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'Troutlandia' keeps the dream of the '90s alive

The IFC sketch comedy 'Portlandia' films in Troutdale for Season 4


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Fred Armisen, in costume as Candace, is one-half of the Portlandia feminist bookstore duo (with Carrie Brownstein).

As he walks toward Troutdale's Brass Rail Tavern in a zebra-print dress and floral jacket, Fred Armisen gets his long salt-and-pepper wig adjusted.

“I don’t usually dress like this,” the co-star of IFC’s “Portlandia” jokes.

He’s preparing to go on set as Candace, one of the characters in the show’s feminist bookstore sketch, and joined by co-star Carrie Brownstein, dressed as feminist-in-crime Toni.

“OK, everyone!” a producer shouts. “Places!”

The dream of the ‘90s was alive in Troutdale Wednesday, Sept. 18, as the cast, crew and producers of “Portlandia” shot footage for an episode of Season 4.

A satirical sketch television series on IFC, “Portlandia” debuted in January 2011 starring Armisen, a former Saturday Night Live actor (2002 to 2013) and Brownstein, a musician who rose to fame in the band Sleater-Kinney.

“This is the getaway episode,” says Kyle Lemire, stage manager. “So all of the characters people have come to know and love decide individually to have their own getaway weekend.

“Viewers can await crisscrossing storylines, adventure, tragedy and hilarity," Lemire says. “We’re showcasing Troutdale as a tourist destination — this quaint little downtown.”

As downtown Troutdale filled with vans, camera equipment, props and extras, residents congregated across the street to soak in their city’s moment of fame.

“It’s a colorful cast and they look like they’re having a blast,” Marianne Daoust says. “It’s so fun to have groups like this come to Troutdale. We like to be really welcoming.”

Diane White says she couldn’t help but crack up watching “Portlandia” and thinking back to the years she worked at Portland Saturday Market.

“I always put birds on my pottery,” she says. In the show, the actors joke about how Portlandians put birds on everything.

Another catchphrase from the show is "the dream of the '90s is alive in Portland," popularized in a music video promo in late 2010. Residents joked "the dream of the '90s is alive in 'Troutlandia.'"

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Restaurant owner Saul Pompeyo is happy to have 'Portlandia' bring recognition to Troutdale, now and forever known as Troutlandia.

Saul Pompeyo of Ristorante Di Pompello and his daughter Sophia, 5, also were excited about the filming.

“Somebody approached the city to do the filming here and we’re glad to do it — to work together and help everybody,” Pompeyo says. “It’s a very interesting and fun show.”

David Cress, a producer who studied film at Mt. Hood Community College, says “Portlandia” was grateful to residents, city leaders and Mayor Doug Daoust for welcoming the filming.

As a student, Cress used to ride his motorcycle along the Historic Columbia River Highway. He says about 93 percent of the “Portlandia” cast, crew and producers live in the Portland area, which can be unusual for television.

Among them is Dan Baker, a utility production assistant, who also studied film at Mt. Hood Community College. His instructor connected him to a internship with “Portlandia” and he was later hired on full time.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Dan Baker and crew members set up in front of Brass Rail Tavern to film a 'Portlandia' episode.

“I love it,” Baker says. “It’s awesome to work on a show that has such an influence on the city we live in.”

Outside downtown Troutdale, “Portlandia” has filmed at Blue Lake, Dabney State Recreation Area and Dodge Park. There also are plans to film at McMenamins Edgefield and in other parts of East Multnomah County.

“Portland has inspired so much of the show, and it’s great to familiarize ourselves with the greater Portland area and the variety that’s only 20 minutes away from the city's center,” says co-producer Alice Mathias. “It’s nice there’s such dynamic scenery so close by and to be welcomed by Troutdale is wonderful.”

Producers describe stars Armisen and Brownstein as two of the nicest, most down-to-earth actors they’ve worked with.

“You get that family feel,” Cress says. “Even when the cameras stop rolling, Carrie and Fred don’t stop. There are times when filming can get really heavy and stressful, but they keep this light, comedy-filled atmosphere. They’re very kind, emotionally giving people. This is unlike any job I’ve had.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Fred Armisen gets into character in Troutdale.

Baker says that at first everyone thinks they’ll be starstruck by Armisen and Brownstein, but it’s so normal to interact with them. “They’re some of the nicest people I’ve met in my life,” he says.

Just before going on set, Armisen talks briefly about the fourth season for the show and of life in Portland.

“Troutdale is really nice and I want to come back when I have some time,” Armisen says. “I really like the entryway — the 'Gateway to the Gorge.' We’re going further and further in this season. That’s how I would describe it.

"I go all over the place, but I’m here four months of the year. For a long time, (Portland) has been my second home. Now it’s really becoming my second home.”

Another filming crew is expected in East County soon. Portland author Cheryl Strayed announced the movie adaptation of her memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail solo, "Wild," would be filmed in Oregon beginning in late September or early October.

The film chronicling Strayed's 1,100-mile journey will star Reese Witherspoon.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - The 'Portlandia' film crew takes over downtown Troutdale.

Gresham woman earns Emmy for 'Portlandia'

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - KRIEGER

East County native Monika Schmidt Krieger received an Emmy Award Saturday, Sept. 14, for outstanding costumes for a variety program or a special.

A costumer supervisor for “Portlandia,” Krieger received the award with Amanda Needham, a costumer designer.

Krieger graduated from Barlow High School in 2004 and moved to Hollywood to study fashion, graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2006.

She is the daughter of Harry and Colleen Schmidt and granddaughter of Harold and Klara Schmidt.

“Portlandia” received two other Emmy nominations this year, for outstanding directing for a variety series and outstanding writing for a variety series.




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