Breaking Down the Filming Locations of Aubrey Plaza-Led Thriller 'Emily the Criminal'

Sharp crime flick 'Emily the Criminal' sees Aubrey Plaza explore the seedy world of L.A.'s black-market capitalism. Was it filmed there?

Bianca Piazza - Author

Nov. 29 2022, Published 2:57 p.m. ET

'Emily the Criminal'
Source: Low Spark Films

Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is very much the case in John Patton Ford's electrifying Aubrey Plaza-led crime thriller Emily the Criminal. The story follows Emily, an unlucky woman with a mountain of student loan debt and a minor criminal record who finds herself desperate for cash beyond what she's paid at her catering job.

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Her sad life takes a turn when she accepts "a shady gig buying goods with stolen credit cards supplied by a charismatic middleman named Youcef (Theo Rossi)," as detailed by the official synopsis. "Seduced by the quick cash and illicit thrills, they hatch a plan to take their business to the next level."

Emily's increasingly perilous "dummy shopper" gigs take her all throughout Los Angeles, but was the movie filmed there? Let's talk filming locations.

'Emily the Criminal'
Source: Low Spark Films
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Where was 'Emily the Criminal' filmed?

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Aubrey Plaza (The White Lotus) opened up about the challenges that came with making Emily the Criminal. Aside from the years it took to finance the film, Aubrey touched on shooting difficulties.

"The limitations while we were shooting were a lot. We shot the movie in 21 days, 20 days in Los Angeles and one day in Mexico. It’s challenging to shoot in Los Angeles when you don’t have a lot of money, because it’s expensive and chaotic," she explained.

"We didn’t have money for a ton of extras, so when I’m on the street, I’m on the street, I’m with real people out there. And when I’m driving, I’m really driving on the 10 (freeway); I’m flying down the 10 at 80 miles an hour. It was all a challenge, but there’s something about how the spirit of the production took on the same spirit of the film and it all blended together in a way," Aubrey continued.

Hilariously, Aubrey said that completing the film felt like they all "pulled off a scam."

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While the witty Parks and Recreation star gave us insight into what it was like shooting in the California city, John Patton Ford got candid about what it was like shooting in Mexico.

Source: YouTube/RoadsideFlix
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"Towards the end of the production, we all went to Mexico for a couple days. We went to Puerto Vallarta to shoot a certain part of the movie. And that was by and far the most fun part of the production," the director told The Knockturnal.

The beach-filled resort town is located in the country's Jalisco state and is bordered by the stunning Sierra Madre jungle. According to Puerto Vallarta's website, it "has been appointed as The Friendliest City in the World by Travel + Leisure magazine."

"I mean, it just turned into just a throw down party in the jungle! ... It was like a crazy fever dream that didn’t feel like reality," he continued.

Don't mind us, we'll be busy packing our bags and stealing identities.

Emily the Criminal premieres on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, on Netflix.

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