In the novel Beautiful Creatures, authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl created a world of youthful romance, intense drama and supernatural beings. The book became a nationwide bestseller and started a franchise that has now spawned two successful sequels, with a fourth novel arriving in bookstores this fall. The original book is also being adapted into a major motion picture starring Jeremy Irons, Margo Martindale and Alice Englert.
In the middle of May, Screen Rant visited one of the movie sets down in Louisiana. Before we had a chance to talk to the stars of the film, we explored the setting of one of the most important locations in the book and watched as a pivotal scene was filmed outside.
The book tells the story of Ethan Wate (played in the film by Alden Ehrenreich), a teenager struggling with a normal life in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina. As the story begins, he dreams about a mysterious young girl coming into his life. Ethan’s world is changed forever when the woman from those dreams – the strangely appealing Lena Duchaness (Alice Englert) – arrives in town. As he learns more about Lena, he realizes that her family is full of supernatural secrets, and that she is more powerful than he could have ever imagined.
When Lena arrives in town, she moves in with her strange and reclusive uncle, Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) at Ravenwood Manor, the haunted mansion in town. While in Louisiana, we got a chance to see the house that is serving as the Ravenwood Manor in the film. Like in the book, the home was desolate and stood on the outskirts of town, with vines wrapped around its aged exterior. Covered in moss, the “Ravenwood Manor” on set looked as creepy and unwelcoming as the book described. We were told by the crew that the home was built in the 1830s, but the filmmakers aged the already-large mansion to make it look even older. We were also told that the house was only used for the exterior scenes, while the interior scenes were filmed elsewhere.
If the house was something to see, so was the scene taking place in the backyard. In the shadow of the old home was a dance floor where the filming of one of the story’s most pivotal scenes was taking place. In the scene, Lena – who has only recently understood her supernatural powers – is forced to choose how she wants to use those powers, surrounded by her loved ones and friends.
With dozens of actors circling around in elaborate costumes, my fellow journalists and I watched as the scene unfolded, with the actors being surrounded by a large film crew. Some of the costumes used in the sequence had a Gothic cold feel to them, while others featured bursts of color and facial accessories, like those that we saw in The Hunger Games earlier this year.
Although the sun was boiling hot that day, the cast of the film used fans to keep themselves cool with the heavy – and sometimes tight – costumes they wore. After scenes were shot, some of the actors retreated to their seats underneath nearby tents, to watch their scenes play back on small monitors. Jeremy Irons, for one, always seemed to wander back to the screen after a scene was shot to see how it looked.
The set visit lasted only a few hours, but we saw how the filmmakers transformed an older building into a haunted house and how they filmed a dance scene under the hot sun. On the set, we also had a chance to chat with a few of the main actors in the film including, Emmy Rossum, Margo Martindale, Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for those interviews.
Beautiful Creatures arrives in theaters on February 13th, 2013.