The real Mica (Arizona) Stargirl filming location: Where was Stargirl filmed?

Cast actors Grace VanderWaal and Graham Verchere
Posted by
Disney's comedy drama Stargirl takes place in the fictional town of Mica, Arizona, which was filmed in a few locations in Albuquerque and New Mexico. The movie is based on the popular best selling book of the same name, first published in 2000 by Jerry Spinelli.

By the way that this Stargirl has nothing to do with The CW superhero series set in Blue Valley, Nebraska - find all the locations following this link.

The mysterious stargirl, Susan Caraway, is a free spirit teen that has been described as the prototypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl character. This term was coined by film critic Nathan Rabin in 2005, who described it as a stock character used by writers to push the protagonist to throw himself into the adventure and embrace existence, giving him some wisdom in key life stages, as the coming of age. In this context, Stargirl is almost a magical creature, who seems to exist only for this purpose and never grows up.

This is the acting debut of the 16-years-old ukulele singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal, who won America's Got Talent in 2016 at the age of 12. Graham Verchere (The Good Doctor, Fargo) plays Leo Borlock, the sensitive trumpet player teenager. Here are the real filming locations where the town of Mica is set:

Welcome to Mica, Arizona

Secondary school
Mica High School was basically set in older areas of Valley High School in the city of Albuquerque.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Disney Plus and Google Maps


Arena majorette cheerleader singing
However, the Mica High School track and field where several central scenes take place, was shot at the Moriarty High School athletics stadium. Movie crews transformed the football field and the surrounding buildings of this small New Mexico town, located 40 miles east of Albuquerque. The team painted all of the green buildings maroon and gold, the colors of the school in the movie. The production cast more than 500 people from Moriarty during the five days required to complete this section of the shoot. The Sun Valley Football Field Championship Game was shot at the Valencia High School football field, located south of Albuquerque.
Images courtesy of Disney - Stadium location / Valencia


Stargirl house
Grace VanderWaal's VanderVault fan website members found more details about some key film locations. Stargirl’s desert house was filmed in the outskirts of the small town of Belen, at 2517 Calle De Las Claveles (pictured). Leo's house exteriors were recorded in the Northeast Heights neighborhood of Albuquerque. The paleontological Archie’s Camp, where Leo's mentor (played by Giancarlo Esposito) is digging up dinosaur bones, was shot at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe. The ranch served as filming locations for many productions, including the acclaimed Netflix movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Image courtesy of Disney - House Location / Bonanza Creek Ranch Map


Village footage
The scenes in the streets of Mica were filmed in a town which is named as if we were in a crepuscular western movie: Truth or Consequences (also known as T or C). Pictured, the thrift store of Stargirl, Martha's gift store in real life. There is a mountain called Mica in Arizona but it has nothing to do with our movie.
Image courtesy of Disney and Google Maps


Desert landscape and ball scene
The tabletop cliff lookout scenes in the desert were shot on To'hajiilee Indian Reservation (Canoncito), a huge and largely unpopulated area of the Navajo Nation in western Bernalillo. The scenes on the roads when Mr. Robineau takes the guys to the speech competition in Tucson were also filmed here. The hotel room is the Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque. The Winter Ball dance was shot at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, a Pueblo-style casino resort located on Sandia Pueblo Indian land. Image courtesy of Disney - Indian Reservation Map / Ball dance

Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of Stargirl? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

NOTICE: If you’re using this information on your website, please credit and link to this page as a source.
*****

7 comments
  1. .... except the Stargirl does change and evolve, so not the typical MPDG. She was shown how her actions had consequences, and she tried being normal just because the boy she loved asked her because her popularity disappeared. She tried, but her popularity did not return, and she no longer felt like her authentic self. She had to apologize to the ones she hurt (w/o realizing it) and needed to move on from Leo who did not believe in her. I would say that is a big step up from the standard Manic Pixie Dream Girl, yes?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for these locations. The movie was great and I hope to visit the real-life shooting spots one day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you to Vandervault.org/forum members Aldri49501 and NothingLost for finding the To'hajiilee Indian Reservation location.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're welcome. Here is the link to the Vandervault.org thread discussing Stargirl filming locations. Note that the To'Hajiilee enchanted place location was precisely pinned down, as well as the shooting locations for two other scenes filmed in the same area.

      Delete
    2. Hey guys, thanks for your help! We added a link to your fan web to credit the source. We did update this post after checking that the info was correct long ago. Sorry if you feel miffed for not linking you - forums are not always a reliable source.

      Delete
    3. Gotcha. Thank you for crediting this work as it involved quite a lot of digging. Also, some of the breaks in this case came via an obscure Disney document not readily available on line. I'm sure you are also aware of the connection to "Breaking Bad" here? Feel free to include any additional details from our research.

      Delete
    4. Thanks, we'll have a look into it :)

      Delete

All comments are reviewed prior to publication