This Big TV Star Was in Rockford and We Didn’t Even Know It
The star of one of the best TV shows in the last 10+ years was in Rockford, Illinois to film scenes for the show's revival and did it entirely under the radar, apparently.
I've met quite a few celebrities over the years thanks to this job in radio. Seldom do I get the chance to meet one who I'd really like to sit down with and have a conversation. The TV star that came through Rockford is one of those people.
Probably the biggest thing that gets in the way of that is the fact that there just aren't a whole lot of celebrities that come to Rockford. Most of my big celebrity 'meet & greets' have been in Chicago or Milwaukee.
Rockford isn't a complete 'no celebrity zone', there was that one time I met Prince in the balcony of the Coronado Performing Arts Center with his then-wife, Mayte. It was just the three of us in that theater balcony and I swear as they moved toward me, holding each other's hand, it was like they weren't walking, they just floated up to me.
Of course, there's another big music celeb that lives here, that would be Hall of Fame guitarist Rick Nielsen of the band Cheap Trick. I had my first of many wonderful moments with Rick when he saw that I'd been waiting a long time for a table at Rockford's Japanese restaurant, JMK Nippon, and invited me to join his family for dinner.
What Hollywood Television Star Was in Rockford?
The answer to that question is wrapped in a bit of a mystery.
Timothy played the main character, "Raylan Givens" in an FX Network show that I absolutely loved, Justified. The show, and character, were recently revived in the 8-episode series, Justified: City Primeval. That series aired in July and August and is streaming now on Hulu.
The original series, based on some Elmore Leonard books, ran from 2010 to 2015 and followed the life of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens returning to his hometown in Harlan County, Kentucky, to investigate some childhood friends.
He played a cannibal's wife in the Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet with Drew Barrymore. Timothy was also really good as "Seth Bullock" in Deadwood.
The most surprising thing about Timothy Olyphant being in Rockford is that he was here over a year ago and were all just now hearing about it.
The scenes were filmed at the Rockford International Airport in July of 2022.
Crews were here a year ago – and the episodes aired just last month! You might recognize the gates (3 and 7!) in episodes 3 and 7. If you’ve flown Allegiant Air with us, you’ve walked right through those exact gates!
That's what the airport shared on its Facebook page. They also shared photos of the film crew shooting and some screenshots of the episodes.
Here are some episode screenshots from some of the scenes filmed in Rockford.
In addition to the Rockford airport, Justified: City Primeval also used Chicago locations, where shooting was interrupted in July 2022 when four cars, engaged in a real-life gun battle, smashed through barricades and onto the set near Douglas Park, according to MyStateline.com.