"Blood" filmmakers renovate mansion and Texan ranch

Fri Jan 4, 2008 9:13am EST
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - How's this for a grisly coincidence: The violent climax to "There Will Be Blood," featuring Daniel Day-Lewis as an aged oil baron, was shot at Greystone Mansion. The famed Beverly Hills building was built by oil tycoon Edward Doheny in the 1920s for his son, who died in a murder-suicide.

The 55-room mansion has been used in many films, including the "Ghostbusters" movies and "Batman & Robin," and as the site for Hollywood weddings. While the "Blood" filmmakers transformed one room into a beautiful study, their biggest coup was discovering, and then refurbishing, the mansion's lost and dilapidated bowling alley.

"It was just an empty shell of a room," producer JoAnne Sellar said. "The structure was there, but it had deteriorated over the years. There wasn't anything of the bowling alley left."

With some elbow grease, the production refurbished it to what it would have looked like back in the mansion's heyday.

"It's still there now," she said. "We left it up for people to see."


While "There Will Be Blood" is set during the turn-of-the-century California oil rush, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson and his production team had to leave the state to find its locations.

"We scouted all over California looking for a California that doesn't exist anymore," said Sellar. "There's always a Burger King or a Starbucks or a freeway in the way. You can't get away from it. We couldn't have a 360 (degree) view."   Continued...

<p>Daniel Day-Lewis arrives for the premiere of the film "There Will Be Blood" in New York December 10, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>