Troy and Brandy Bishop had long dreamed of moving abroad. When a realistic chance arose, taking them to the European nation of Luxembourg, the Bishops looked to fulfill a second dream in the process: Make it onto HGTV's hit show "House Hunters International."
After going through the application process and several interviews, the Bishops were selected and filmed a re-creation of their home search last summer.
"My wife is a big fan of the show, and she would always half-jokingly say, 'When are we going to be able to live internationally like that?'" Troy Bishop said. "So the joke is we moved internationally so we could be on the show."
The real reason came down to a work opportunity with the professional-services firm KPMG Luxembourg.
"I was looking for a new challenge, work-wise," he said. "We've always wanted to live international. Our son had just turned 5, and we figured if we were going to do it, it was now or never."
Troy Bishop is no stranger to television. After making his film debut in "Terms of Endearment" as a 10-year-old in Lincoln, he went on to have a long career after college in movies and TV, with appearances in "Scream," "General Hospital," "Scrubs" and "Nash Bridges."
After growing up in Lincoln and attending Lincoln High School, Troy and Brandy left Nebraska — him to Stanford and her to several different places — before reconnecting years later.
"We dated for two weeks in junior high, but I broke up with her because she wouldn't kiss me," he said. "We knew each other in high school but didn't reconnect until we were in our 20s after college. We became friends and started dating long-distance. She moved to Santa Monica where I was living, we got married and had our son Lincoln, so we've been married for 15 years and are living happily ever after."
Though Luxembourg's population is only one-fifth that of Denver, their last home, and there are no beaches to rival Santa Monica, California, the Bishops say their new residence has exceeded their expectations.
"We love Luxembourg," Troy Bishop said. "We've felt very lucky, because we did consider some other places in Europe, but I think this is actually the best place we could be. You're at the crossroads of Europe, two hours by train from Paris, a short flight to London — you're two hours from anywhere in Europe. Luxembourg is a hidden gem. It's extremely family-friendly, very safe, a booming economy and beautiful countryside."
On "House Hunters International," participants choose from three homes, typically none of which fulfill all of the preferences on their checklist.
In Thursday's 9:30 p.m. episode, HGTV says Troy Bishop is excited to live in Luxembourg's striking countryside, but with no work visa, Brandy is pushing him to live closer to town.
"At the end of the day, they'll have to agree on the option that's best for their son," according to the network's tease.
[Photos: 10 movies shot in Nebraska]
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Is there any more Nebraska-esque film than "Nebraska"? The film, directed by Alexander Payne, stars Bruce Dern (pictured) and Will Forte. As the name implies, Nebraska serves as the backdrop for the film.
Nebraska's first movie was an award-winning hit. Spencer Tracy took the best actor Oscar playing Boys Town founder Father Flanagan, who befriends a boy played by Mickey Rooney. Shot over 12 days on the Boys Town campus in west Omaha, the film was nominated for best picture and won two Oscars, including Tracy’s, which is now in the Boys Town Hall of History. Boys Town received $5,000 from MGM before the production. After the film was a hit, donations to Boys Town fell because of a widespread notion that it had made money off the movie. To make up for the shortfall, MGM gave Boys Town $250,000 from the film’s proceeds. A follow-up, “Men of Boys Town,” was released in 1939.
The most successful film made in Nebraska, “Terms of Endearment” was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won five -- best picture; best director; best screenwriting for James L. Brooks; best actress for Shirley MacLaine; and best supporting actor for Jack Nicholson. The story of conflict between mother MacLaine and daughter, played by Debra Winger, was shot on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, at Lincoln General Hospital (now Bryan West Campus); the Holiday Inn Northeast (now GuestHouse Inn); the now-defunct Kay’s Restaurant; the Lincoln Municipal Airport; St. Mary’s Catholic Church; and at a house that since has been demolished.
