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Dining room walls were brushed with a romantic mural of local flora and fauna by Don Jacobs, a Mississippi artist who created similar scenes for the governor’s mansion in Jackson, the state capital.
RELATED: Get the Look of Tate Taylor’s Dream Kitchen by Shawn Henderson To help with Wyolah’s decor, Taylor called on his friend Shawn Henderson, a Manhattan-based designer whose ardently contemporary taste admittedly contrasts with Taylor’s admiration for all things antique.
You relate to them, and you feel bad for them.” Just what exactly Taylor and Spencer came up with for Ma’s backstory will be revealed when Universal opens the horror film nationwide May 31.
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So then I’m like, ‘Well, you got to keep it in reality, you know? The shifts in the script came from me creating her backstory, which has empathy, and as it came in some of the scenes just had to reflect that.” Taylor continued, “I said this needs to be about something — about trauma, and the sins of our parents and how we treat people, and then I wove that into it.
For me, when movies are successful your lead is not so honorable.
Says the director, “I didn’t want the house to turn too meemaw [Southern for ‘granny’], and I knew we’d meet in the middle.” For example, Henderson says he swallowed hard when Taylor brought a 19th-century heirloom settee to his attention, but soon the family treasure was upholstered in sleek brick-red leather and placed beneath a guest room window, opposite a German botanical chart depicting huge mushrooms. “I’d say, ‘If I give you a midcentury piece, you have to give me something in return!
A painstaking three-year renovation added 11 new baths.
“It checked every box,” he says, noting that the property’s original summer kitchen—a freestanding brick structure that kept heat and potential fires at a distance—“sealed the deal.” Still, he adds, “I never thought I’d come back home.”It almost didn’t happen.
Wyolah’s then-owner, a Brooklyn doctor, bought the estate in 1976 with the idea of reviving it and retiring there with his wife.
“There was no back story [in the original script],” Taylor said.
“A woman buys beer and then they end up…well, the script then had their heads being chopped off and sewn on different bodies.Before he began work on his latest project an adaptation of Paula Hawkins’s thriller —Taylor had Dream Works Studios executives and the film’s director of photography as guests at the home for several days, he says, and “we planned the whole movie.”The ultimate goal, the director continues, “is to never have to leave Mississippi to make a movie.