The Making Of Cruella at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace

Latest 10 Sep 2021

News Story

Film London’s Winona Navin-Holder spoke to Catherine Owen, Head of Venue Sales & Marketing at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace, and Ali James, Location Manager for Cruella, about their shared experiences shooting the Disney hit.

Could you tell me a little about which scenes were shot at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace? Was the venue used to represent any of the key locations within Cruella?

Catherine: Cruella shot with us for just over a week in total, including several build days. We were used as the House of Baroness HQ, where a young Cruella (Emma Stone) attempts to makes her mark as a designer. However, she soon learns that her fashion idol Baroness Von Hellman (Emma Thompson) is not all that she is cracked up to be. She arrives for her first day of work at the doors of No. 10, enters our lobby and is guided up our iconic black marble stairs to the design studio (not shot in 10-11). Later we see the Baroness angrily peering through the windows of the Council Room as her show is disrupted by Cruella’s own.

Was the venue used for any particularly notable moments within the film that audiences might remember?

Catherine: Cruella manages to pull off quite a feat of damage and revenge to the upcoming House of Baroness collection. Most notably we see the Baronesses audience fleeing from our No. 10 entrance in a swarm of moths.

How much set dressing took place at the venue? Did it look radically different or was it still easily recognisable?

Catherine: There was a reasonable amount of dressing but I would say the spaces are still identifiable. They certainly are to me and the team anyway, who were very excited to spot them in the final film. The bulk of the dressing was props, lighting, the added carpets, curtains and some soft furnishings, but they also let the architecture speak for itself, which was lovely to see.

Ali: The building is so beautiful inside and out, so all we really needed to do was any remove signs that we were in 2019 and make sure it was more 1977!

Ali, what made you decide to shoot at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace?

Ali: We were after a very iconic London feel and the buildings around Carlton House Terrace are all very grand. It is a great area to film in generally, as the nearby clubs, IOD and the Athenaeum, as well as Westminster Council, are all really supportive of filming in the area. So not only did it really work for the movie’s aesthetic, but in terms of a practical place to film and give the movie great scale it also really worked!

Catherine, what do you think makes {10-11} Carlton House Terrace such a great filming location for a production of this size and scale?

Catherine: We are widely regarded as a treasure of Georgian architecture, the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner has in fact described the Terrace as among ‘the greatest terrace houses ever built in Britain’. So I believe it is our architecture, and that we have been able to retain so many historic details. We were a family home for over a century and have therefore been able to keep quite pristine historic interiors. We’re also very lucky to have a fantastic estates team who keep the building in very good nick.

Ali, could you tell me a little about the location research and recceing process for Cruella as a whole? How many of your locations did you manage to find within London?

Ali: Nearly all of them! It was a very location heavy movie. I have done a lot of Disney films and they are usually very studio based, but both Fiona Crombie and Craig Gillespie like filming on location, so we ended up with over 50 locations and I think 40 were in London! We certainly visited some old favourites, including Greenwich Naval College, but we also spent a lot of time shooting small sequences across the city in quirky back streets. As well as a memorable day on Portobello Road, which was a lot of work but looked fantastic. Being able to shoot at and work with the iconic London department store Liberty was a real bonus as well, Liberty were great and so supportive of our filming.

How important was it to create a clear sense of place within Cruella? Would you say London as a city plays an important role within the film?

Ali: It was very important, it is where the young Cruella wants to go at the start of the movie to change her fortunes, and the whole idea of the “punk scene” rallying against the “establishment” was also key to the feel of the film. So being able to showcase grand London locations alongside London locations associated with a younger generation, or ‘youth culture’ was also an important part of telling the story.

Ali, what was your overall filming experience like at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace? Where there any particular challenges within the shoot that you had to overcome? Or any particular highlights?

Ali: They were great. They had just had another large movie shooting with them before us, but were still very helpful with the many, many recces we went on prior to shooting. We had some fantastic locations to work with on Cruella but {10-11} CHT were truly fantastic and nothing was ever too much trouble.

Catherine, how did you find the shoot from a venue perspective? Were they are any particular challenges that your team had to ‘problem-solve’ around? Or any particular highlights from the experience?

Catherine: It was a fantastic shoot. The crew were so wonderful to work with, from scouting to the final bit of lighting being cleared. It was exciting for the team to have such a big-name production onsite as well. The biggest challenge for us was squeezing an exclusive hire of the venue, which the production required, into a busy diary. However, we were able to shift some bookings and the production were flexible with their get-in and get-out times, which meant we were able to fit the filming in.

As a venue are you keen to host more feature films of this size in the future? Perhaps you already have some filming projects lined up?

Catherine: We are always keen to host filming and photography in the building. We’re very proud of our venue and honoured to be its guardians. Filming means the widest possible audience can enjoy our beautiful spaces. We have hosted another large production since Cruella and have another in the pipeline as well, so hopefully folks will be seeing even more of {10-11} Carlton House Terrace on their screens soon!

We look forward to it. Thank you both for sharing a behind scenes look at Cruella!

Interview by Winona Navin-Holder

Cruella is streaming now on Disney+, and you can watch the trailer here. You can find further details about filming at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace here.