally supposed to be there and Brian was never involved. They changed the date of the convention, pushing it back a few months and Ian cancelled.
Lindsay: You have a group shot, though.
LeeAnn: I do. The pic where it looks like my friend and I joined the cast. That picture was actually by chance. I originally paid for the picture with Jennie and Jason and when we were walking in, Luke Perry was in the booth. I said to my friend, “Maybe we can get Luke Perry in the picture too.” And it was actually Jason Priestley who asked if we wanted Luke in the picture too. There was this moment with my arm around Jason Priestley and Jason and I said to Luke Perry, “Come on! Get in the picture! Come on! Come on!” and then Luke Perry hopped in our picture.
Lindsay: That’s amazing!
LeeAnn: They’re all so sweet. Those are the memories you take to the grave. It’s all I talk about and I’m just as excited as it happened that day.
Lindsay: Who was your favorite couple?
LeeAnn: Dylan and Brenda. Although, as a kid, I did like when Kelly interfered. I liked the drama of it all, but rewatching it as adult, I joke about the “I choose me” quote about how Kelly finally became independent but it lasted all of that moment because by the start of Season 6, she was already with Colin.
Lindsay: I didn’t watch much once Shannen Doherty left. Brenda was my girl. I hated Kelly. Hated her. I saw some of the bigger episodes, the one where Dylan got married, but then I kind of checked out.
LeeAnn: I watched them all on SoapNet. When I first watched the series, I only watched the first 4 seasons. I would fall in and out of the series after season 4 when it originally aired.
Lindsay: Did you stop watching because Brenda left?
LeeAnn: Yeah, and I just kind of fell off the show itself at the time. I would watch the reruns of the first couple of seasons while I was still in high school, but the Claire episodes were fresh eyes for me once I watched the entire series on SoapNet besides catching a few episodes here or there.
Lindsay: I’ve still never seen the entire seasons of 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
LeeAnn: I tuned in more regularly when the last season originally aired just because I knew it was ending. I didn’t really know all of their storylines. I didn’t like Gina, there was a disconnect, but still watched it because it was entertaining enough.
Lindsay: I was actually on the last episode.
Lindsay: I was an extra as a guest at David and Donna’s wedding.
LeeAnn: This is amazing! Do you have a picture of it?
Lindsay: It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I looked around on set and thought, “How am I here?” They didn’t allow you take pictures on set and back then there wasn’t camera phones and you’re not supposed to approach the cast. But, I was there on the last 2 days of filming, so the mood was very jovial and nostalgic. My dance partner in the scene was a regular extra on the show and he would talk to the cast members.
LeeAnn: Are you visible onscreen?
Lindsay: Yep, I wrote a blog about it on my site too. I’ll never forget the wardrobe department. The dress I wore still had the price tag on it and it was around $400. I didn’t want to touch it! I was so nervous that I was going to wreck it. Sure enough, you’re sitting around for about 90% of the time and it was by the church with a huge courtyard. Brian Austin Green was out in the courtyard playing chess with some of the extras. We were all out there hanging out and I was sitting on this ledge watching them play chess. I got up and saw that there were all of these berries that I had sat in and ruined a $400 dress.
LeeAnn: You didn’t have to sign off on it, right?
Lindsay: I talked to wardrobe department and apologized, but they told me not to worry because they were getting rid of all of the clothes any way.
LeeAnn: What an experience, especially at the end of a show that had run for 10 years and to be there at the end of that.
Lindsay: I’m sure you watched that special that ran with the last episode where Jennie Garth starts crying and they show the scene of all of them dancing in a circle.
Lindsay: I was there and saw all of that. It was amazing.
LeeAnn: Aw! That’s really sweet. Back to the stalking, how do you find all of the addresses for the places you “stalk?”
Lindsay: You literally stalk them. I’ll look for clues. For instance, right now I’m looking for the house on Blossom. There’s no clues or address numbers to go off, I don’t know where it is other than that I think it’s somewhere in the valley based off of how it looks. I scour the screen patterns of it and I noticed that the house is on a curb, there’s no sidewalk. There are only 2 parts in the valley that have that same layout. Every day, I look at aerial views looking for neighborhoods with no sidewalks in the valley. Most people would think I’m crazy.
LeeAnn: I don’t know. I think people enjoy hearing about it and seeing the side-by-side comparisons. I personally enjoyed hearing about being inside the Walsh house and seeing how they made the mirror image of what you saw in person for the set. You think of the prom episode of Brenda on the stairwell with Kelly staring her down and you were there.
Lindsay: It was weird to see it so backwards.
LeeAnn: You’re friends with Pinky and Keith Coogan, right?
Lindsay: I didn’t know that you knew them.
LeeAnn: Yep, I met them at RewindCon and they were actually nice enough to let me interview them as well.
Lindsay: That’s awesome!
LeeAnn: They’re so sweet. We were talking about people finding filming locations and how they found the Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead house.
Lindsay: Yeah, I was the first person to post that one. My friend, Mike found it. I don’t remember how he tracked down that house, but he found it and I published the address. Keith Coogan commented on it and this was before I had met Pinky, saying that people always ask him where the Don’t Tell Mom house was and now he could tell people how to locate it. I was amazed that Keith was commenting on my website and then you fast forward a couple of years and I was standing up at his wedding to Pinky.
