'The Circle' on Netflix Isn't Filmed Where You Think It Is (EXCLUSIVE)

Where was 'The Circle' filmed? Details on the Netflix reality series' location spot, when Season 5 was filmed, and if the show is staged.

Shannon Raphael - Author

Dec. 30 2022, Updated 8:57 a.m. ET

Chaz from 'The Circle'
Source: Netflix

Chaz is one of 'The Circle's Season 5 fan favorites.

Each season on The Circle, contestants are isolated in one-bedroom apartments in one building. They're cut off from the outside world, and their only connection to each other is a big TV with a social platform the show is named after.

After watching the previous seasons, and with Season 5 here, fans are curious: Where was The Circle filmed? Here's everything we know about the Netflix hit's location. (Hint: it's not where you might think.)

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Distractify spoke exclusively with Chaz Lawery from Season 5, who shared how he prepared for the show and when they filmed. We also previously spoke with Season 3’s Ava and Chanel Capra, who gave insight into their own experiences.

Chanel and Ava on 'The Circle'
Source: Netflix

Chanel and Ava competed in Season 3 of 'The Circle.'

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Where was 'The Circle' filmed?

Because all seasons of the show appear to take place in the same swanky apartment building — which apparently just has a ton of vacant apartments for the contestants to reside in — viewers wonder just where this building is located. Especially considering how hard it is to find a spacious one-bedroom apartment in basically every American city.

The Circle shows images of Chicago's skyline throughout the series, leading many to believe that's where the show is shot. But that's nowhere close to the show's real filming location.

The Circle was shot in an apartment complex in Manchester, England, Ava and Chanel confirmed to Distractify. According to Decider, The U.K. version of the show was also apparently shot there.

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Raven from Season 5  of 'The Circle'
Source: Netflix

Raven is a frontrunner in Season 5 of 'The Circle.'

"It was just a real reflective moment in everybody's life," Ava told Distractify about the experience. "And for us to be able to have been given the opportunity to go halfway across the world and just be sisters in a time there. You know, we were all just so emotionally drained and stressed. we couldn't be more grateful — we didn't even care really about anything else. Just that we had this moment together to just be sisters. It was like we won already."

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When was Season 5 of 'The Circle' filmed?

Chaz explained to us that he put himself through a test to see how long he could handle living in an apartment alone with cameras potentially on him 24/7. Whether he passed his own test or not, he got the call from Netflix and he considered himself ready to film The Circle Season 5. But when did the season actually film?

Chaz shared that it was “a year and a half ago,” meaning Season 5 of The Circle filmed around June 2021.

Is 'The Circle' fake or scripted?

Like any reality show, you have to assume that some scenes are filmed more than once to get the lighting or sound just right. Some contestants may even be prompted to say more than they would about themselves or their gameplay than they might prefer to reveal.

But in terms of actors or actual scripts, you can consider The Circle to be quite real.

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The first season of the American version finished filming ahead of time, while British audiences were able to interact with the episodes of the U.K. version as they aired.

Whether this change was done because the American version is on a site known for binge-watching episodes, or because it's actually more contrived, is unclear. There's still no obvious evidence that it's scripted.

You can watch The Circle now on Netflix.

Reporting for this story was contributed by Sara Belcher and Chrissy Bobic.

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