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Southern Regional featured in new Jennifer Lopez movie

Photo by Curt Yeomans
Southern Regional Medical Center Respiratory Therapist Barbara Sall signs a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” movie poster for hospital spokesman Justin Cooper on Friday before a screening of the film at AMC Southlake movie theater, in Morrow. Part of the movie was filmed at the hospital.

Photo by Curt Yeomans Southern Regional Medical Center Respiratory Therapist Barbara Sall signs a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” movie poster for hospital spokesman Justin Cooper on Friday before a screening of the film at AMC Southlake movie theater, in Morrow. Part of the movie was filmed at the hospital.

In a way, the new film, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” is sort of like “When Southern Regional met a Charlie’s Angel and Jenny from the Block.”

Riverdale-based Southern Regional Medical Center is currently sharing the big screen with Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Dennis Quaid in the baby-themed film. The movie, which was directed by Kirk Jones and produced by Lionsgate, Alcon Entertainment, Phoenix Pictures and What to Expect Productions, opened in theaters across the country this past Friday.

At the end of the film, which takes place in Atlanta, characters played by Diaz, Quaid, Matthew Morrison, Brooklyn Decker, Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone, went to Southern Regional (which played itself) to welcome their children into their world. Lopez’s character adopted an Ethiopian baby, and did not have any scenes at the hospital.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans Southern Regional Medical Center spokesperson Claudia Hall (right) chats with community officials and City of Morrow leaders on Friday, after a screening of the film “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” at AMC Southlake movie theater, in Morrow. Part of the movie was filmed at the hospital.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans Southern Regional Medical Center staff, and community officials make their way down a miniature red carpet outside AMC Southlake movie theater, in Morrow, on Friday for a screening of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Part of the movie was filmed at Southern Regional.

The hospital may not pull a diva act any time soon, and as a building, it is certainly not likely to walk a red carpet anytime soon.

It is a newly minted movie star, however.

“It was great to see the hospital on screen,” said Southern Regional President Jim Crissey. “As I watched it, I was thinking it characterized the excellence of health care that we have here in the Southern Crescent.”

Southern Regional officials celebrated the opening of the movie last Friday with a special screening for hospital employees and “Very Important Persons” at the AMC Southlake Movie Theater in Morrow. Approximately 350 doctors, hospital staff, elected officials and community leaders crowded into two rooms at the theater to be among the first people to watch the film.

And, even though the movie featured a plethora of stars, it was Southern Regional itself that was the main attraction for audience members. It ended up being the setting for roughly the final 20 minutes of the film. As each set of expectant parents pulled into the hospital’s parking lot, audience members applauded and cheered as its front facade, including the words “Southern Regional Medical Center,” came on screen.

Staff members from the hospital’s Respiratory Therapy unit were especially tickled by the final scenes because it was their department that doubled as the hospital’s maternity ward.

“I kept picking out different parts of the hospital,” said an excited respiratory therapist Barbara Sall as she walked out of the theater. “We were pinpointing everything we saw from our department. I was like ‘That’s our sign! That’s our work desk!’ ”

In addition to the hospital retaining its name in the movie, it also retained many other elements of its identity, including its branding and marketing identification. Extras who portrayed hospital staff even wore their own authentic Southern Regional identification badges, which came complete with the hospital’s logo, in the movie.

“We provided them with all of our logos, and everything they needed to make it as authentic as possible,” said Southern Regional spokesperson Claudia Hall, who added “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” was one of six movies filmed at the hospital in the last year.

She added that while Southern Regional doctors were not used on screen, they did provide the film crew and actors with their own technical expertise behind the camera.

The hospital was chosen because of its proximity to Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and because it had a parking lot big enough for the film crew to set up their trucks in, according to Tamara Patridge, a location scout for the Clayton County Film Office. She added crew members appreciated the willingness of hospital staff to cooperate, and work with the crew.