The most controversial picture made in Nebraska, “Amerika” was a 14½-hour miniseries that was set 10 years after a bloodless Soviet takeover of the United States that found star Kris Kristofferson leading a burgeoning resistance movement. “Amerika” was filmed primarily in Tecumseh, with some scenes shot in Seward, near Elmwood and in Lincoln -- at the train station and the old penitentiary. By far, the largest and longest production ever in Nebraska, “Amerika” cost somewhere between $35 million and $40 million. The Nebraska production lasted nine weeks, with actors, including Kristofferson, living here for two months while some members of the crew were in Nebraska for more than three months.
Written and directed by Sean Penn, “The Indian Runner” is based on “Highway Patrolman,” a song that appeared on Bruce Springsteen’s 1997 album “Nebraska” that took its title from a song about Charles Starkweather. That title, however, is likely one of the reasons that Penn shot his directorial debut in Plattsmouth and Omaha. The film about a pair of brothers starred the then-little-known David Morse as Joe, a deputy sheriff, who wears a Cass County uniform, and Viggo Mortensen as his troubled criminal brother Frank. The movie also is notable, as it is the last picture to feature Nebraska native Sandy Dennis, who died in 1992.
Above, Penn is flanked by Dennis Hopper (left) and film veteran Charles Bronson in Cannes in May 1991 before the screening of the film.
Willa Cather didn’t want movies made from her books, so no film adaptations of her now classic novels of the Plains were made until the books came into the public domain. Jessica Lange (pictured at left) received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Cather’s Alexandra Bergson in this Hallmark Hall of Fame production that also included David Strathairn (also pictured) and a young Anne Heche in its cast. Much of the filming was done in and around Johnstown, with some scenes shot in Clarkson’s city library and a nearby farmhouse.
The second Cather adaptation, a TV film from the USA Network, starred Jason Robards and Eva Marie Saint as Josiah and Emmaline Burden and a young Neil Patrick Harris as their son Jimmy. It was shot at Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. More than 20 films, televisions shows and documentaries have used the museum’s railroad town as a location, including the Emmy-winning “Sarah, Plain and Tall” that starred Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. “My Antonia” also received a prime-time Emmy for best cinematography.
This comedy about three drag queens who find themselves stranded in a small-town hotel was shot in tiny Loma in the summer and fall of 1994 with the crew and cast members, including stars Patrick Swayze (pictured, from right), John Leguizamo and Wesley Snipes commuting the 45 minutes from Lincoln on most of the 85 days of shooting “It is a town we could work in almost like a backlot, with the full support of the town,” producer G. Mac Brown said. “It worked as well as any place could have worked.” Some scenes for the movie were also shot in Omaha and Lincoln.
Alexander Payne filmed his directorial debut in his hometown of Omaha and ventured across the Missouri River to shoot some scenes in Council Bluffs. The abortion satire is about a poor, uneducated pregnant woman who finds herself in the middle of a pro-choice/pro-life battle. Ruth was played by Laura Dern. “Citizen Ruth” was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, helping to launch Payne’s career.
Payne’s second film earned him his first Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay, along with his partner Jim Taylor. The movie is the story of a high school election in which teacher Matthew Broderick sets up football player Chris Klein, an Omaha native who was discovered by Payne, to run against overachiever Reese Witherspoon (pictured), who earned a best actress Oscar nomination for her performance. “Election” was primarily shot at Papillion-LaVista High School, with other scenes filmed across Omaha, including in the Dundee neighborhood, where Payne grew up.
Payne brought Jack Nicholson back to Nebraska to star in this film about a retired Omaha insurance man who takes an RV journey across Nebraska and Kansas to his estranged daughter’s wedding in Denver. Much of “About Schmidt,” including many of the scenes said to be in Denver, was filmed in Omaha. Dundee provided some of the locations as did Millard. Other scenes were shot in Lincoln (with the UNL campus standing in for the University of Kansas), Louisville State Park and at the Great Platte River Archway near Kearney. Nicholson and Kathy Bates received Oscar nominations for their performances in “About Schmidt.”
Above, Payne (right) directs Nicholson in a scene from the film.
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" by the Coen Brothers was partially filmed in the Scottsbluff area in 2017. The film was released on Netflix in 2018.
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