If you went to see “Beautiful Boy and thought the spacious house Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell live in looks familiar, there’s a great reason for that: you’ve seen it before on ‘Big Little Lies.”
In an interview with Vulture, “Beautiful Boy” production designer Ethan Tobman confirmed that the house featured in the film is the same as the open Monterey home Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) and Nathan (James Tupper) occupy in HBO’s hit miniseries.
“Beautiful Boy” tracks the relationship between David Sheff (Carell) and his son, Nic (Chalamet), as Nic struggles with addiction. And the house was chosen with that dynamic in mind. “The goal was to accurately portray their family dynamic, and their architectural choices, but also the feeling we had when we were there,” Tobman told Vulture. “This was a home we would have loved to have grown up in, progressive, artistic, encouraging self-expression, intellect, freedom of personality, and yet Nic Sheff found it impossible to deal with reality on a day-to-day basis.”
According to Tobman, the house was selected because it was conceptually similar to the house owned by the real-life Sheff family depicted in “Beautiful Boy,” despite looking nothing like it. But to make the space feel more authentic, the crew made changes that would evoke the Sheff’s actual home.
“We went about converting the home on location to look a little bit more like the Sheff’s home,” said Tobman. “To 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, that Karen [Barbour, wife of David Sheff] would have done herself.