Architects on Screen

Architects are coming to a screen near you. There are more than you might have guessed!





© Ralph Hockens

When you look into the characters on the big and small screens there are more architects than you might have guessed. From Tom Hanks to John Cleese, there are a number of on-screen architects that feature in some much-loved films and TV programmes. 

HowIMetYourMotherx660© Graham van der Wielen

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) sees Tom Hanks appear as Sam Baldwin, a grieving Chicago architect who moves to Seattle, Washington to start anew. He finds love at the top of the Empire State Building, a building of its own architectural merit and one of America’s cultural icons.

The Empire State Building supports a host of on screen architects including the soulmate-searching architect Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Josh Radnor.

FrankGehrySimpsonx660© Fox 

Also on the list is a multitude of Hollywood names, such as Adam Sandler in Click (2006) and Luke Wilson in My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006). One possibly unanticipated on-screen name is architect Frank Gehry. Appearing as himself on The Simpsons in 2005 on The Seven-Beer Snitch, Gehry was the first architect to appear on the timeless cartoon show. Let’s not forget the also famous Monty Python Architect Sketch with Mr Wiggin (John Cleese) and Mr. Leavey (Eric Idle).

Some top blockbuster films display a selection of architects; Matt Dillon as Carl in You, Me and Dupree (2006) and Liam Neeson as Daniel in Love Actually (2003) to name a few. Women in architecture are not forgotten, with Michelle Pfeiffer appearing in One Fine Day (1996).

LiamNeesonLAx660© Archdaily

Architects in training are also on the list - Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom in 500 Days of Summer (2009) and Ashton Kutcher as Evan in Butterfly Effect (2004), both perhaps with a more subtle reference. Others show an interpretation of what is considered to be within the job description, with The Architect, creator of the Matrix, played by Helmut Bakaitis.

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