“I heard from the movie’s director that he absolutely loved working at the hospital because the staff made it a fantastic experience,” Patridge said. “Anytime there was a change in the script, the hospital was willing to work with the film crew to accommodate those changes.”

Sall said the film’s crew filmed the movie in the respiratory therapy unit while staff continued to treat patients as usual. She admitted that sometimes staff did have to occasionally take alternative routes to get around the filming, to answer calls, but she added that it provided no major hassles.

Joe Baker, Southern Regional’s vice-president of facilities and engineering services, said “it took a lot of coordination” between hospital staff and members of the film crew, but they were able to make sure patient care went uninterrupted during filming of the movie.

“The director would stop shooting, and let our doctors do their jobs, if we had an emergency,” Baker said. “Patient care was first on the minds of everyone at all times.”

Comments

ClaytonCounty1985 1 year, 11 months ago

WOW I cannot believe they would want to film a movie at a hospital like "Southern Regional Medical Center". They should have decided on Piedmont Henry, or somewhere ELSE!

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VolFan 1 year, 11 months ago

Well if ignorance is bliss, you should be blissfully happy. Please don't judge a book by the cover. "Southern Regional" received kudos from the movie production companies for their hospitality, care and concern placed for our patients. Please continue to recieve your care at "Piedmont Henry or your somewhere else". We are proud of our hospital home and don't appreciate those who speak without knowledge of what they are speaking about. .

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MorrowDude 1 year, 11 months ago

It's great that they would use Southern Regional. It is really a wonderful hospital, the best in the southern crescent. Piedmont Henry and Fayette pail in comarison.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 11 months ago

....A movie featuring Jennifer Lopez & Chris Rock ...HA, Ha !!!!!!!

......The Hospital would achieve more exposure on the 6:00 evening News Broadcasts.

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ATLien80 1 year, 11 months ago

I think this is great news unlike those that commented before. Any revenue or positive news that can come into Clayton County is welcomed. Georgia's film industry is booming and the amount of money it takes to producer a film is huge, I am certain that this was a great economic booster for both the hospital and local business surrounding the hospital. Not to mention that for the hospital to make an event out of the opening night at Morrow's AMC which I am sure cost a pretty penny was the trickle down affect of businesses doing business with their neighbors in the county. This was a win-win for all involved. SRMC is the only hospital in Clayton County and it as a resident of the county it feels good to know that "HOLLYWOOD" was impressed enough by what they saw of the facility and the staff to use them as a location. Kudus Clayton County!

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SharlethiaM 1 year, 11 months ago

ATLien, I agree with you.

I like seeing our county in the news for something positive for a change. We need all of the good press we can get for the good residence who live here. I'm proud to be in Clayton County and that any filming company would even consider us is great. I don't know about the people who wrote on here (^^^) but when I drive by the hospital it always has a lot of people. So somebody must think highly of the hospital care because the er always looks full.

Is that true what the hospital did at AMC?

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Taylor 1 year, 11 months ago

Southern Regional has been great the times that my family and I have been there. I am glad that they were chosen for the movie.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 11 months ago

...GREAT ?

.......I would like to see what you call Non-Great......Ha, Ha......Liberals gets it wrong everytime; Always avoiding the truth.

.....Southern Regional Hospital is probably the most best Hospitals within twenty miles of Atlanta; My life was saved by their medical staff three times, within the past 3 years. This Hospital desearves more attention than this.

.....If you want to experence great, Taste one of their hamburgers !!!!!

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Lynn 1 year, 10 months ago

I am glad to hear good things about hte hospital It sure has come a long way from the time my husband was seen 12 years ago....He came in with chest pains, sat in the ER waiting room where he had a heart attack because his chart was put in the wrong pile.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 10 months ago

...Lynn; One way to escape waiting in the ER, in an emergency, is to call 911.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 10 months ago

.....Lynn; The only thing left to tell you, is to think about changing your name to Oscar Knight, Jr.......I have always received first class service at Southern Regional. Heck; I take my family to the cafeteria, about once every six weeks.

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