Mona Lisa Smiles on Columbia

Julia Roberts (far left) and Julia Stiles (front center) star in Mona Lisa Smile, filmed in part on Columbia’s campus.
Julia Roberts is not the first movie star to appear on location at Columbia (Remember Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces?), nor is her latest feature, Mona Lisa Smile, the first film to include scenes in Columbia’s historic Havemeyer Hall, home of the University’s chemistry department. The building’s famous century-old lecture hall—one of the only Victorian amphitheaters of its kind in the country—is the setting for several scenes in Roberts’s upcoming film.

In Mona Lisa Smile, Roberts plays an art history professor at Wellesley College in 1953. Costarring in the film are Julia Stiles, currently a student at Columbia College, and alumna Maggie Gyllenhaal ’99CC. (One of the movie’s screenwriters, Lawrence Konnor, also wrote the episode of the HBO’s The Sopranos in which a Columbia dean hits up Carmella Soprano for a donation to the school.)

Mona Lisa Smile will be out later this fall. Other movies filmed in part on Columbia’s campus include Anger Management (also with scenes in Havemeyer), Spiderman 1, Spiderman 2, The Stepford Wives, and Ghostbusters.

Photo: Bob Marshak/Courtesy Revolution Studios