My Day on the Set of “90210″May 16th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my post about the Hideaway Saloon (which you can read here), I was devastated to learn of the cancellation of fave show 90210 – especially being that the cast and crew were informed of said cancellation while in the midst of shooting what was to be the (most-likely cliffhanger-ish) Season 5 finale. Thankfully though, the script was rewritten mid-shoot and the series given the proper sendoff that it deserved, with (spoiler alert!) Liam Court (my man Matt Lanter) finally proposing to longtime love Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes). Hallelujah! I literally had anxiety all day Monday while waiting for the show to air because I was afraid that Liam and Annie would remain star-crossed for all eternity and I just could not have handled that. I needed closure and am so thankful that I (as well as the rest of the fans) got it. Anyway, I thought it would only be fitting to write today’s post about a memorable time that I spent on the set of 90210 a few years back.
Thanks to fave website OnLocationVacations, I learned, about a week ahead of time, that 90210 would be filming on August 31st, 2011 at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena. I immediately called up my mom, who was already living in Palm Springs by that time, and asked if she and my dad would be willing to drive out to help me stalk the filming, since 90210 was my favorite show and all. My mom said that she would talk to my dad about it and call me back. Well, let me tell you, I just about passed out from excitement when she called just a few minutes later and informed me that not only were they coming out for the filming, but that they had booked a room at the Langham for that day! Yes, my parents are that cool! Flash forward to the morning of the 31st. When I arrived at the hotel, I was floored to see the yellow sign pictured below. “The Code” – get it? LOVE!
When I first told my mom about the filming, I mentioned that the one 90210 star whom I was absolutely dying to meet was Shenae Grimes. (I had already met Matt Lanter a few months prior.) So imagine my surprise when I got to the Langham and, after striking up a conversation with a crew member, found out that Shenae was the only series regular on set that day. Talk about fate! I told the crew member what a huge fan of Shenae’s I was and that I would love to get a photograph with her, to which he said, “Oh, sure. One second.” He then got on his walkie-talkie and informed someone on the other end, “There’s a fan here who wants a picture with Shenae.” The person spoke back to him and the crew member told me to wait right where I was and that Shenae would be out in a minute. Well, let me tell you, I just about fell over at that! It was as if it was just expected that if there was a fan on the premises wanting a pic, that the actors would be happy to pose. Not all sets are like that, I can assure you. In fact, very few are that accommodating. True to the crew member’s word, Shenae came out just a minute later and walked right up to me and introduced herself. She was so sweet and we even got to chat for a minute about what a huge “Lannie” fan I am.
A few minutes later, a different crew member came up to me and invited me to watch the next scene that was being filmed (they had already finished up with the first scene of the day by the time I arrived). The crew member, who turned out to be the show’s location manager (yeah, I talked his ear off once I found that out!), parked me in the “Video Village” area behind where the directors and writers sit during a shoot and even took the below photograph to commemorate the event. And yes, I was definitely pinching myself! I’m surprised I didn’t have black and blue marks all up and down my arm, in fact!
The scene I got to watch being filmed was the scene in which Annie first met her future boyfriend/john, Patrick Westhill (Chris McKenna). In the episode, which turned out to be Season 4’s “Benefit of the Doubt”, the Langham Huntington was the hotel where Patrick stayed while visiting L.A. Amazingly enough, it took less than an hour, and only about three or four takes, to shoot the sequence. Those of you who have ever witnessed any filming know what a feat that is, being that most shows require umpteen takes of each and every scene.
The scene was shot in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge, which is located right next door to The Tap Room bar.
I, of course, just had to go back to the Lobby Lounge later that day to pose for a (rather blurry) picture in the spot where Annie sat in the scene.
After that scene was completed, the cast and crew moved out to the hotel’s Horseshoe Garden, which you can see some photographs of here, to set up another sequence. (The Bachelorette’s Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum got married in the Horseshoe Garden last December, but that’s a different post for a different day.) By this point, my parents had arrived at the Langham and the three of us set up camp on the patio of The Tap Room, which overlooks the Garden, so that we could watch the filming – and drink champagne at the same time.
My dad acted as my paparazzi the whole day and got some great shots of the crew setting up the scene.
As you can see below, it was quite an undertaking.
He also got some great shots of Shenae during a break (notice she’s carrying a Starbucks – we could so be besties! );
getting her make-up put on;
rehearsing with Chris;
and actually acting out the scene.
The scene being filmed in the Horseshoe Garden area involved Patrick taking Annie to lunch . . . on a helicopter!
And while the location manager informed me that they had originally planned on landing an actual helicopter on the Horseshoe Garden lawn, the city of Pasadena objected (ya think?), so they ended up adding the chopper in digitally during post production.
In reality, the lawn was completely empty during the filming, although at one point they did bring in a tiny toy helicopter that I think may have been used in the screen capture below.
After that scene wrapped, the cast and crew moved into the hotel’s Huntington Ballroom (you can check out a photograph of it here) which had been dressed to look like an art museum for the shoot. By that point, my parents were rather tired, so we opted to head out to dinner rather than watch more of the filming. All in all, it was a FABULOUS day and a FABULOUS memory – one that I will never forget.
The scene that was filmed early in the day, before I arrived at the hotel, involved Annie showing up to Patrick’s room to tell him that she likes him. Patrick’s room was actually the Langham’s Ford Cottage Room 1550, which you can check out some photographs of here.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Langham Huntington, aka Patrick’s hotel from “The Benefit of the Doubt” episode of 90210, is located at 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue in Pasadena. You can visit the Langham’s official website here.