Okay, so the 2004 Ben Stiller comedy Meet the Fockers wasn’t the best movie ever made. But it made me laugh a few times, and it featured a rambling old Queen Anne Victorian that I thought was fun. Production Editor Rusty Smith says that they wanted it to have a Caribbean vibe, filled with odd and interesting objects that reflected its well-traveled owners.
When they found this house East of Los Angeles, they thought would be perfect for the Focker family home, but it was “too white.” The Byrns house in the first movie (Meet the Parents) was white, as you may recall, and they wanted something different. Smith says they went through a lot of colors before deciding on this rustic red.
Here’s how it looks normally (white):
Built in the 1880s, it was known as “Baldwin Cottage” because it was built by Elias Jackson Baldwin. Today it’s referred to more often as “Queen Anne Cottage” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The interiors were all built on soundstages at Universal Studios. As you can see in this behind-the-scenes video tour, those stairs don’t actually lead to anything.
The movie is basically a set of about 5 jokes that are rotated endlessly. One of the jokes is that Greg’s real name is Gaylord Myron Focker. Here is the “Wall of Gaylord” that his parents have decorated like a shrine to their son in the purple family room:
Greg is wearing moose antlers in an attempt to entertain Jack and Dina’s grandson who has been left in his care:
There’s only one working bathroom in the house, and Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) sees no problem with sharing:
Rozlyn (Barbra Streisand) is a sex therapist, and her study is filled with all sorts of things that embarrass Greg when it becomes a guest room for his in-laws:
I love the yellow kitchen, and that fabulous old blue stove:
Production Editor Rusty Smith says that the rooms were all huge to make it easier to film in them.
The Screened Porch:
The stairs were designed like this so that the director could do a “Hitchcockian” look down them during the scene when Greg loses the baby and is frantically searching for him:
A glimpse at the upstairs hallway:
Roz and Bernie’s Bedroom:
Having drinks by the lagoon:
Jack’s RV parked in front of the house:
I don’t think I could live with this much pattern in color in my own home, but I thought it was perfect for the house on “Focker Isle.” You can take a fun video tour of the set with Production Editor Rusty Smith here.