LeeAnn: Oh, wow. I didn’t know you were in the wedding. I can imagine that their wedding was really fun. So, you’ve been doing this for awhile then?
Lindsay: Yeah, I started my blog in November 2007. 11 years now, that’s crazy.
LeeAnn: Even before that, though if you were living down the street from the Walsh house. What keeps you going with finding new locations?
Lindsay: I watch a lot of TV and see a lot of movies. If I see something interesting, it’s like an itch. I feel like I’m constantly inspired to find new things. Then once I find them, I love to research what other movies or TV shows the location was featured in. I like to do the research more than writing the blog.
LeeAnn: When I was reading your post about the Tal Weaver mansion, you mentioned that Angelina Jolie had bought that house and the other people who lived there before. It’s crazy to learn the history of that one house and how it continually gets sold to new celebrities.
Lindsay: It is crazy. My husband’s best friend’s parents live in that same neighborhood. His mom has all the intel. I emailed her when I saw that Angelina Jolie bought it and asked her if it was true. She said it was and that they went to her Halloween party.
LeeAnn: This is off topic, but Mindy Kaling posted a picture of her and Olivia Munn at Halloween party and Olivia Munn had the best Halloween costume as the girl from Small Wonder with the red and white gingham dress and the pack in the back.
Lindsay: Oh, that is awesome. See, this is how this works. Now you have me wondering where the Small Wonder house is.
LeeAnn: Ah, inspiration.
Lindsay: Inspiration is everywhere.
LeeAnn: With location scouting and the extra work, did you have an interest in acting as well?
Lindsay: Yeah, my parents and I moved out to L.A. so that I could act. I did that for years. I had an agent, was in S.A.G., had done extra work and was in school, but I just felt like I was on a treadmill. In 10 years of doing it, I had maybe 3 auditions and I had an agent. I was so excited to have an agent and thought that even if I don’t get the job, I want to be auditioning. I would get headshots and then get new headshots. Then I would cut my hair. Anything, but nothing changed. The phone never rang. I just got really bored and with writing, I became in control. I can control how and when I write and see the progress. That was much more fulfilling to me than sitting around and not acting.
LeeAnn: What are some of the favorite places that you’ve “stalked.”
Lindsay: Definitely Tal Weaver’s mansion, the Walsh House, George’s Diner in Long Beach from A Cinderella Story. Houses are my favorite, but restaurants are a close second. With a house, you can’t go inside, but you can go inside the restaurant and see it all. The Prince restaurant was one of my favorites. It’s in Koreatown in downtown L.A. It’s the bar from New Girl and it’s been in hundreds of things like Chinatown, Mad Men and more. It’s a really good restaurant.
LeeAnn: Can you tell me more about meeting 90210 cast members? When did you meet Shannen Doherty?
Lindsay: I met Shannen at a book signing for her book “Bad Ass” and I wore my “Team Brenda” shirt that I made. She was so nice!
LeeAnn: How did you meet the other cast members?
Lindsay: I was at an event with Pinky Coogan where Ian Ziering was at and she knows him. She called out to him and he talked with us for a bit. He’s really nice too.
I met Tori Spelling at a book signing for her third book, I think. Brian Austin Green – I was at a Golden Globes rehearsal that I happened to get into. There was a schedule out of who was coming in to rehearse and Megan Fox was a resenter. I told my husband that we had to stay there because Brian and Megan are always together and that he was probably there. Sure enough, in walked Brian. Everyone else at the hotel flocked to Megan and I flocked to Brian.
LeeAnn: That’s awesome.
Lindsay: Jennie I met at another event with Pinky. Gabrielle Carteris was the last one I got my picture with. My husband and I were at a Starbucks in L.A. and Gabrielle walked in behind us.
LeeAnn: What’s funny is that at RewindCon, Gabrielle was one who I was actually starstruck by. It was horribly run and I was trying to get my pictures. You would pay for them and either they wouldn’t print them, they would get stolen, something. I couldn’t get the one I paid for with Christine Elise and it was supposed to be printed up awhile ago. I thought it didn’t get printed possibly because I pushed the limit and was holding a sign that said, “Having a great time at the Gynecologist!” in the picture. My anxiety kicked in, but I paid money for it and wanted it. I was downstairs yelling at the camera guy about my picture. They said that they would reprint it and had to be there at a certain time. It was my third time checking and I look over and Gabrielle Carteris was standing right next to me while I was bitching about not getting a picture with a Gynecologist joke.
LeeAnn: One of the most amazing things at RewindCon as a major 90210 fan was seeing how the cast interacted with each other. Before we were let into the convention, you could watch as the celebrities come in. Jason Priestley had already come in and Gabrielle Carteris came in shortly after, she yelled out his name and they ran to each other and hugged right in front of me. It was amazing to see The Blaze reunited feet away.
Lindsay: Oh. My. God. Oh my God.
LeeAnn: Not only was it a reunion for us to see them, but a reunion for them as well as I don’t think they had all been together in some time.
