On paper, the righteous vengeance of a group of stylish women in Big Little Lies and the harrowing, true-life addiction tale of Beautiful Boy don’t have many similarities fit for a reasonable comparison. Tonally, stylistically, and yes, especially in the “fun” department.
However, we’re pleased to make an exception to inform you there’s a knot tying these two projects together, and it comes in the form of some exquisite California real estate porn. That’s because, as discovered by Vulture, the same home Zoë Kravitz’s character called her humble abode in Big Little Lies is the same place Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet’s characters dealt with the five stages of grief in Beautiful Boy—because prime Calabasas properties don’t discriminate against awards-season narratives.
“We were nervous about the similarities, but I believe Big Little Lies had already come out by then. I watched it like a hawk!” Beautiful Boy‘s production designer, Ethan Tobman, explained to Vulture. “The house doesn’t appear frequently, and when it does, it’s mostly at night. On the one hand, it wasn’t a conscious choice to avoid what they shot, but on the other hand, we naturally were changing the areas that were focused on in Big Little Lies, so I think it feels like a pretty different home in the end.” While Tobman admitted there was some initial hesitation about using the home—this was the place Madeline Martha Mackenzie threw up while listening to Sade!—it soon became clear that its architectural style was what the film was looking for for the Sheff family.
“It had a really unique layout, very open architecture that invited the outside in, but also had a darkness, a lot of dark wood, and a lot of progressive, highly educated, Northern California sentiments, or sentimentalities that were not similar to the Sheff’s in details, but they were similar conceptually,” Tobman continued. “We went about converting the home on location to look a little bit more like the Sheff’s home. To had break up the wood, which would have been too monotonous onscreen, we introduced color, and introduced the art projects. We replaced all the counters with a mosaic found objects, tile, and broken glass.”
And if its owners have any common sense, the house will be up on AirBnB by next week.