It’s Official: Louisiana leaders’ favorite movies and TV shows

By: - December 30, 2022 11:49 am

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“It’s Official” is a series aimed at letting Louisiana residents know more about the elected officials that run their state.

Louisiana looked at one point to be turning into Hollywood South thanks to general tax benefits for movies and television shows shot in the state. Here’s some of what the state’s highest profile elected officials like to watch. 

Movies

Like nearly everyone else in America this year, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon thoroughly enjoyed “Top Gun: Maverick.” 

Treasurer John Schroder and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser picked classic sports movies as their favorites. Schroder loves “Rocky” and Nungesser loves “Rudy.” 

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain recommended a classic action film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin enjoys a Christmas favorite, “Miracle on 34th Street,” which he said his family watches every year during the holiday season. 

Congressman Troy Carter’s favorite film is “The Devil’s Advocate, a 1997 horror film starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. 

When it comes to Louisiana films, “Everybody’s All-American” is a fan favorite. Schroder and Congressman Garret Graves recommended the film, which was shot at Tiger Stadium and other Baton Rouge locations. 

Graves and Gov. John Bel Edwards also endorsed the 1949 version of “All The King’s Men,” inspired by the life of Huey Long. Congresswoman Julie Letlow and Congressman Mike Johnson selected “Steel Magnolias,” which was filmed in Natchitoches and set in a small Louisiana town.

Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee is partial to “Fletch Lives.” In the comedy sequel, actor Chevy Chase’s Fletch inherits a Louisiana plantation called Belle Isle from his aunt. It was set and filmed in Thibodaux.

Filmed at the Louisiana Capitol, “The Deadly Tower” chronicles the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas at Austin. It’s U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s favorite Louisiana-based film, in large part because he’s an extra in the movie. 

Television

On the small screen, Attorney General Jeff Landry and Nungesser recommend the popular nighttime soap “Yellowstone” starring Kevin Costner. 

Schroder’s favorite channel is the SEC Network, and Donelon’s favorite television program is “SEC Now,” the network’s main news show. Strain enjoys the daily investment show “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” on CNBC.

When it comes to Louisiana-centric TV, Carter said likes “Swamp People,” a reality TV show focused on alligator hunters in south Louisiana. Johnson endorses “Duck Dynasty, about the Robertson family and their West Monroe business Duck Commander. “House Hunters” episodes that feature Louisiana couples and real estate are Letlow’s favorite.

Edwards plugged “Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi or Any Place Else!,” a Louisiana Public Broadcasting documentary featuring Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne that made its debut this month.

Magee said he is generally frustrated by the way Louisiana is depicted on television, but he enjoyed the first season of “True Detective,” an HBO drama set and filmed in Louisiana. 

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Julie O'Donoghue
Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.

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