‘Flowers in the Attic: The Origin’ Filmed an Ocean Away From Its Virginia Setting

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Jul. 9 2022, Published 3:19 p.m. ET

After the 2014 TV movie Flowers in the Attic scored an audience total in the tens of millions, Lifetimeknew that the novels of V.C. Andrews had given them a hit franchise. The sequel movie Petals on the Wind came just months later, and If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday followed in 2015. And now Lifetime is rewinding the clock for Flowers in the Attic: The Origin — premiering tonight, Saturday, July 9, at 8 p.m. ET — and using a filming location far from the story’s Virginia setting!

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According to Lifetime, the prequel limited series is “the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield [played by Ellen Burstyn in the first movies], who is working alongside her beloved father when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcolm Foxworth. After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.”

‘Flowers in the Attic: The Origin’ filmed in Romania.

Foxworth Hall, the setting of V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger Family series of novels, is a fictional estate located in Charlottesville, Va. But Flowers in the Attic: The Origin filmed in Bucharest, Romania — more than 8,000 miles away — according to IMDb.

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Though it doesn’t have the same filmmaking reputation as, say, Hollywood or Vancouver or even Toronto, Bucharest has indeed hosted many film and TV productions, IMDb adds. The recent movies What Happened to Monday, The World to Come, and Voyagers filmed there, as did the TV shows Killing Eve, Around the World in 80 Days, and the upcoming Wednesday.

Though it doesn’t have the same filmmaking reputation as, say, Hollywood or Vancouver or even Toronto, Bucharest has indeed hosted many film and TV productions, IMDb adds. The recent movies What Happened to Monday, The World to Come, and Voyagers filmed there, as did the TV shows Killing Eve, Around the World in 80 Days, and the upcoming Wednesday.

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The cast and crew filmed in chilly and spooky conditions.

Paul Sciarrotta, the writer of Flowers in the Attic: The Origin and one of its executive producers, told Emmys.com that the project came together “when we didn’t even have vaccinations yet.”

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But the crew and the cast — including Max Irons, Kate Mulgrew, Harry Hamlin, Paul Wesley, and Kelsey Grammar — convened in Romania anyway and shot the limited series in 80 days.

“Sure, it was very cold, and the building where we shot [standing in for Foxworth Hall] could be spooky,” Paul, the writer, added. “But our cast and crew were spectacular.”

Jemima Rooper, who plays Olivia, brought her newborn to Romania to film the show.

British actress Jemima Rooper — who succeeds Ellen Burstyn in the role of Olivia — told Page Six last month that she was unsure about filming in Bucharest, since she had just given birth to her second child with husband Ben Ockrent.

“I got this script, and I remember seeing the breakdown of the job, and I was like, ‘Oh, filming in Romania for four months? Well, I can’t do that,’ she said.

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But she couldn’t pass up the part, and when she auditioned, she landed the part. “I got a call saying I got the job and they want me in Romania in a week,” she said.

Jemima also hailed the Romanian crew for going “above and beyond” and being “consistently so helpful and so kind.”

And talking to Emmys.com, Paul said that Jemima “brought her toddler and her newborn baby along and, under pretty difficult circumstances, was absolutely wonderful!”

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