Lindsay: They all get along really well, right?
LeeAnn: It seems like it. I can say from my own experience that everyone was very sweet.
Lindsay: When I met the owner of Dylan’s house, she said that Shannen Doherty was the best on the cast. She nailed her takes and was the easiest to work with. They used the inside of her house the whole first season for Dylan’s house so she was regularly on set. She watched the filming. If Shannen’s call time was 10:00, Shannen would roll up right at 10:00 and would go into hair and makeup after being out all night partying, but would come in and nail it. There was no question on her acting ability. Then the other cast members were insanely jealous and would get there hours early and rehearse and would still miss their marks. They just weren’t as good as Shannen and she said a lot of the angst stemmed from that and were resentful of her. She was really good at what she did, she had been doing it since she was a kid.
LeeAnn: Yeah, at that point she had been acting for so long. It’s that whole gang mentality that if you have everyone complaining about one person and especially if one of them is your daughter, you’re going to listen to her.
Lindsay: Right, exactly.
LeeAnn: I interviewed Larry Mollin who worked on Seasons 4-7 and was an Executive Producer and Writer. Even if you didn’t watch those seasons, it’s a really interesting interview to talk to him about writing for a series that big. At that point, he was writing close to 30 episodes a season compared to how shows now are only 10 episodes. One thing I didn’t know until that interview is that Tiffany Thiessen actually dated Pauly Shore in real life.
Lindsay: I didn’t know that.
LeeAnn: Pauly Shore was an extra on one of the season finales in either season 6 or 7. He plays a bar patron. Talking to Larry about working with Aaron Spelling himself with things like how Donna didn’t lose her virginity until the 7th season. He said that every season they would go in and pitch the Donna virginity storyline and Aaron Spelling would continuously turn it down.
Then we went back and forth about this image seared into all of our minds:
LeeAnn: This is so fun. I love talking to other 90210 fans because we can get to the gritty/dorky parts and you know what I’m referencing.
LeeAnn: Do you still have your ringtone as the 90210 theme?
Lindsay: Yes! My husband had to do a special download when I changed to an iPhone.
LeeAnn: How did you meet Luke Perry?
Lindsay: He was hosting a celebrity golf tournament and we went to the hotel that it was at and milled around the lobby and saw him. I asked for a picture and he said, “Of course! That’s why we’re here this weekend!” I told him that he was my first Hollywood crush and he kissed me on my cheek.
LeeAnn: You lucky b.
Lindsay: Oh my God, he walked away and I was hyperventilating. My husband said, “I think you have to put your head between your legs.” It was amazing. I didn’t know what to do.
LeeAnn: I’ve never been kissed by him so you’re very lucky, but when I met Luke Perry at the Riverdale convention someone stole the pics I posted with him online and made a fan video about the “Real Life Couples of Riverdale.” Up comes a screen that says, “Luke Perry and his wife” and then my pics appear.
Lindsay: No way! You need to screen capture that and frame it.
LeeAnn: It has so many views and I swear I’m only 1000 of them. So now I get to tell him that the next time I pay hundreds of dollars to meet him.
Lindsay: Those conventions are pricey, right?
LeeAnn: They’re so expensive. People say that they want to meet him too and I tell them that it’s completely possible. You just have to spend money to do it. You pay for your ticket to get in. You pay for any picture you take. You pay for any autographs too.
Lindsay: Are tickets to get in expensive?
LeeAnn: It depends on what package you buy. You can sometimes get day passes for as low as $35.00.
Lindsay: If you’re not at a table and just see a celebrity walking, can you get a picture?
LeeAnn: You can, but you get reprimanded pretty quickly. For me, I didn’t have to spend much money on travel for these conventions, but some people traveled from all over. There were people at RewindCon who flew from Norway (I think) who had tattoos of Tori Spelling on their forearms. It’s crazy.
Lindsay: You live in Chicago?
Lindsay: I’ve never been. I’ve always wanted to go there. There are so many filming locations there.
LeeAnn: There are! Come visit! They film Chicago Fire here and when I first moved here, they were filming one of the Transformers movies right in front of my office. I would leave for a break and hear gun shots to look out the window seeing them film an action sequence. It was pretty neat.
The Adventures in Babysitting building is here. You could probably do a whole John Hughes thing in the burbs. The Home Alone house isn’t too far outside of Chicago and Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is here. You got a place to stay or someone to show you around!
And then when I go to California, I’m going to make you give me the ultimate 90210 tour.
Lindsay: Have been to California before?
LeeAnn: Yes, I have family there. I should really get out there to see them since I haven’t been there since High School.
Lindsay: What part?
LeeAnn: They live in Oceanside.
Lindsay: Oh, that’s where the Top Gun house is.
LeeAnn: That’s so funny. I can only imagine you at dinner conversations. Someone will say where they’re from and you will spout off filming locations in that area.
Lindsay: That’s usually met with people saying, “Huh? What?”
For more on Lindsay’s stalking, visit iamnotastalker.com. Also, challenge her to find new places! Dylan’s house on Season 1 (the exterior) hasn’t been found yet as well as many others. She’s always on the hunt!