Is Asheville the new celebrity hot spot?



Jude Law at Bouchon restaurant in Asheville/ photo courtesy of Gus Frisbee

With a Zach Galifianakis movie filming in town, Jude Law lunching at the Med, and Seth Avett and girlfriend Jennifer Carpenter hanging out downtown–plus visits from literary luminaries–this is shaping up to be a summer of famous visitors.

Here’s what’s happening in the coming months:

The Literary Luminaries

Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz), Still Life With Woodpecker author Tom Robbins, and bestselling thriller author James Patterson (@JP_Books) all descend on Asheville this summer.

Gilbert appears in Asheville on June 27 at UNC-A’s Lipinsky Auditorium (tix $20). Patterson and Robbins both appear in town in September:  Patterson on September 6 and Robbins on September 13. Ticket and location information about Robbins and Patterson are forthcoming.

The Loomis Fargo crew

Occasional Asheville visitor Zach Galifianakis (@galifianakisz) is headed to town to shoot Loomis Fargo, a movie about the inept Charlotte bank heist in the ‘90s in which the thieves brought suitcases of stolen cash to the bank to deposit (no reason for suspicion there).  Galifianakis, long rumored to be considering moving to Asheville, has been spotted in the past at The Admiral, Red Stag and Buffalo Nickel. So two west side sightings indicate that Haywood Road is where he might pop up again–and the Seven Sows new Saturday night late night menu and dance party would definitely appeal to anyone who’s partied late-night at the Admiral.

Also in town will likely be co-stars Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig, a vegetarian who might make the rounds of Asheville’s delicious veggie circuit: Plant, Laughing Seed, and Rosetta’s Kitchen (now with downstairs buchi bar). Note to Kristen: Nine Mile, Doc Chey’s, Chai Pani, and Mela, while not vegetarian, are VERY veggie friendly as well as tasty. Enjoy.

Zach Galifianakis. Photo: Gaelen Hadlett

And Lorne Michaels, the writer/producer who created Saturday Night Live! and is producing Loomis Fargo, has been spotted around town, dining at The Market Place on Wall Street. Upscale, farm-to-table sensibilities? Try Table, Rhubarb and Seven Sows. (FYI for the Canada-born Michaels: Seven Sows has a late-night menu with poutine waffle fries.)

Jude Law and Colin Firth: Genius

Thomas Wolfe State Historic Site photo of Jude Law from the actor’s recent visit

Law takes on the role of Asheville favorite son Thomas Wolfe in Genius, a movie set for release in 2015. Law’s already made a pilgrimage to Lex 18, the Med, and Wolfe’s gravesite in Riverside Cemetery on a tour of sites related to Wolfe’s life in Asheville.

Sadly, according to a source quoted in the Asheville Citizen-Times, the movie won’t film here, but in New York, London, and the West Coast.

That said, Law just spent a few days here researching Wolfe at Pack Library, touring Wolfe’s historic home downtown, and eating dinner at Bouchon–and certainly might return for more research, as might his co-star Colin Firth, playing Wolfe’s famed editor, Max Perkins. Law’s been a good egg about posing for pictures with fans, with locals sharing images of him at the airport and hanging with the waitstaff at Bouchon (nice restaurant pick, Jude).

Read more about Law’s “Wolfe tour” of Asheville here.

Nicole Kidman is also attached to the project, but if it really does film elsewhere, it seems unlikely she’ll visit.

The honorary Ashevillians: Seth Avett and Jennifer Carpenter

Seth Avett lives in nearby Mount Pleasant (just outside of Charlotte) and seems to be visiting more often now that he’s with girlfriend Jennifer Carpenter (@j2thecarpenter), formerly of Showtime’s Dexter. The two have hung out downtown at a LAB concert and dined at the Omni GPI, and Carpenter’s shopped at Trader Joe’s.

Seth’s an honorary Ashevillian and longtime fan of Asheville, and the two could show up anytime, anywhere downtown. Say hey, or let them enjoy our slice of paradise in peace.

Sports star Brad Daugherty

A Black Mountain native and Owen High School graduate, Carolina grad and former Cleveland Cavalier Brad Daugherty is partnering with the owners of Frankie Bones to transform the South Asheville restaurant into a new eatery, Daugherty’s American Kitchen & Drink.

Daugherty could be out and about downtown and on the south side, and at seven feet tall, he’ll be easy to spot.

1 Comment

kiwi tick June 20, 2014 - 9:45 pm

bend over, insert – proceed.

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